Sandpit: SSA Data Management, Standards and Ethics

The Sandpit took place on Thursday 15th April 2021 via Zoom, and was hosted by the Royal Observatory. A full recording of the event can be seen here. Links to individual talks will be added to the Programme below.
Feedback from participants in this event was very positive, demonstrating that the sandpit was useful and informative. Here are a couple of the comments:

“I really did like how there was plenty of time in each session for good, detailed discussions.”  Dr. Nicholas Ross; Niparo Ltd.

I thought the structure and content were fantastic… even as a non-specialist I still got a tremendous amount out of the day.”  Max Alexander, Photographer.




How we collect, manage, analyse and distribute data has historically been ignored. However, as orbital population rapidly grows it is an increasing focus of the SSA community and cannot rely on the analogy of “always done it that way”. Following on from the SSA Data Management virtual workshop hosted by the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, in November 2020, the aim of the sandpit was to facilitate a deeper discussion on standards for data management, norms of behaviour and ensuring/enabling the responsible use of space.


13:30 – 13:35       Welcome & Introduction

                                                   Prof Bob Mann [University of Edinburgh]

13:35 – 15:05       Session 1: Data Management

                                                    Stuart Eves [SJESpace], Dinz Dinsley [NORSS], Waqar Zaidi [L3 Harris] and

Mark Mulholland, [Office of Space Commerce, US Department of Commerce (MITRE)]

13:35  Introduction

13:40  Presentation – The Management of ‘Data of Space’

The collection and storage, validation, analysis and distribution of space data: how it is performed with insight provided from Sprint Advanced Concept Training: SAC-T

14:05  Discussion – What is needed for space data management?

14:40  Presentation – Decentralizing Data Management

14:50  Discussion



15:05 – 15:15        Break

15:15 – 16:30        Session 2: Standards

 Dinz Dinsley [NORSS], Brian Swinburne [Airbus Defence and Space]

15:15  Introduction

15:20  Presentation – Standards for Data Management of Objects in Space

15:50 Discussion



16:30 – 16:40      Break

16:40 – 18:00      Session 3: Ethics

Fionagh Thomson, [Durham University]

16:40  Introduction

16:45  Sustainable Space Ethics: the link between technology, law and ethics

17:15  Discussion



18:00 18:30      The Way Ahead: GNOSIS Funding & Future Events

Prof Bob Mann [University of Edinburgh], Dinz Dinsley [NORSS]

18:00  Presentation – Submitting Proposals for GNOSIS Funding

‘How to apply’, the funding route and application process

18:20  Opportunities arising from the Sandpit, and way forward

18:30  Closing Remarks