Military satellite

Military satellite

A military satellite is an artificial satellite used for a military purpose, often for gathering intelligence, as a communications satellite used for military purposes, or as a military weapon.

A model of a German SAR-Lupe reconnaissance satellite inside a Cosmos-3M rocket.

Contents

Description

A satellite by itself is neither military nor civil. It is the kind of payload it carries that enables one to arrive at a decision regarding its military or civilian character.Ref N-1 Nevertheless, even the above distinction is now blurred. For example, a civilian satellite can carry military transponders and vice versa. Civil commercial satellites are also known to carry out military tasks including enabling military communications, imagery etc. At the same time, military satellites like the NAVSTAR GPS have more civilian users than military users. In spite of the above possibilities, satellites which have purely military uses are known as military satellites.

Military Satellite Industry

The demand for military satellite communications as of 2009 is estimated at 390 TPEs for C-, Ku-, and Ka-bands. Futron projects a 300-unit increase through 2019, or 5.6 percent growth rate per annum over ten years. The demand for military satellite communications in 2009 is estimated at 16 Gbps, it is expected to grow to 28Gbps in 2019. The US poses the largest demand for military satellites. Demand from international security forces is growing as well, especially from NATO states and the Middle East. Military satellites is becoming more indispensable in theater of operations as well as "home country" use for training, data redistribution and backhaul.

Use in U.S. Armed Forces

The U.S. Armed Forces maintains international networks of satellites with ground stations located in various continents. Signal latency is a major concern in satellite communications, so geographic and meteorological factors play an important role in choosing teleports. Since some of the major military activities of the U.S. army is in foreign territories, the U.S. government needs to subcontract satellite services to foreign carriers headquartered in areas with favorable climate. [1]

Military Strategic and Tactical Relay or MILSTAR is a constellation of military satellites managed by the United States Air Force. There are currently five MILSTAR satellites deployed in the geostationary orbit to provide wideband, narrowband and protected military communication systems. Wideband systems support high-bandwidth transfers. Protected systems offer more sophisticated security protection like antijam features and nuclear survivability, while narrowband systems are intended for basic communications services that do not require high bandwidth.


See also

References

Resources

  • (French)(English) Guy Lebègue, (trad. Robert J. Amral), « Gulf War : Military satellites, the Lesson », in Revue aerospatiale, n°79, June 1991.
  • Squadron Leader KK Nair, "Space: The Frontiers of Modern Defence", Knowledge World Publishers, New Delhi.

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External links


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