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Space The Military United States

$29M To Start US Satellite Protection Program 74

Posted by kdawson
from the space-race dept.
coondoggie sends in a Network World piece that begins "The Air Force laid out $29 million in contracts this week to build space-based sensors that could detect threats or hazards and protect satellites in orbit. Assurance Technologies and Lockheed Martin Space Systems will split $20 million of the two-year contract that the Air Force says should ultimately demonstrate a viable sensing capability, as well as integration with other space systems to offer threat and hazard detection, assessment and notification ... The Air Force is looking to protect satellites from ground based lasers or anti-satellite missiles mostly."
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$29M To Start US Satellite Protection Program

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  • Re:$29 Million? (Score:1, Informative)

    by u4ya (1248548) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:09PM (#25503219) Homepage
    you could fight a war in Iraq for about 2.5 hours http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home [nationalpriorities.org]
  • Re:laser protection? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wiggles (30088) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:09PM (#25503225)

    If you had read the first paragraph of TFA, you would have read this:

    demonstrate a viable sensing capability, as well as integration with other space systems to offer threat and hazard detection, assessment and notification.

    In other words, it's not so much about protecting the satellite, but confirming that the satellite was or was not hit by some sort of laser. That would be some pretty valuable intelligence, if you ask me. The system will tell DOD that somebody's shooting at their stuff, not preventing someone from shooting at them.

  • Re:laser protection? (Score:3, Informative)

    by daveime (1253762) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:14PM (#25503299)

    Not sure if these figures are 100%, but I understand that geo-stat orbit satellites are at a distance of 38,500km above the earths surface ... and speed of light is 299,792 km/s ... that surely gives them about 128 milliseconds to detect an incoming laser beam from initiation on earth to the target light hitting the satellite's detector.

    And as it would take at least ANOTHER 128 milliseconds to transmit that fact back to earth anyway, it means we'd only know about it 128 milliseconds after the thing had been bloody vaporized anyway.

    I can think of better ways to spend 29 million to be honest, mostly involving hookers and beer.

  • Re:$29 Million? (Score:4, Informative)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Friday October 24, 2008 @05:16PM (#25503317)

    I was thinking the same thing. For 29 Million, you probably get a requirements document, a feasibility study to see if the idea is even workable, and maybe a high level architecture. If you hire a small, agile company (read: 'cheap') you might get some kind of small, proof of concept for one or two small parts of the system with the highest risk of failure.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:25PM (#25504219)

    Uhmm, the word 'effect' means something totally different from 'affect'.

    'Effect' is a verb and means 'to make it happen'.

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