- The Pentagon is preparing for the day when an adversary may possibly disrupt or wipe out the GPS community.
- One substitute is enabling industrial satellites to act as a backup.
- Commercial satellite operators may not like the concept of portray bullseyes on their multi-million greenback satellites.
The Pentagon’s House Development Company is worried that America’s GPS satellite community could be disabled or ruined in wartime. One doable choice: using hundreds of civilian satellites to deliver a wartime option, offering navigation to U.S. army forces. The system, while viable, will be not likely to uncover aid among the civilian satellite proprietors who never want to see their costly satellites turned into targets for enemy weapons.
In accordance to C4ISRNet, the Area Enhancement Company desires to enlist future civilian satellites to assistance the Pentagon’s forces preserve their edge in room. A long term conflict with peer adversary—think China or Russia—would most likely require the use of anti-satellite weapons. In wartime, enemies could determine to attack America’s military services satellites to make it complicated for U.S. forces to operate considerably from dwelling. This may be appealing even if the U.S. retaliated by going just after the adversary’s satellites, which just isn’t as essential because Russian or Chinese forces run near their possess borders.
The SDA thinks that business satellites, equipped to communicate their positions to just one other in house, could variety a backup worldwide positioning program. A fleet of hundreds of satellites, all communicating with one a different, could relay their positioning and timing information again and forth, and again down to the floor to U.S. forces. The system is analogous to the way mobile phones use the site of close by cell telephone towers to figure out their individual position when GPS isn’t out there, with industrial sats standing in for mobile towers.
Satellites collaborating in the application would need to have some sort of crosslink to share knowledge with other satellites, so this network would likely require to be constructed into the subsequent generation of professional American satellites. Some thing like SpaceX’s Starlink room-primarily based online network, consisting of up to 30,000 satellites, would supply tons of redundancy.
Commercial satellite operators may not like the thought. Outfitting a satellite with components to allow it to perform armed service missions will make it a goal in wartime. The U.S. army will possibly have to incentivize operators to acknowledge the threat, most likely in the type of business enterprise contracts. The Civil Air Reserve Fleet is a procedure in which significant airways concur to give business passenger plane in wartime, in return for peacetime transportation contracts.
Furthermore, the Pentagon could exchange satellite contracts—say, for ships at sea and overseas bases—in return for their use as a backup GPS process.