DARPA is striving to help the military keep track of up to 1,000 targets on earth through the development of new satellite software–a program called ‘Oversight.’
From the DARPA website: DARPA, the U.S. Space Force, and the Space Development Agency (SDA) are developing new satellite constellations to increase the tactical capabilities of U.S. space systems…’Oversight’ seeks software solutions to enable autonomous constant custody, or knowledge of target location within accuracies necessary for mission needs, of up to 1,000 targets from space assets through management of available satellite hardware resources. The project aims to support both peacetime and wartime monitoring of high value targets in contested environments where resources and targets may be highly dynamic.
Current practices require human operators for exquisite satellite solutions. This arrangement does not scale well for the numbers of targets that Oversight is considering. Reliance on individual ground station operators significantly increases latency and minimizes tactical utility of satellite sensor data. Oversight will develop the autonomy necessary to track targets with the operator overseeing at an aggregate level. It will also leverage existing and/or state-of-the-art networks to provide collaboration between satellite and ground resources.