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NEWS | May 22, 2024

15th SPSS innovates with Mount Official Scheduling System

By Abigail Behan, 15th Space Surveillance Squadron

Perched atop the 10,023-foot summit of Haleakalā in Hawaii, lives Space Delta 2’s 15th Space Surveillance Squadron. The 15th SPSS operates the Maui Space Surveillance Complex and is home to small, medium, and large-aperture tracking optics, including the Department of Defense's largest optical telescope designed for satellite tracking and imaging, as well as visible and infrared sensors for data collection on near-Earth and deep-space objects.

​Tracking of these deep space objects will soon be made more efficient, thanks to the Mount Official Scheduling System, also known as MOSS.

“The MOSS tool provides a simple and effective avenue to effectively balance scheduling needs,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Holland, base operations and sustainment project manager. “MOSS is forecasted to eliminate the available time to operate our sensors that currently goes unused due to these scheduling mishaps, which is currently estimated at 41% of the calendar year.”

In just under six months, the MOSS team created and deployed a web-based application that provides the warfighter with 15-20% more Space Domain Awareness data while also laying the groundwork for future operational capability development and deployment to operational units across the Service.

“When it comes to future enhancement, we want to have a version of MOSS on Secret and [Top Secret] networks so that all of our external partners can access and use the tool because many live on the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System,” Holland said. “We also want to integrate a function that tracks metrics for our current operations.”

A team of six members, consisting of Guardians and Airmen, enabled 150 more days per year of Electro-Optical telescope usage for non-traditional sensors that provide operationally relevant SDA data to the warfighter, a 41% increase over legacy operations.

“Currently we waste 150 days a year due to scheduling issues that prevent us from operating,” Holland said. “This cloud-based application, made by our own active-duty Guardians, will eliminate those wasted days and enable us to execute operations every day there are not weather impacts or maintenance being conducted.”

By MOSS reducing 15th SPSS operational planning by half, this provides transparent scheduling capabilities to the research and development and intelligence community.

“We aim to pair MOSS with a 15SPSS 'Portal' that we plan to build in the future as our second product team,” Holland said. “The portal will serve as a JWICS homepage for our site and will have sensor status the interactive view/request schedule functionality via MOSS, and a Dropbox type function for pushing data from our site to our operators.”

The comprehensive goal of MOSS is simple, says Holland. “The overall goal for us via MOSS and the Portal will be to ensure we are utilizing our exquisite research and development capabilities in Maui to most effectively serve the SDA communities' needs.”