The Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS) has been developing and publishing consensus-derived, standards for satellite operations since it was established in 2017. In honor of its four-year anniversary, we’re looking at CONFERS’ recent notable achievements. Most important in the CONFERS charter is to support the publication of international standards for On Orbit Servicing (OOS). These standards leverage operational best practices of industry to ensure the long-term sustainability of outer space operations. CONFERS has received word from International Standards Organization (ISO) that its standard — ISO 24330, Space systems — Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO) and On Orbit Servicing (OOS), has been approved with a few administrative comments. These comments will be adjudicated prior to a January 31 deadline and then become a fully vetted standard. The formal standard will help pave the way for additional and safer OOS operations in the future. ISO hopes to have the vote prior to the end of the calendar year.
Additionally, CONFERS continues to grow, with membership increasing by 25 percent during the 2021 fiscal year. Members represent a diverse set of satellite operators, OOS operators, OOS services and supporting companies and academia from 11 countries. A month ago, CONFERS hosted its fourth annual Global Satellite Servicing Forum to the largest crowd to date with more than 290 registrants from 24 countries. Senior government speakers from NASA, Japan, and the EU provided insights into the emerging OOS markets and global trends.
With DARPA’s steadfast support and leadership, CONFERS continues to lead the industry in developing critical principles and practices required to expand the marketplace.
The Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS) is an industry-led initiative with initial seed funding provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that aims to leverage best practices from government and industry to research, develop, and publish non-binding, consensus-derived technical and operations standards for OOS and RPO.
These standards provide the foundation for a new commercial repertoire of robust space-based capabilities and a future in-space economy. CONFERS is supported by Advanced Technology International.