Space force

The US Space Force will use a “digital twin” to simulate satellite incidents

The US Space Force must prepare for calamity, but how can it do so when it cannot train to use real satellites in orbit? He’s going to use a digital twin, apparently. Slingshot Aerospace says it is developing a “Digital Space Twin” that will combine physics-based modeling with real-time object mapping to help Space Force simulate various situations and plan responses well in advance.

The twin will help mission teams decide how to react to a potential collision, for example. The Space Force could also use the simulation to design safer and more efficient satellite constellations. And yes, the military branch will also use the digital environment to prepare for “harmful acts” from countries with a less than peaceful approach to space.

Slingshot is building the Digital Space Twin under a 39-month, $25.2 million contract. The funding will also help Slingshot conduct a pilot program that brings a laboratory simulation platform (shown above) to Space Force education and training facilities, including basic military training, the National Security Space Institute and two training squadrons.

Any practical proof of effectiveness is probably years away. That said, digital twins like this could be crucial for Space Force and other agencies beyond Earth. They could not only reduce costs and speed up development, but help avoid disasters that ruin expensive spacecraft or trigger international incidents.

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