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The Orbital Space Ontology Project

Ontology Engineering for Space

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Welcome to the current webpage for the Orbital Space Ontology Project. The goal of this, currently independent and long-standing, project is the development of a computational ontology or ontology suite for astronautical and space science applications. It is based on the publications listed below. The scope or domain of the ontology project is that of space situational awareness (SSA) and the orbital and near-Earth space environment. A specific sub-domain and focus is orbital debris (1)(Rovetto, ESI 2015), and related sciences, space operations, and modeling activities, such as astrodynamics.

Computational ontologies are computer-readable generic terminologies and taxonomies with a formal semantics. They are applicable to any data-intensive field, and provide data and knowledge models for software applications to draw from and reason over. Their class terms (and formal definitions) provide semantic annotation of database terms, which provides meaning to data. Ontology engineering is related to the fields of information/data science, linked-data, semantic web, artificial intelligence, and database management. Semantic interoperability, data-exchange, data-fusion, data-mining, data-extraction, and knowledge representation are practical aims of ontologies. Concepts and distinctions from philosophical and formal ontology are often used.

###Project goals include### * an orbital and SSA terminology that can be used across ontologies and platforms * formal, conceptual and philosophical analysis of fundamental astronautical, astrodynamic and orbital concepts * a general-purpose orbital ontology to ontologically model any orbit from inputted instance data (data on particular satellites), and ontologies for classifying orbital debris and other orbital space objects. * Data sharing and integration among orbital debris or space object catalogues * Teaching Innovation by applying ontologies to space visualizations/graphical-simulations, and conceptual modeling. * Reducing complexity of programming by providing a thorough data model for software to draw upon * Identifying applications in space agencies where it may be of benefit, e.g., interconnection with NASA SWEET ontologies

###Ontologies being developed include### * The Orbital Debris Ontology (ODO) (1)

Near Future: the ODO OWL file will be located at * The Space Situational Awareness Ontology (SSAO) (2)

Near Future: the SSAO OWL file will be located at

The SSAO has been used by an ontology-driver orrery project at NASA. * Orbital Ontology - a generic base ontology containing the core orbital terms used by ODO, SSAO and other terms (subject to revisiono, merger, etc.)

Each ontology may form a sub-domain of the overall scope, collectively forming a modular architecture for reuse is distinct applications. For example, an ontology of orbital space environment requires modeling the object, events, their interrelations; and the observations, measurements, and astrodynamic modeling thereof.


SEEKING funded opportunities such as * Contract work, distance work * Grants (e.g., with NASA, ESA, EU, etc.) * University professors or organizations to apply for grants (contact author for details) * Author seeks a university degree studentship (toward a BS or MS in a space discipline; and a PhD in ontology, philosophy, or an interdisciplinary PhD with space).



Robert J. Rovetto * rrovetto[at] * robert.rovetto[at] * Author ORCID * Author GitHub homepage * Alumnus of Univ.of Maryland, and The State University of New York. Some space studies coursework from American Military University.

History: Author Bio-Contextual-Efforts

This project has been a pursuit since 2011, when I conceived of the concept for applying ontology to the orbital debris (1) (OD) domain toward improving the OD hazard via ontology-based data sharing and integration (verifying documents and references available upon request). When not pursuing employment or maritime search and rescue, I’ve searched for (and continue to) a funded opportunity to sustainably work on this project in a team environment with professionals in the required disciplines astrodynamics, astroinformatics, computer science, and ontology engineering. I have developed enough paper cocepts on this to make it a PhD project, and seek to also complete a space discipline degree, astronautics and orbital dynamics being my original passions.


Copyright (c) Robert J. Rovetto 2011-2017.