Press Release

Space Analysis Center: Think-tank of the stars

By SpaceRef Editor
September 15, 2001
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By Master Sgt. Austin Carter, Air Force Space Command Public Affairs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Nineteen years after the idea was first put forth,
the Air Force Space Command’s Space Analysis Center was finally born Aug. 31
at a downtown Colorado Springs office building.

The center is the think tank for the command’s modeling, simulation and
analysis of space capabilities.

“We’re not the first ones to tackle this challenge,” said the new director,
Col. T.S. Kelso. “But our goal is to be the center of excellence for space
analysis. One of our first questions is: How do we get space into existing
joint campaign models? We need these models to support our space analysis
capabilities.”

The models he’s speaking of aren’t those stuck together with glue for a spot
on the shelf, but simply representations of what weapon systems are capable
of in any given situation, at any given location.

Ultimately, these models will be used to provide analysis of existing and
future space weapon systems via campaigns fought with computers, not with
people. It’s all about testing concepts and hardware. To make this happen,
the center will interact with numerous corporate and government organizations.

“Today’s weapon systems cost a great deal of money,” Kelso said. “We will
provide the capability to say ‘OK, this system’s design works better than this
one’ and help save money. But we also answer the question, ‘Does it add to our
space warfare capabilities or deter our adversaries?'”

These are heady questions for the 32 military, civilians and contractors
within the center, organizationally placed under the office of AFSPC vice
commander.

“One of the key challenges for us is that to do analysis for space operations,
our people must understand not only analysis but space operations, as well.
Those folks are extremely hard to come by,” Kelso said. “We will work to
develop an analytical environment that attracts these unique people and
encourages others to seek out careers as space analysts.”

The new director was sure that after the center shows what it can do for the
warfighter, they will wonder why it wasn’t established sooner.

“We’re very confident we will not only support them well, they’ll look to us
for our expertise,” he said.

The vice commander of AFSPC, Lt. Gen. Roger DeKok, one of the few who
envisioned such a center 19 years ago, has thrown his full support behind
the program.

“This is long overdue,” the general said at the ceremony. “I have long
lamented the fact that we’ve often lacked sufficient analytical data to make
decisions. The promise of this center is that we’ll have that data now.”

SpaceRef staff editor.