The Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS)

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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 would provide the foundation for a new commercial repertoire of robust space-based capabilities and a future in-space economy.

Vision: Servicing empowering a robust space economy

Mission: Develop industry-led standards and guide international policies for servicing that contribute to a sustainable, safe, and diverse space economy.

CONFERS is open to participation by private sector stakeholders in the international satellite servicing community.  All companies and academic institutions developing, operating, insuring, and purchasing OOS and RPO capabilities are encouraged to join and contribute their experience and expertise.

Meet Our Team

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Executive Director

Brian Weeden is the Director of Program Planning for Secure World Foundation, and Executive Director of CONFERS. In his role with SWF, Dr. Weeden directs strategic planning for future-year projects to meet the Foundation’s goals and objectives, and conducts research on space debris, global space situational awareness, space traffic management, protection of space assets, and space governance. Dr. Weeden also organizes national and international workshops to increase awareness of and facilitate dialogue on space security, stability, and sustainability topics. He is a member and former Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Future of Space Technologies, and is also a member of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES) to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Prior to joining SWF, Dr. Weeden served nine years on active duty as an officer in the United States Air Force working in space and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) operations. Dr. Weeden holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University, a Master’s Degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from George Washington University in the field of Science and Technology Policy.

photo of Fred Slane


Standards Development Coordinator

Following his twenty-eight year engineering career in military space systems (shuttle launch, communications, remote sensing research and development, and operations), Mr. Slane identified open technical standards as an unaddressed need of the future space industry.  Looking specifically at business needs and practices, he, along with others, founded the Space Infrastructure Foundation (SIF) in 2004 to support future space capabilities with open standards.

Mr. Slane was the Project Lead for Space Plug-and Play Architecture Standards (AIAA S 133-x) and the Sub-lead for Space Launch Integration (R-099), a National Reconnaissance Office sponsored best practice.  SIF is also involved with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Subcommittee for Space Systems and Operations (ISO TC20/SC14).  Mr. Slane was Working Group International Chair for Interfaces, Integration and Test, and is currently the Chair of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to SC14, and Project Lead for CubeSat Standard (ISO 17770) and Spacecraft Initialization and Commissioning (ISO 10784). Mr. Slane is also engaged with the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems Engineering Group on a common Ontology and the Spacecraft On-Board Information Systems Standard.

Ian Christensen


Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator

Ian Christensen is a Director of Private Sector Programs at Secure World Foundation, where he is responsible for leading SWF’s engagement activities with the commercial space industry. Mr. Christensen’s prior professional experience was a consultant and analyst focused on international and domestic commercial space, satellite, and aviation markets. Prior to joining SWF, Mr. Christensen worked at leading space-sector consulting firms Futron Corporation and Avascent. In these positions, he managed or served in lead analysis roles on market, business planning, and forecasting studies for numerous commercial space sector clients in the United States, Israel, and Europe. For government clients, Ian has provided space-related strategic and analytic services for NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the Government of Australia. Mr. Christensen holds a Master of Arts (M.A.) in international science and technology with a focus on space policy from the George Washington University Elliott School for International Affairs.  He holds dual Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) degrees in political science and biochemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As part of the CONFERS team Mr. Christensen will support industry stakeholder engagement activities.