AIGameDev reports: "A Spatial Awareness System is a tool which keeps track of relationships between a large collection of objects represented by 3d co-ordinates as floats.
The typical use for a spatial awareness system SAS is for AI and network traffic culling. In AI you may have a limited range that the entity is supposed to be aware of. Take for example a gun turret with a limited sight distance. The awarness system will automatically collect the set of objects which are within this range. The AI code can either iterate over this awareness list directly or respond to discrete events when objects come into and out of the awareness range."