The Next Level of Sustainability in Space
The Global Network On Sustainability In Space, GNOSIS, asked Angela Mathis, CEO of ThinkTank Maths, to join its Steering Board to add her practical experience, insights, and global connections to the expertise of the existing board members. GNOSIS focuses on space sustainability and brings scientists and industry together to understand and tackle the challenges of space debris, space weather and orbital congestion. As ThinkTank Maths has a track record and is currently investing in the space sustainability arena, the cooperation will help to shape the next phase of GNOSIS’ journey.
GNOSIS, which currently has 356 members, is trying to forge and stimulate a community to push forward innovative science, capabilities and solutions to preserve the safe operating environment of space. The network’s initial funding is through the Science and Technology Facilities Council – which means it is research-led. GNOSIS therefore identifies areas where new research could have an impact, and brings people together to stimulate science collaborations.
According to Katherine Courtney, Chair of the Steering Board at GNOSIS, although space object datasets are accessible, they are gathered for specific purposes that may or may not have anything to do with monitoring and managing the space environment. In her view, data analysis, data sharing, data mapping, and data transparency are the key to unlocking progress. “The reason we wanted Angela to join is because wanted someone with experience of big data challenges and data analysis expertise on the board, as well as enthusiasm and passion for preserving the unique space environmentl,” said Katherine. As space surveillance and space situational awareness are about creating trusted decision intelligence from many different datasets, the GNOSIS network is keen to engage with data analysis experts as well as promote new cross disciplinary collaborations. This is in harmony with ThinkTank Maths’ approach to space domain awareness (SDA). GNOSIS also strives to make sure that they have a mix of diverse voices, both in terms of gender, background, and with regards to the size of participating businesses.
“Board Members wanted Angela on the Steering Board, after seeing her attitude, strong vision for the sector, and how proactive she is.”Katherine Courtney, Chair of the Steering Board at GNOSIS
Angela joins the Board to help to set ambitious targets to be able to measure success. She will participate in providing governance and oversight to help the programme team make decisions on best use of the funding they receive as well as maximise the impact of the GNOSIS programme. The Board members also create, attract, build the reputation, advocate and amplify the mission critical message of the network by participating in workshops and knowledge exchange forums.
“Going forwards, we will focus on continuing to build and serve the needs of the members and build our network, but at the same time expand the scope into social sciences and other aspects of space sustainability – with a deliberate intent to grow our international connections,” said Katherine.
Angela is pleased to join the network to help GNOSIS steer the next phase of its mission. GNOSIS has achieved what it originally set out to do. She believes that the Space Environment now demands the urgency and focus of a ‘Manhattan Project’.
“We need a global forum to bring together the most motivated, humble, curious and creative brains on the planet to work together with urgency to create the necessary new partnerships, science, knowledge, technology, thinking, legal frameworks and solutions to the space environment. We must strive to create irrefutable and transparent evidence to ensure governments and legislators at a global scale can take appropriate action and guide the space industry to build their business models and act with informed stewardship of the Space Environment”Angela Mathis, CEO ThinkTank Maths
GNOSIS SPACE has built the foundations over the last three years – reputation, credibility and a global network to become the Manhattan Project of Space.
That is a far-reaching vision and mission. It is certainly an appropriately ambitious target for the next phase of GNOSIS.
GNOSIS – THE GLOBAL NETWORK ON SUSTAINABILITY IN SPACE+ Visit the Website
ThinkTank Maths secures funding for SST Project
ThinkTank Maths Limited (TTM) has secured R&D financing from Scotland’s economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, for the development of enhanced space surveillance and tracking (SST) services.
The overcrowding of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is a rapidly growing problem due to the proliferation of satellites endangering vital economic and societal activities. To achieve economic continuity and security along with lower insurance costs, the position uncertainty of space-objects in LEO have to be reduced. Enhanced orbital trajectory prediction and object collision risk reduction will help safeguard both commercial and military assets and operations.
TTM aims to accomplish this through novel abductive inference methods to fuse complex heterogenous data sets. This capability will reduce satellite fuel burn from unnecessary avoidance manoeuvres extending the operational life of spacecraft. Generating less space debris and less CO2 pollution will promote safe and sustainable development of LEO.
The overall technical objective of the R&D program is to develop an SST solution with a novel mathematical framework and context specific algorithms. These will go beyond the current use of statistical analysis methods; Gaussian distribution or stochastic modelling (random probability distribution) to deal with uncertainty and risk in LEO, ‘because more is different’.
Our software will automatically collect data from a variety of sources to give enhanced position accuracy for space objects. Through TTM’s augmented intelligence system (TRA™) we will provide decision intelligence at the speed of relevance to satellite operators, ‘because modelling the past does not predict the future’.
TTM has been working in stealth mode since 2018 with Dr Moriba Jah, Associate Professor at the University of Texas, Austin, and Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at Privateer Space. Dr Jah is a globally recognised subject matter expert, space environmentalist and astrodynamicist.
The project will also consolidate TTM’s relationship with SaxaVord Spaceport within the SaxaVord Space Domain Awareness Consortium. TTM plans to develop safe and accurate orbital insertion services for SaxaVord launcher clients.
The project is directly aligned with Scottish Enterprise’s “Scotland in Space” ambitions and will deliver competitive Scottish/UK Space Surveillance and Tracking monitoring and alert services.