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Pentagon Officials Believe Multiple Space Architectures Will Improve Resiliency

Space system resiliency

Pentagon Officials Believe Multiple Space Architectures Will Improve Resiliency

Officials from the Department of Defense said the organization will need various space architectures for its satellite communications. They issued the comments during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies webcast in which a policy paper for the Joint All-Domain Command and Control was being discussed.

The paper, titled “The Backbone of JADC2: Satellite Communications for Information Age Warfare,” highlighted the importance of geosynchronous earth orbit satellites and radiofrequency-based solutions for modern warfare. Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton and Mitchell Institute senior analyst Lukas Autenreid, the authors of the research, believe that using all available forms of space-based technologies will improve resiliency against adversaries, Air Force Magazine reported.

David Voss, director of the Spectrum Warfare Center of Excellence at the Space Warfighting Analysis Center, said GEO satellites are efficient when it comes to networking architecture and large-area geographic imaging. He added that the Pentagon will need commercial satellite communications solutions to support its own platforms and it wants to see a multi-orbit platform to ensure that the U.S. will have space-based capabilities that can handle any mission regardless of the environment.

The JADC2 research also highlighted the potential of free-space laser communication solutions to support satcoms. Chilton and Autenreid said in the paper that lasercoms offer faster and more secure communication lines compared to radio waves, and they recommended that the DOD use the solution to link low-Earth orbit satellites to increase coverage and resilience.

Stephen Forbes, manager of the Blackjack program at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, shared that the department must not discount RF-based solutions. He argued that lasercoms is “not well suited for serving mass users,” which means RF still has its uses.

Chilton’s paper emphasizes the need to strengthen the United States’ satellite capabilities. He argued in his paper that China and Russia have been developing systems designed to disrupt U.S. space-based communications in a potential future conflict.

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Category: Space