MILSATM AGAZINE SATCOM FOR NET-CENTRIC WARFARE - MILSATMAGAZINE

 
MILSATM AGAZINE SATCOM FOR NET-CENTRIC WARFARE - MILSATMAGAZINE
SatCom For Net-Centric Warfare              May 2012

MilsatMagazine
                 U.S.A.F.’s AEHF-2 Launch via ULA (cover photo)
                                     Competing For Space—AIAA
                        Space Weather For Emergency Managers
                             The Importance Of The Space Fence
                                              COMMAND CENTER
                              General Thomas S. Moorman [Ret]
                                           Diego Paldao, NewSat
                                                  Space Weather
                      WGS + How The DoD’s MILSATCOM Vision
                                            Has Veered Off Track
                                  XipLink Discusses Optimization
                                   Space: Distruptive Challenges
                   Industry Expansion, Exploration, Enthusiasm
MILSATM AGAZINE SATCOM FOR NET-CENTRIC WARFARE - MILSATMAGAZINE
MilSatMagazine — May 2012 — Vol. 3, #2

    Publishing Ops                                                            Authors
    Silvano Payne.....................................Publisher + Writer
    Hartley G. Lesser..................................Editorial Director     Gunnery Sergeant Jennifer Antoine
    Pattie Waldt.......................................... Executive Editor   Kyle Bond
    Jill Durfee.................. Sales Director, Editorial Assistant         Staff Sergeant Andrew Caya
    Donald McGee.................................Production Manager           Mike Conschafter
    Simon Payne................................ Development Manager           Tom Cristler, Colonel, U.S.A.F. [Ret.]
    Mike Antonovich................................Contributing Editor        William J. Donahue, Lt. Gen. U.S.A.F. [Ret.]
    Maxime Baudry.................................Contributing Editor         Elliot Holokauhi Pulham
    Chris Forrester...................... Senior Contributing Editor          Hartley Lesser
    Alan Gottlieb......................... Senior Contributing Editor         Doug Loverro, DISES, U.S.A.F.
    Bob Gough............................. Senior Contributing Editor         Ellen Pawlikowski, Lt. Gen., U.S.A.F.
    Richard Dutchik................................Contributing Editor        Elaine Pittman
    Jos Heyman.......................................Contributing Editor      Ben Ryan
    Dan Makinster..................................... Technical Advisor      Pattie Waldt
    Giles Peeters......................... Senior Contributing Editor
    Bert Sadtler.......................................Contributing Editor

    We reserve the right to edit all submitted materials                      Dispatches
    to meet our content guidelines, as well as for
    grammar and spelling consistency. Articles may
                                                                              All Fired Up! (ULA)........................................................... Page 06
    be moved to an alternative issue to accommodate
    publication space requirements or removed due to                          Space Command’s History (USAF).................................. Page 08
    space restrictions. Submission of content does not                        Test Of TacComms Backbone (U.S. Army)...................... Page 08
    constitute acceptance of said material by SatNews                         TacSat-3 Retires (ATK).................................................... Page 09
    Publishers. Edited materials may, or may not, be                          DoubleTalk Wanted (Comtech Telecom)......................... Page 10
    returned to author and/or company for review prior                        Spy Sat Support (Astrium).............................................. Page 10
    to publication. The views expressed in our various                        Commercial SATCOM Solutions (GSA + DISA)................ Page 11
    publications do not necessarily reflect the views or                      Combat SkySat (U.S.M.C.)............................................... Page 12
    opinions of SatNews Publishers. All rights reserved.                      Constant Communications Are Ensured......................... Page 13
                                                                              MIRI Instrument Finished (ESA + NASA)....................... Page 14
    All included imagery is courtesy of, and copyright
    to, the respective companies.                                             All About Actuator Accuracy (MOOG)............................. Page 15
                                                                              Liberty Is At Hand (ATK, Lockheed Martin, NASA)......... Page 15

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2       MilsatMagazine — May 2012
MILSATM AGAZINE SATCOM FOR NET-CENTRIC WARFARE - MILSATMAGAZINE
MILSATM AGAZINE SATCOM FOR NET-CENTRIC WARFARE - MILSATMAGAZINE
MilSatMagazine — May 2012 — Vol. 3, #2
DOWNLINK: The Space Fence Is Vital For Military Communications—Page 16
The president’s budget proposal for 2013 includes steep cuts in federal military spending.
Requested military appropriations are about $32 billion less than this year’s total. Meanwhile,
defense officials recently unveiled a plan to cut projected department spending by $260 billion
over the next five years.—Ben Ryan

DOWNLINK+: About The Space Fence...—Page 17
The U.S. Air Force Materiel Command’s Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base
in Massachusetts leads the procurement for the USA’s Space Fence, which is intended to
improve space situational awareness as legacy systems in the Space Surveillance Network
(SSN) are retired.

COMMAND CENTER: General Thomas S. Moorman, Jr., U.S.A.F. [Ret.]—Page 20
Thomas S. Moorman Jr. retired as a partner with the international management and technology
consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton, on 1 March 2008. During his nearly ten year career with
Booz Allen, he was responsible for the Firm’s Air Force and National Aeronautics and Space
Administration business.—The Editors

PRIME: Competing For Space—Page 28
The U.S. space industry currently faces dual threats; major reductions in federal aerospace
spending and overly restrictive satellite technology export policies. If we continue on this
path, without implementing the right reforms, our nation risks the scenario of a weakened
space industrial base that is unable to fully meet U.S. national security needs or sustain our
technological edge against foreign competitors.—Mike Conschafter

FOCUS: Space Weather—What Emergency Managers Need To Know—Page 44
When FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate tweets about space weather warnings, people sometimes
reply and ask if they should don aluminum hats. Although the thought of severe weather
in space might sound like a plot from a science fiction novel, the threat is real—and could
potentially cause widespread blackouts and shut down the electric power grid for an extended
period of time.—Elaine Pittman

DOWNLINK: WGS + How The DoD’s Original MILSATCOM Vision has veered off track—Page 48
The Department of Defense’s recently published “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities
for 21st Century Defense” calls for decisions on which military investments to continue, which to
defer, and which to cancel. The result must maintain a ready and capable force while reducing
“the cost of doing business.”—William J. Donahue, Lt. Gen. U.S.A.F. [Ret.]

TECH OPS: XipLink Real-Time Optimizations—Page 52
XipLink Real-time (“XRT”) is a new optimization capability that compresses, coalesces and
prioritizes VOIP and UDP for significantly more bandwidth and packet efficiency without
compromising quality. XRT can provide bandwidth savings up to 50 percent and guarantee
quality delivery. This article describes how small packet applications can benefit from
optimization.—Charlie Younghusband

COMMAND CENTER: Diego Paldao, Senior Director—Americas, NewSat—Page 58
Diego Paldao has been involved with the satellite industry for more than 14 years. His initial
exposure to satellites was with UUNET providing IP transit services. His team worked closely
with satellite operators to provide connectivity via satellite for areas that were lacking in
sufficient or stable fibre connectivity. Following this role, Diego joined global teleport operator,
Verestar, which was ultimately acquired by SES.

INTEL: Space—Distruptive Challenges, New Opportunities + Strategies—age 62
February 17, 1864 was a cold night just outside Charleston Harbor. The War of the Rebellion had
raged for the prior three years as a bitter struggle of will and staying power.—Ellen Pawlikowski,
Lt. Gen, U.S.A.F.; Doug Loverro, DISES, U.S.A.F.; and Tom Cristler, Colonel, U.S.A.F. [Ret.]

DOWNLINK: Industry Expansion, Exploration + Entrepreneurism—Page 78
If there’s one thing this spring season has demonstrated, it is the fact that our space industry,
around the world, has more of the “Right Stuff” than ever before. Consider, for a moment, our
recently completed 28th National Space Symposium.—Elliot Holokauhi Pulham
MILSATM AGAZINE SATCOM FOR NET-CENTRIC WARFARE - MILSATMAGAZINE
MilSatMagazine — May 2012 — Vol. 3, #2

Advertiser Index
2012 International Satellite Directory.................................................................... Page                   57
Agile Communications............................................................................................ Page             45
AVL Technologies.................................................................................................... Page         71
Comtech EF Data........................................................................................ cover + Page              23
Comtech Xicom Technology, Inc............................................................................. Page                   59
CPI, Inc.................................................................................................................. Page   39
GigaSat Limited...................................................................................................... Page        11
GL Communications Inc.......................................................................................... Page              05
Harris Corporation.................................................................................................. Page         03
iDirect Government Technologies........................................................................... Page                   31
MITEQ / MCL, Inc................................................................................................... Page          19
Newtec CY.............................................................................................................. Page      09
SatFinder................................................................................................................ Page    47
Space Foundation: The Space Report 2012............................................................. Page                         77
Teledyne Paradise Datacom.................................................................................... Page                41
Wavestream Corporation........................................................................................ Page               13

                                                                                                    MilsatMagazine — May 2012          5
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Dispatches

    All Fired Up! Perfect Launch      for high-priority military        sustains space-based global         100 percent mission success.
    For ULA’s AEHF-2                  ground, sea and air assets.       communications in support           Today’s successful launch
                                      (Photo below by Pat Corkery,      of the president, secretary of      was the 60th since ULA was
    There was only one day’s          United Launch Alliance)           defense and combat forces.          formed just over five years
    delay, and then GO! to                  Rob Gannon gave the play-   The MILSATCOM enterprise            ago and we congratulate the
    mark the fourth Evolved           by-play for ULA’s successful      consists of satellites, terminals   AEHF team on this important
    Expendable Launch Vehicle         launch. All systems ran           and control stations and            step toward delivering
    (EELV) mission this year...       perfectly, and once launched,     provides communications for         these critical protected
         A United Launch Alliance     all the exercises ran, and        more than 16,000 air, land and      communications capabilities.”
    Atlas V rocket blasted off from   continue to run, as planned.      sea platforms.                           Developed by the United
    Space Launch Complex-41 at              “We are proud of our             “ULA is proud to serve         States Air Force to provide
    2:42 p.m. EDT on May 4th,         entire launch team.” said         alongside our mission partners      assured access to space for
    2012, with the U.S. Air Force’s   Col. Michael Sarchet, AEHF        and privileged that the Air         Department of Defense and
    Advanced Extremely High           Government Program Manager,       Force entrusts the ULA team         other government payloads,
    Frequency-2 (AEHF-2)              U.S.A.F. “Each AEHF spacecraft    to deliver critical national        the EELV Program supports
    satellite. This was ULA’s 4th     will provide warfighters’         security capability to orbit for    the full range of government
    launch of an aggressive 11        much improved protected           our soldiers, sailors, airman       mission requirements, while
    mission schedule for the year     communications capabilities.”     and Marines around the              delivering on schedule and
    and marks the 30th Atlas V              AEHF-2 was procured         world,” said Jim Sponnick,          providing significant cost
    mission and the 60th launch       from procured Martin Space        ULA vice president, Mission         savings over the heritage
    for ULA in just over five         Systems Company by                Operations. “Through our            launch systems.
    years. The AEHF constellation     the MILSATCOM Systems             focus on attaining Perfect               ULA’s next launch is the
    is a joint-service satellite      Directorate, part of the Air      Product Delivery, ULA remains       Atlas V NROL-38 mission for
    communications system             Force Space Command’s Space       dedicated to providing              the National Reconnaissance
    that will provide survivable,     and Missile Systems Center.       reliable, cost-effective launch     Office scheduled June 18 from
    global, secure, protected and     The MILSATCOM Systems             services while continuing our       Space Launch Complex-41 at
    jam-resistant communications      Directorate plans, acquires and   unwavering commitment to            Cape Canaveral AFS.

6       MilsatMagazine — May 2012
MILSATM AGAZINE SATCOM FOR NET-CENTRIC WARFARE - MILSATMAGAZINE
ULA program management,         global, secure, protected, and     in geosynchronous Earth orbit.     communications. Increased
engineering, test, and mission       jam-resistant communications       The mission control segment        coverage is provided by
support functions are                for high-priority military         controls satellites on orbit,      antennas consisting of two
headquartered in Denver,             ground, sea and air assets.        monitors satellite health, and     SHF downlink phased arrays,
Colorado. Manufacturing,             Advanced EHF allows the            provides communications            two crosslinks, two uplink/
assembly and integration             National Security Council          system planning and                downlink theater anti-jam
operations are located at            and Unified Combatant              monitoring. This segment is        nulling antennas, one uplink
Decatur, Alabama, and                Commanders to control              highly survivable, with both       EHF phased array, six uplink/
Harlingen, Texas. Launch             tactical and strategic forces at   fixed and mobile control           downlink gimbaled dish
operations are located at Cape       all levels of conflict through     stations. System uplinks           antenna, one each uplink/
Canaveral AFS, Florida, and          general nuclear war and            and crosslinks operate in the      downlink earth coverage horns.
Vandenberg AFB, California.          supports the attainment of         extremely high frequency                 The Atlas V booster is
     AEHF satellites are the         information superiority.           (EHF) range and downlinks          12.5 ft. in diameter and 106.5
follow-on to the Department of             The AEHF system              in the super high frequency        ft. in length. The booster’s
Defense’s current five-satellite     augments and improves on           (SHF) range. The terminal          tanks are structurally rigid
Milstar communications               the capabilities of Milstar        segment includes fixed and         and constructed of isogrid
constellation. When fully            and expands the SMC/MC             ground mobile terminals,           aluminum barrels, spun-
operational, the Advanced EHF        architecture. It provides          ship and submarine terminals       formed aluminum domes, and
constellation will consist of four   connectivity across the            and airborne terminals used        intertank skirts. Atlas booster
crosslinked satellites providing     spectrum of mission areas,         by all of the services and         propulsion is provided by the
10 times the throughput              including land, air and naval      international partners (Canada,    RD-180 engine system (a
of the Milstar system with           warfare; special operations;       Netherlands, and U.K.).            single engine with two thrust
a substantial increase in            strategic nuclear operations;           Weighing in at                chambers). The RD-180 burns
coverage to users.                   strategic defense; theater         approximately 13,600-lb., fully    RP-1 (Rocket Propellant-1 or
     The Air Force’s Military        missile defense; and space         fueled, the satellite is based     highly purified kerosene) and
Satellite Communications             operations and intelligence.       on the Lockheed Martin A2100       liquid oxygen, and it delivers
Systems Directorate (SMC/                  The AEHF system is           commercial satellite that          860,200 lb. of thrust at sea
MC) is the lead agency               composed of three segments:        includes hall current thruster     level. The Atlas V booster
responsible for managing             space (the satellites),            electric propulsion, which is      is controlled by the Centaur
the AEHF contract. SMC/              ground (mission control and        10 times more efficient than       avionics system, which
MC ensures that the secure           associated communications          conventional bipropellant          provides guidance, flight
communications capabilities of       links), and terminals (the         systems. The thrusters remove      control, and vehicle sequencing
this system are made available       users). The segments               orbit eccentricity during          functions during the booster
to military personnel around         provide communications in          transfer orbit operations, orbit   and Centaur phases of flight.
the globe.                           a specified set of data rates      maintenance and satellite                The SRBs are approximately
     The AEHF system is              from 75 bps to approximately       repositioning.                     61 in. in diameter, 67 ft. in
a joint service satellite            8 Mbps. The space segment               The payload features          length, and constructed of a
communications system                consists of a cross-linked         onboard signal processing          graphite epoxy composite with
that provides survivable,            constellation of four satellites   and crossbanded EHF/SHF            the throttle profile designed
                                                                                                           into the propellant grain.
                                                                                                           The SRBs are jettisoned by
                                                                                                           structural thrusters following
                                                                                                           a 92-second burn.
                                                                                                                 The Centaur upper stage
                                                                                                           is 10 ft. in diameter and
                                                                                                           41.5 ft. in length. Its propel-
                                                                                                           lant tanks are constructed of
                                                                                                           pressure-stabilized, corro-
                                                                                                           sion resistant stainless steel.
                                                                                                           Centaur is a liquid hydrogen/
                                                                                                           liquid oxygen- (cryogenic-)
                                                                                                           fueled vehicle. It uses a single
                                                                                                           RL10A-4-2 engine producing
                                                                                                           22,300 lb. of thrust. The
                                                                                                           cryogenic tanks are insu-
                                                                                                           lated with a combination of
                                                                                                           helium-purged insulation
                                                                                                           blankets, radiation shields,
                                                                                                           and closed-cell polyvinyl
                                                                                                           chloride (PVC) insulation. The
                                                                                                           Centaur forward adapter (CFA)
                                                                                                           provides the structural mount-
                                                                                                           ings for vehicle electronics and
                                                                                                           the structural and electronic
                                                                                                           interfaces with the spacecraft.

                                                                                                     MilsatMagazine — May 2012                7
MILSATM AGAZINE SATCOM FOR NET-CENTRIC WARFARE - MILSATMAGAZINE
Dispatches

    Shelton Highlights                 • Success of the X-37 orbital       decrease program costs,             with valuable feedback to
    Air Force Space Command’s            test vehicle, which has been      improving the launch cost-          make any needed doctrine,
    30 Year History                      on orbit for 409 days -much       per-pound equation. He also         organization, material or
                                         longer than the 270-day           said space-based situational        training improvements. The
    In his April 17th remarks before     design specifications             awareness capability is critical.   analysis and test results from
    a capacity audience at the 28th                                             Shelton said the future        the IOT&E will be used to
    National Space Symposium,          • Positive outcomes from            vision for AFSPC is focused         support the Full Rate Production
    Gen. William L. Shelton, USAF,       the Joint Space Operations        more on information than            Decision scheduled for the
    commander, Air Force Space           Center, which provides            platforms. “We now take             fourth quarter of fiscal year
    Command (AFSPC), highlighted         resources to process over         for granted that we’ll have         (FY) 2012. A successful decision
    accomplishments of AFSPC’s           155 million sensor obser-         speed-of-light access to            would allow for the fielding of
    30-year history.                     vations and track over 22         data wherever we are for            WIN-T Increment 2 to maneuver
         “Moving from a time when        thousand orbiting objects         warfighting purposes,” said         units across the Army.
    space was a ‘nice-to-have’ with                                        Shelton. “But it’s just spam              “WIN-T Increment 2 is
                                       Speaking about the budget,
    a strategic-user emphasis, to                                          if you can’t act on the data        the foundation for the Army’s
                                       Shelton said the future of
    being a vital force multiplier                                         provided and turn it into           tactical network and a critical
                                       AFSPC is heavily dependent
    across the entire joint force,                                         decision-quality information.”      component for Capability Set
                                       on budgetary considerations.
    space capabilities are now                                                                                 13 and beyond, providing
                                       “After we look at all the
    indispensable not only to our                                                                              network mobility and additional
                                       puts and takes... the real
    nation’s defense, but to our                                           Operational Test Of Army’s          communications capacity to
                                       decrease in the FY13 Air Force
    national economy as well,”                                             Tactical Comms Backbone             what is fielded today,” said
                                       space budget portfolio was
    Shelton said.                                                                                              Col. Edward Swanson, project
                                       only 1.5 percent,” he said,         Warfighter Information              manager for WIN-T, which
                                       demonstrating “commitment
    Among the highlights Shelton                                           Network-Tactical (WIN-T)            is assigned to the Program
                                       to foundational space
    mentioned were:                                                        Increment 2 is nearing              Executive Office for Command,
                                       capabilities as a critical aspect   the finish line as it heads         Control and Communications-
    • The 49th successful launch       of the nation’s defense.” He        into its largest operational        Tactical (PEO C3T).
      of the Evolved Expendable        then outlined additional AFSPC      test this month.                          “Increment 2, along with
      Launch Vehicle                   missions supported in the new             WIN-T Increment 2 is a        Increment 1b [an upgraded
                                       budget:                             major upgrade to the Army’s         version of Increment 1], will be
    • AFSPC’s industry partner-
                                       • Wideband Global Satellites        tactical communications             fielded to tactical formations
      ship to rescue the first
                                         (WGS)                             backbone and provides an            across the force to enable
      Advanced Extremely High                                              on-the-move network that            full spectrum operations,
      Frequency (AEHF) satellite
                                       • AEHF satellites                   reaches down to the company         supporting both maneuver and
      from a useless orbit                                                 level for the first time.           support units.”
                                       • New nuclear command and                 “This mobile network is a           Similar to a home
    • Completed on-orbit checks
                                         control system ground termi-      transformational step forward       Internet connection, WIN-T
      to provide imagery to U.S.
                                         nals and an aircrew terminal      in Army modernization,” said        Increment 1 provides soldiers
      Central Command less than                                            Lt. Col. Robert Collins, product    with high-speed, high-
      a month after launch of the
                                       • Space-Based Infrared              manager for WIN-T Increments        capacity voice, data and
      Operationally Responsive
                                         System (SBIRS) satellites         2 and 3. “It will dramatically      video communications to
      Space-1 satellite                                                    increase the pace at which          battalion level units at-the-
                                       • GPS-III                           the Army can prosecute              halt. WIN-T Increment 2
    • Completion of the largest                                            combat operations and speed         introduces numerous additional
      GPS constellation realign-       Looking to the future, Shelton      the overall military decision       capabilities and is a vital piece
      ment in history, allowing        said smaller satellites,            making cycle.”                      of Capability Set 13 - the first
      satellites to provide better     simpler designs and fewer                 Using a division slice        integrated group of network
      coverage in urban canyons        on-board systems will increase      worth of WIN-T Increment 2          technologies out of the NIE
      and mountainous regions          constellation resiliency and        configuration items, the WIN-T      Agile Process that will be
                                                                           Increment 2 Initial Operational     fielded to Army brigade combat
                                                                           Test and Evaluation (IOT&E)         teams starting in FY 2013.
                                                                           is held at White Sands Missile            Since the WIN-T Increment
                                                                           Range (WSMR), New Mexico, as        2 network is self-forming and
                                                                           part of the Network Integration     self-healing, it provides a new
                                                                           Evaluation (NIE) 12.2. To truly     level of flexibility to support
                                                                           stress and test the system,         changing mission requirements.
                                                                           WIN-T Increment 2 nodes will        It allows combat net radio and
                                                                           also be spread across 2,000         data networks to be extended
                                                                           miles of the United States and      beyond-line-of-sight. An initial
                                                                           involve more than 4,000 soldiers    network operations capability
                                                                           and civilians for the test.         will also be fielded to facilitate
                                                                                 The three-week IOT&E          the planning, initialization,
                                                                           is the Army’s record test to        monitoring, management
                                                                           fully assess the suitability,       and response of the network.
                                                                           survivability and effectiveness     Additionally, WIN-T Increment
                                                                           of the WIN-T Increment 2            2’s “colorless core” will
                                                                           equipment with an operational       provide an enhanced level of
                                                                           unit. It will provide the Army      communications security.

8       MilsatMagazine — May 2012
MILSATM AGAZINE SATCOM FOR NET-CENTRIC WARFARE - MILSATMAGAZINE
Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) equipment
is pictured in preparation for the Army’s Network Integration
   Evaluation 12.1 in November 2011. Second from left is a
  WIN-T Increment 2 Tactical Communications Node (TCN).
         (Photo courtesy: Claire Schwerin, U.S. Army)

     The construct for the WIN-T    proud to be part of such a
Increment 2 IOT&E will create       fine organization.”
a robust, full-scale division and
brigade network for testing.                     Story by Kyle Bond
The 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored                               PEO C3T
Division (2/1 AD) at WSMR will
serve as the maneuver element,
while the 101st Airborne            TacSat-3 Retires
Division at Fort Campbell,
Kentucky, serves as the division    ATK has announced the
headquarters element.               conclusion of the Tactical
     Another component              Satellite-3 (TacSat-3) mission.
of the IOT&E, the 1st                    The Air Force announced
Sustainment Brigade in Fort         on April 30, 2012, that the
Riley, Kansas, will utilize         satellite deorbited into and
Increment 1b and connect            burned up in the Earth’s
into the Increment 2 network        atmosphere nearly three years
to demonstrate and test the         after its May 2009 launch.
interoperability between the        TacSat-3 was designed for six
current and next-generation         months of operation, with a
network. All three units will       goal of one year. Not only did
reach back to the Network           it outlive its design life, it also
Services Center—Training at         surpassed its original mission
Fort Gordon, Georgia, which         requirements and goals as an
will simulate the Regional Hub      experimental spacecraft, and
Node (RHN) function in the          was successfully transitioned
network. There are five RHNs        to operational status in 2010.
strategically located around             The satellite was removed
the world that use baseband         from operational status and
and satellite communications        transferred to the Space
capabilities to enable reach-       and Missile Systems Center
back from Army units to the         in February 2012. Once
Department of Defense Global        transitioned, ATK provided the
Information Grid.                   Air Force Research Laboratory
      “The WIN-T program’s          with updated flight software, that
readiness to proceed into           allowed the vehicle to conduct
the IOT&E is reflective             on-orbit collection testing.
of incredible efforts, by                TacSat-3’s mission revealed
many team members, on               the capability to conduct
vehicle integration, testing,       hyperspectral imaging to support
logistical planning and Soldier     the needs of U.S. warfighters.
training,” Collins said. “I am

                                                                          MilsatMagazine — May 2012   9
MILSATM AGAZINE SATCOM FOR NET-CENTRIC WARFARE - MILSATMAGAZINE
Dispatches

                                                                            $1.8 million order from             Spy Sat Support
                                                                            a government systems
                                                                            integrator for modems               Astrium has signed a
                                                                            with DoubleTalk®                    through life support
                                                                            Carrier-in-Carrier®                 contract with the French
                                                                            bandwidth compression.              Defence Procurement
                                                                                 The U.S. military will use     Agency (DGA Délégation
                                                                            the modems in deployable            Générale de l’Armement) to
                                                                            terminals to support a satellite-   continue to be responsible
                                                                            based network expansion for         for the ground segment
                                                                            battlefield communications.         maintenance (MCO) of the
                                                                                 The order specified the        Helios 2 military optical
                                                                            DMD2050 MIL-STD-188-165A            reconnaissance system.
                                                                            Compliant Universal Satellite            The contract will run from
                                                                            Modem. The DMD2050                  this year through to 2018,
                                                                            supports the widest possible        continuing a support service
                                                                            range of U.S. government            that started in 2005 after the
                                                                            and commercial standards.           Helios 2A satellite initiated
                                                                            It provides highly advanced         operations. The contract will
                                                                            and bandwidth-efficient             also cover the successors
                                                                            forward error correction            to the Helios program: The
                                                                            and a complete range of             satellites that make up the
                                                                            modulation types. Given the         optical space component (CSO)
                                                                            U.S. government’s IP-centric        of the MUSIS multinational
                                                                            focus, advanced options for         space-based imaging system
                                                                            the DMD2050 were included in        and the associated ground
                                                                            the order, including DoubleTalk     component (SSU-CSO).
                                                                            Carrier-in-Carrier bandwidth             Ground segment
                                                                            compression and Low Density         maintenance is essential for
                                                                            Parity Check (“LDPC”) forward       a space observation system—
              Artistic rendition of the TacSat-3 satellite.                 error correction.
                                                                                 DoubleTalk Carrier-in-
                                                                            Carrier, based on Raytheon
           “Tac-Sat-3 served America     structure, and interfaces to the   Applied Signal Technology’s
     well. We were proud to be           launch vehicle and payload.        patented “Adaptive
     part of the team that provided      Built and designed in just 15      Cancellation” circuitry,
     reconnaissance data from            months, ATK’s spacecraft bus       allows transmit and receive
     space to warfighters in the field   met the TacSat-3 program           carriers of a duplex link to
     and to intelligence analysts        goals of being operationally       share the same transponder
     at home,” said Tom Wilson,          responsive, low-cost and           space. DoubleTalk Carrier-
     vice president and general          with expected performance.         in-Carrier is complementary
     manager, Space Systems              The spacecraft also featured       to all advances in modem
     Division, ATK Aerospace             first-generation modular           technology, including advanced
     Group. “Our innovative bus          bus technology designed to         forward error correction and
     technology was a key factor         provide flexibility for future     modulation techniques. As
     in successfully extending the       small satellite missions. As a     these technologies approach
     TacSat-3 demonstration to           rapid, affordable experimental     theoretical limits of power
     a longer-term operational           mission, the specification         and bandwidth efficiencies,               Artistic rendition of the
     mission. The mission enabled        did not include a propulsion       DoubleTalk Carrier-in-                       Helios-2 satellite.
     us to apply and enhance our         system to sustain long-term        Carrier, uses advanced signal
     flexible, modular bus platforms     low-Earth orbit.                   processing techniques,
     for future small satellite                The TacSat-3 program         provides a new dimension in         alongside the satellites in orbit,
     missions that included the          was managed by the Air             bandwidth efficiency. When          the ground segment is at the
     ORS-1 spacecraft.”                  Force Space Command with           combined with LDPC, it will         heart of the system as it is
           The spacecraft is a pioneer   collaboration from the Air         provide unprecedented savings       essential for programming,
     of the emerging Operationally       Force Research Laboratory          in transponder bandwidth            receiving, processing and
     Responsive Space program,           Space Vehicles Directorate and     and power use for the U.S.          distributing the images.
     which was designed to meet          the Army Space and Missile         military. This will enable          The MCO agreement covers
     the growing need of U.S. forces     Defense Command.                   successful deployments in both      the maintenance, including
     for flexible, affordable and                                           bandwidth-limited and power-        all necessary updates, of
     responsive satellite systems.       DoubleTalk Is What                 limited environments.               the hardware and software
            ATK, as the spacecraft       Is Wanted                                                              resources spread across in six
     bus prime contractor, provided                                                                             countries (Germany, Belgium,
     the complete bus system,            Comtech Telecommunications                                             Spain, France, Italy and
     which included the onboard          Corp. has announced that                                               Greece) as well as support for
     command and data handling           its Tempe, Arizona-based                                               operations.
     system, electrical power            subsidiary, Comtech EF                                                      Helios is a high-resolution
     system, spacecraft bus primary      Data Corp. received a                  The DMD2050 Modem               military optical reconnaissance

10       MilsatMagazine — May 2012
system that currently              End-To-End Commercial             CS2, also provides access to         scale custom end-to-end
comprises two operational          Satellite Solutions               customer defined end-to-end          solutions are planned for later
satellites (Helios 2A and Helios                                     solutions that include satellite     this quarter. More information,
2B), developed under Astrium       As part of the Future             bandwidth, teleport access,          including links to the new
prime contractorship. Helios       Commercial Satellite              network management,                  CS2-SB contracts, is available
provides the programme’s           Communications                    the equipment needed for             at the GSA Satellite Services
partner countries with an          (COMSATCOM) Services              satellite communications,            website: http://www.gsa.
autonomous situational             Acquisition (FCSA), on            and engineering support such         gov/satellite
awareness capability. The          February 17, 2012, the            as integration, operations,
space-based system can             U.S. General Services             and maintenance. These
acquire images of any point        Administration (GSA)              awards expand the common
on the globe at any time, and      and Defense Information           marketplace for commercial           Combat SkySat
even make repeated passes          Systems Agency (DISA)             satellite communications
over the same target area          announced the award               services under FCSA, adding          Marines strained their
without risk of detection.         of the Custom Satellite           custom end-to-end solutions to       necks as they looked up
     Helios 2 is a military        Communications Solutions’         the currently available offerings    toward the sky at what
optical reconnaissance             Small Business (CS2-              in transponded capacity              could only be described as
programme developed by             SB) contract to four              (bandwidth), and pre-defined         a giant balloon flying above
France in cooperation with four    small businesses.                 subscription services.               Camp Delmar, March 29th.
other European Union member             CS2-SB is the first of two        CS2-SB awardees are: AIS             Marines from the
states (Belgium, Spain, Italy      sets of Indefinite Delivery/      Engineering, Inc.; By Light,         15th Marine Expeditionary
and Greece). The images it         Indefinite Quantity (ID/          Professional IT Services, Inc.;      Unit trained with a new
captures provide valuable          IQ) contracts for customized      Knight Sky Consulting and            communications system that
information for high-level state   end-to-end satellite solutions.   Associates, LLC; and UltiSat, Inc.   expands the capabilities of the
authorities and forces deployed    The CS2-SB contract holders            The CS2-SB contracts            Marine Air Ground Task Force.
in operational theatre. The        can compete for task              have a five-year contract                 The system is called
most recent Helios satellite,      orders that consist solely of     period (three-year base with         Combat SkySat and is used
Helios 2B, was launched in         satellite professional support    two one-year options) and a          to retransmit information to
December 2009 via an Ariane        services such as analysis         ceiling of $900 million. Awards      extend the range of ultra high
5, was also developed under        and testing. CS2-SB, along        for the companion CS2 full           frequency communications.
Astrium prime contractorship.      with the future award of          and open contracts for large         The SkySat uses a helium

                                                                                                    MilsatMagazine — May 2012               11
Dispatches

     balloon with a hanging              allows communication between
     antenna to relay UHF signals.       personnel, are the lifeline of
     Flying at an altitude between       this high-tech equipment.
     55,000 and 85,000 feet in                The main benefit of
     the Earth’s stratosphere, the       using the SkySat is that
     balloon increases the range of      it uses UHF line of sight
     communication to 600 miles          instead of UHF satellite
     in diameter.                        communications, which the
           The system is built by        military helicopters cannot
     Space Data Corporation and          receive. This allows Marines
     is billed as a ‘float and forget’   on the ground to speak
     retransmission system. The          directly with pilots during
     balloon has a communications        operations and exercises
     payload attached to it containing   without having to retransmit
     a global positioning system,        through a middle man.
     radios and antennas. Two                 The launch control station
     separate radios, one that           allows the operator to ‘drive’
     controls the height and one that    the balloon. Using helium

                                                                             Pyisone Win, project manager, Space Data Corporation, and Sgt.
                                                                               Emmanuel T. Martinez, radio supervisor, Command Element,
                                                                               15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, prepare the Combat SkySat
                                                                             communication system at Camp Pendleton, California, March 29,
                                                                            before allowing the helium balloon to float to Earth’s stratosphere.
                                                                           The SkySat system is used to retransmit UHF signals to increases the
                                                                           range of communication up to 600 miles in diameter and expands the
                                                                                     capabilities of the Marine Air Ground Task Force.

                                                                           or hydrogen to inflate the         Command Element, 15th MEU.
                                                                           balloon and an internal ballast    The battery life for the system
                                                                           system (about five pounds of       is about eight to 10 hours and
                                                                           sand), the operator can make       the system can be launched
                                                                           elevation adjustments as           in winds up to 45 knots, said
                                                                           necessary. If the balloon needs    Ginn. Depending on wind
                                                                           to be higher, the operator can     speed, the system can easily
                                                                           unload some of the sand to         cover hundreds of miles before
                                                                           make the system lighter. If        it dies.
                                                                           elevation needs to be lower,             “The communications used
                                                                           the operator can release           by Marines have launched three
                                                                           some of the gas through the        balloons this week,” said Ginn.
                                                                           venting system, which drops        “One landed at Twentynine Palms.
                                                                           the balloon. There are no fans           Without the use of the
                                                                           to assist in directional change,   SkySat, the MEU uses a
                                                                           that’s up to the wind currents.    tactical satellite system that
  Communications Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary                     “The 15th MEU is adopting     requires a middleman on
 Unit, release the Combat SkySat communication system at Camp              the system in response to          solid ground to deploy an
   Pendleton, California. Photo by Lance Cpl. Timothy Childers.            the 26th MEU’s successful          antenna and relay UHF signals
                                                                           use of it in Libya, Afghanistan    via satellite. Because of the
                                                                           and Pakistan,” said Capt.          unit’s expeditionary nature,
                                                                           Michael E. Ginn, assistant         the new SkySat system will
                                                                           communications officer,            match the capabilities required

12       MilsatMagazine — May 2012
to communicate between              SNAP is a valuable asset for              “Our detachments              career fields, yet are highly
all elements of the MAGTF           maintaining communications with      typically deploy to an area        capable. “They have never
and eliminate the need for a        outlying Seabee detachments.         for several months to work         seen a SNAP terminal before
middleman,” explained Ginn.         “It allows for secure data and       on construction projects,”         and within two weeks of boots-
      With the SkySat, Bullrush     voice communications over            Schechter added. “Constant         on-ground here they are ready
will be more capable than ever      long distances, allowing us to       communication is key to            to go downrange,” he said.
as it continues training for its    communicate with them as if          supporting their mission.”              “When downrange, the
upcoming deployment.                they were in an office next door,”        U.S. Air Force Master         technicians spend an average
                                    Schechter said. “The ability to      Sgt. Pete Thomann, TACNET          of four months in different
         Story by Gunnery Sgt.      instantly contact someone on         non-commissioned officer           countries in CJTF-HOA’s area
               Jennifer Antoine     the network when they are in         in charge and a St. Louis,         of operation, facilitating
                                    the middle of a remote area is       Missouri, native, said most        communications for civil
                                    extremely convenient.”               technicians arrive from multiple   affairs teams as well as U.S.
Constant Communications
Are Ensured

Far from Camp Lemonnier,
Djibouti, U.S. service
members stationed in
austere conditions in forward
operating areas around
Africa have regular access
to communications, thanks
to the Tactical Networking
team of the Combined Joint
Task Force—Horn of Africa’s
communications directorate.
      CJTF-HOA’s TACNET allows
troops the ability to exchange
messages in a protected medium
that enables them to carry out
missions all over East Africa.
      TACNET technicians
maintain two types of satellite
global communications routers,
secure and unsecured Internet
protocol types called “SIPR” and
“NIPR,” both a necessity that
service members rely on to meet
their daily mission requirements.
      “TACNET’s mission here
is to create down-range
communications for U.S. troops
in the Horn of Africa,” said
TACNET technician Senior Airman
Robert Morrison of Middletown,
Connecticut. “The SIPR/NIPR
Access Point Satellite, or SNAP
terminal, allows for mobile use
for computers and phones by
U.S. personnel in their area
of operation, anywhere in the
world” Morrison said.
      “Without SNAP terminals,
personnel cannot access
their computer accounts and
would need to rely on radio
communications instead of
phones. Wherever the troops
are, they have access to the
systems they need,” he added,
as SNAP terminals are at all
forward operating bases from
Africa to Afghanistan.
      TACNET client U.S. Navy
Lt. Jason Schechter, Naval
Mobile Construction Battalion 3
assistant officer in charge, said

                                                                                                      MilsatMagazine — May 2012              13
Dispatches

                                                                            MIRI Instrument Finished          Space. The instrument has
                                                                            After Ten+ Years Of Work          been subjected to exhaustive
                                                                                                              mechanical and thermal testing
                                                                            After more than 10 years          at the same facility to make
                                                                            of work by more than 200          sure it can not only survive the
                                                                            engineers, the Mid InfraRed       rigors of a journey into space,
                                                                            Instrument (MIRI), a              but also remain operational for
                                                                            camera so sensitive it            the life of the mission.
                                                                            could see a candle on one               MIRI will allow astronomers
                                                                            of Jupiter’s moons, has           to explore the formation of
                                                                            been declared ready for           planets around distant stars
                                                                            delivery by the European          and could even pave the way
                                                                            Space Agency and NASA.            for investigations into the
                                                                                 The MIRI Optical System,     habitability of other planetary
                                                                            an instrument for the James       systems. MIRI offers a
                                                                            Webb Space Telescope (JWST),      sensitivity and resolution many
                                                                            will eventually take up a         times greater than any other
                                                                            position four times further       mid-IR instrument in existence
                                                                            away from the Earth than the      today or for the foreseeable
  Tactical Networking technicians from the Combined Joint Task              Moon. It will now be shipped      future. It will be able to
  Force - Horn of Africa’s communications directorate assemble              to NASA’s Goddard Space           penetrate the dust obscuring
 an access point satellite terminal here April 19. These terminals,         Flight Center where it will be    distant objects, allowing for
  operated by the TACNET section, provides U.S. troops a secure             integrated with the other three   smaller and fainter objects than
  medium for communications in support of CJTF-HOA missions.                instruments and the telescope.    have ever been detected to
                 Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Caya                                 MIRI is the first of the     be mapped in unprecedented
                                                                            four instruments on board of      detail. Its wavelength of 5 to
     Navy construction battalions,”     a challenge for us but is very      the JWST to be completed.         28 microns brings a unique
     said Thomann.                      important,” said U.S. Army Capt.    The handover ceremony             scientific capability among the
          “Within 30 minutes we         Charles Varner, CAT 4905 team       between the European Space        other instruments on the James
     can set up phone and Internet      leader. “East Africa is a dynamic   Agency (ESA) and NASA at          Webb Space Telescope. These
     access at any forward operating    region and we need to be able       the Institute of Engineering      wavelengths bring additional
     location,” said TACNET             to send and receive important       and Technology in London          technical challenges due to
     technician U.S. Air Force Senior   updates in a secure manner.”        is the culmination of a long      the extremely low operating
     Airman Christopher Wood of              Communication is essential     term collaboration effort         temperatures necessary
     Indianapolis, Indiana.             for any organization to function,   from teams across both            (-266.5ºc). Unlike the other
          U.S. Army Civil Affairs       said Thomann. “Nobody               continents. The U.K. guided       JWST instruments, MIRI will be
     Team 4905, another TACNET          realizes the importance of          the development work by           cooled by a dedicated cooler
     client supporting CJTF-HOA,        communication until it is gone.”    these teams, in addition to       provided by JPL.
     operates in Ethiopia and is in                                         employing U.K. technologies             Facilities at STFC’s
     constant contact with command                             Story by     in the construction of key        Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
     leadership. “Communication is              Staff Sgt. Andrew Caya      components and carrying out       had to be specially designed
                                                                            the assembly, integration,        to simulate the environment
                                                                            testing and ground calibration    the instrument will experience
                                                                            at the Science and Technology     in space and account for
                                                                            Facility Council’s (STFC) RAL     it’s extremely low operating

   Senior Airman Robert Morrison of Middletown, Connecticut,
  constructs a SIPR NIPR Access Point Terminal Satellite during
    training on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, April 19. Morrison, a
  Tactical Network specialist in the communications squadron, is
one of a few Airmen who maintains SNAP Terminals which ensures               MIRI during ambient temperature alignment testing at the Science
communication between different units around the Horn of Africa.            and Technology Facilities Council’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, in
                 Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Caya                                        the U.K. Image credits: STFC / Stephen Kill

14       MilsatMagazine — May 2012
temperatures. The instrument             A satellite manufacturer            Liberty has a robust and            Lockheed Martin is
was assembled from major            has already opted to use           sustainable business case            providing crew interface
sub-systems that had already        Moog’s new potentiometer and       that will create and sustain         systems design, subsystem
been built-up and thoroughly        actuators on a communications      thousands of jobs across             selection, assembly,
tested in the partner institutes.   satellite scheduled for launch     the United States including          integration and mission
      The RAL test chamber          in early 2014. Moog is also        Alabama, California, Colorado,       operations support for the
was then used to test the           developing a range of sizes for    Florida, Maryland, New               Liberty spacecraft.
performance of all the scien-       its QuieSense potentiometer        York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and              Liberty has been developed
tific operating modes of the        to enable satellite makers         Virginia. Its low remaining          under a CCDEV-2 unfunded
instrument and obtain critical      to easily replace traditional      development cost accelerates         Space Act Agreement (SAA)
calibration observations. Such      potentiometers found on an         the time to market, filling          with the NASA Commercial
rigorous testing promotes           array of actuators now used for    NASA’s requirements, and             program office. The next major
confidence in the science it        spaceflight.                       provides a quicker return on         milestone is a structural test
will do when the mission is                                            investment to outside entities.      of the second stage tank, to
launched, which is scheduled                                           Liberty’s performance of             be conducted at Astrium in
for 2018.                           Liberty Is At Hand                 44,500 pounds to low-Earth           June. Additional subcontractors
                                                                       orbit enables the system to          for Liberty include Safran/
                                    ATK has developed Liberty          launch both crew and cargo           Snecma, which provides the
All About Actuator Accuracy         into a complete commercial         and also serve non-crewed            Vulcain 2 engine; Safran/
                                    crew transportation                markets including ISS cargo up       Labinal out of Salisbury, Mary-
Moog Space and Defense              system, including the              and down mass, commercial            land, which provides second
Group, part of Moog                 spacecraft, abort system,          space station servicing, U.S.        stage wiring; L-3 Communica-
Inc. has engineered                 launch vehicle, and ground         government satellite launch,         tions Cincinnati Electronics
a new, noise-free                   and mission operations,            and future endeavors.                (L3-CE), which provides first
potentiometer called                designed from inception                  The Liberty spacecraft         stage, abort and telemetry
QuieSense™ to enhance               to meet NASA’s human-              includes a composite crew            system avionics, as well as
the reliability of actuators        rating requirements with a         module, which ATK built at its       second stage telemetry and
used with satellites.               potential for the first test       Iuka, Mississippi, facility as       abort system integration prior to
      The newly designed            flight in 2014 and Liberty         part of a NASA risk-reduction        launch at KSC; and Moog Inc.,
Moog potentiometers provide         crewed flight in 2015.             program at Langley between           which provides thrust vector
feedback on the position of               The company also             2007 and 2010. As prime              control and propulsion control.
solar array drives and antenna-     announced Lockheed Martin will     contractor, ATK is responsible for
pointing mechanisms. Moog           provide support to the ATK and     the composite crew module, Max
hopes satellite design engineers    Astrium Liberty team as a major    Launch Abort System (MLAS),
will replace traditional            subcontractor on the project.      first stage, system integration
potentiometers with Moog’s                Liberty’s test flights are   and ground and mission
QuieSense technology to             expected to begin in 2014, with    operations, while Astrium
extend the reliability and          a crewed mission anticipated       provides the second stage
performance of actuators used       in late 2015. The current          powered by the Vulcain 2 engine
on satellites. If a satellite is    schedule will support crewed       and Lockheed Martin provides
trying to determine the position    missions for NASA and other        subsystems and other support.
of, say, its solar array and        potential customers by 2016,
there is drop-out noise, then       with a price-per-seat that is
technicians may think the solar     projected to be lower than
array is pointing in a direction    the cost on the Russian Soyuz
that it is not. Moog has solved     rocket. Liberty’s approach
this problem by engineering its     is to bring together flight-
new potentiometer to include        proven elements designed
a rolling motion between the        from inception to meet NASA’s
conductor and resistor. Using       human-rating requirement,
membrane potentiometer              reducing development time and
technology, not unlike the kind     costs, and providing known,
used with iPod controls, Moog’s     reliable and safe systems. The
engineers sourced materials         simple configuration of a solid
that could compensate for           first stage and liquid second
conditions such as ambient          stage lowers the likelihood of
pressure and vacuum. Through        failure and enables a flight
rigorous testing, Moog qualified    path with total abort coverage,
that the materials for its          maximizing survival for the
new potentiometer met the           crew in the unlikely event of an
requirements of spaceflight.        anomaly requiring an abort.

                                                                         The new Liberty launch vehicle will use existing infrastructure at
                                                                              Kennedy Space Center. Illustration is courtesy of ATK

                                                                                                      MilsatMagazine — May 2012                 15
Downlink

     The Space Fence Is Vital For Military Communications
     by Ben Ryan, President, Tourmaline Properties, former U.S. Navy Seal Officer

     T
                         he president’s budget proposal for 2013 includes steep cuts in
                         federal military spending. Requested military appropriations
                         are about $32 billion less than this year’s total. Meanwhile,
                         defense officials recently unveiled a plan to cut projected
                         department spending by $260 billion over the next five years.

          There’s certainly a need for federal              That might not sound like much, but             The United States does have a space
     fiscal reform. However, amid this belt-          when extended to more than 100 missions,         surveillance system in operation. But it
     tightening,     genuinely     vital   military   the risk of disaster hits a disturbingly high    has limited capacity and capability, with
     programs shouldn’t get the axe. There are        33 percent.                                      several systems nearing their end-of-life.
     important new weapons and intelligence                 Earth’s orbit has become so crowded        Starting in 2009, defense officials have
     systems in development that hold the             that NASA projects space debris collisions       been working with private contractors to
     promise of radically improving our fighting      will occur at least once every four to five      build a replacement system. Development
     capabilities and that will assist in making      years. Recently there have been some             has gone smoothly. The new Space Fence
     the world a safer place.                         very close calls.                                is set to achieve initial operating capability
          Chief among these programs is                     Over the span of just a couple weeks       no later than 2017.
     the Air Force Space Fence Program.               last summer, orbital junk headed for the              This project is expected to increase the
     This program must stay funded and on             International Space Station (ISS) and            number of objects tracked every day from
     schedule for development.                        was expected to pass so close that the six       20,000 currently to around 200,000. The
          The Space Fence uses a system of            astronauts aboard had to take emergency          system will be powerful enough to detect
     radars to detect and track space debris          shelter in Russian space capsules. In one        objects that are just four inches long, peer
     in, primarily, low Earth orbit (LEO)—            instance, the debris zoomed past the ISS         even deeper into space, and employ state-
     around 700 to 3,000 kilometers above the         less than 900 feet away.                         of-the-art algorithms to better project the
     planet’s surface, where the majority of                If a commercial satellite gets destroyed   paths of potentially dangerous debris.
     space debris is located. Space Fence also        or compromised by colliding with space                Federal budget officials have targeted
     provides capability beyond LEO to support        debris, the daily lives of tens of millions      the military for deep cuts over the next few
     the cataloging of satellites and debris          of Americans could certainly become              years. It’s vital that during this push, the
     with other space-based sensors. This             disrupted. Think of all the devices used         Space Fence program remains unscathed.
     information is used by the military and          that depend on signals from satellites in        The Space Fence needs to be well-funded
     commercial satellites to adjust their orbits     orbit around the Earth—the GPS systems,          and remain on schedule. This technology
     in the event they’re headed for a collision.     iPhones, even car radios. These devices          represents a major upgrade over existing
          Space debris might sound like a worry       will cease to function if their associated       programs and will help to ensure the
     better suited for science fiction—it’s not.      satellites are seriously damaged.                safety of our soldiers on the battlefield.
          Official estimates place the number of            More importantly, American military
     objects in Earth’s orbit in the millions, with   operations routinely rely on satellite             About the author
     at least 500,000 pieces that are more than       technology to gain the upper hand in               Ben Ryan is a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer
     half-an-inch in length. Defunct satellites,      combat. Soldiers use satellite radios to           who earned his BA in Biology from Yale and an
     spent rocket boosters, as well as nuts and       communicate information that is critical to        MBA from Harvard Business School. As head of
     bolts from old spacecraft now orbit the          the success of missions and to their safety        Strategic Initiatives at Triple Canopy, a private
     Earth. As the number of countries with           and survival. In today’s world, in which           security firm with extensive operations in Iraq and
     space programs has increased, so has the         we rely increasingly on special operations         the Middle East, he planned and developed a large
     amount of debris.                                forces working in smaller numbers and              secure housing compound in Baghdad. Today,
          Back in 2009, a satellite owned by          at greater distances from supporting               he is President of Tourmaline Properties and
     communications firm Iridium collided             forces, dependable communications are              Tourmaline Construction in San Diego, California.
     with a Russian satellite. Both satellites        paramount. If a satellite goes down
     splintered into thousands of pieces of new       from an unintended (or intended) space
     space junk.                                      collision, service members can get killed.
          This debris is whipping around the
     Earth at up to 17,500 miles per hour.
     At that speed, even a small object can
     do serious damage to satellites or space
     stations. NASA predicts that space vehicles
     now face a roughly a 1-in-250 chance of a
     catastrophic collision with debris.

16       MilsatMagazine — May 2012
About The Space Fence                         and the final site providing full capability      • 	Data Integration. The ability to
The U.S. Air Force Materiel Command’s         by 2020.                                             correlate and integrate multisource
Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom               To fit this program into its larger             data into a single common opera-
Air Force Base in Massachusetts leads         context, the U.S. GAO characterized four             tional picture and enable dynamic
the procurement for the USA’s Space           facets of space situational awareness                decision making.
Fence, which is intended to improve space     (SSA), an umbrella term that includes,
situational awareness as legacy systems in    but is not limited to, tracking space debris:     • 	Out of Scope for Space Fence.
the Space Surveillance Network (SSN)                                                               The USA’s pending Joint Space
are retired. With a total anticipated value     • 	Detect, Track, and Identify. The                Operations Center Mission
of around $6.1 billion over its lifetime,          ability to discover, track, and                 System (JMS) will play a large
Space Fence will deliver a system of 2-3           differentiate among space objects.              role here, and must be ready, or
geographically dispersed ground-based              Space Fence will anchor this facet,             the amount of data generated by
radars to provide timely assessment of             but it won’t be the only asset used             the new radars will exceed the
space objects, events, and debris. Failure         for this purpose                                system’s capacity
is not an option…
                                                • 	Threat Warning and Assessment.             The Pentagon expects about 66 percent of
The Space Fence procurement is broken              The ability to predict and differ-         their $3.3 billion SSA investment to buy
down into the following phases:                    entiate among potential or actual          new sensors, about 21 percent on JMS for
                                                   attacks, space weather environ-            data integration, and the other 13 percent
  • 	Phase A                                       ment effects, and space system             on extending the lives of current sensors,
                                                   anomalies. Space Fence may be              and other SSA-related programs.
  • 	Preliminary Design Review                     able to help with this task, but in a            At an estimated program cost of $6.1
                                                   secondary way                              billion over its lifetime, Space Fence will
  • 	System Development                                                                       be the USAF’s largest single investment
                                                • 	Intelligence Characterization. The         in SSA sensors. It will serve alongside
  • 	Deployment                                    ability to determine performance           new systems like the SSBS satellite,
                                                   and characteristics of current and         the pending ground-based RAIDRS
  • 	Follow-on support                             future foreign space and counter-          electromagnetic interference detection
                                                   space system capabilities, as well         system, and DARPA’s pending ground-
System development is scheduled to begin           as foreign adversary intentions.           based Space Surveillance Telescope.
in June of 2012, with the first Space Fence        Better monitoring of space may                   All are designed to boost the existing
radar site providing initial operational           help with intelligence collection, but     Space Surveillance Network, which
capability by the end of fiscal year 2015,         in a tertiary way                          includes 29 ground-based Department

                                                                                                   MilsatMagazine — May 2012                 17
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