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  US Air Force's Geosynchronous Space SA System

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Author Topic:   US Air Force's Geosynchronous Space SA System
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30100
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-23-2014 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The U.S. Air Force is planning to launch two new and previously classified space situational awareness satellites into geosynchronous orbit this year, Aviation Week reports, citing Gen. William Shelton, who leads Air Force Space Command.
The spacecraft were developed covertly by the Air Force and Orbital Sciences under the Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSAP), according to service officials.

The first two spacecraft will be boosted this year with two more to follow in 2016 to prevent a gap in surveillance on activities in the geosynchronous belt, Shelton said at the annual Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando. This is where commercial satellite communications are based, as well as critical national security assets such as the Space-Based Infrared System (Sbirs) early missile warning system and Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) constellation designed to provide jam-proof communications for the president even during a nuclear event.

"One cheap shot" against Sbirs or AEHF would be "devastating" to the Pentagon's capabilities, Shelton said of a potential anti-satellite attack.

The two GSAP satellites will "drift" above and below the GEO belt, using electro-optical sensors to collect information on satellites and other objects in that region, Shelton said. They will be maneuverable, allowing them to be "tasked," much like reconnaissance aircraft, to collect intelligence on specific targets, he said. The satellites will provide "accurate tracking and characterization" of satellites, according to an Air Force fact sheet released after Shelton's speech here.

The article notes that declassification was cleared, in part, to provide a deterrent effect to adversaries.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30100
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-29-2014 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance (ULA) release
United Launch Alliance Marks 85th Successful Launch by Delivering Three Satellites into Orbit for the U.S. Air Force

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket successfully launched the AFSPC-4 mission for the U.S. Air Force on July 28 at 7:28 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-37. This is ULA's eighth launch in 2014, and the 85th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

"The ULA team is proud to have delivered the twin Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) spacecraft to orbit today," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. "We are privileged to work with a top notch U.S. government and contractor mission team that is committed to mission success."

This mission was launched aboard a Delta IV Medium-plus (4,2) configuration Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) using a single ULA common booster core powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68 main engine, along with two ATK GEM-60 solid rocket motors. The upper stage was powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10B-2 engine, with the satellite encapsulated in a 4-meter-diameter composite payload fairing.

In addition to the two GSSAP satellites delivered to near-geosyn­chronous orbit, the secondary payload, Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space (ANGELS) satellite is managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

"This launch marks the first EELV secondary payload adapter (ESPA) to launch on a Delta rocket," said Sponnick. "This mission represents an excellent utilization of rideshare capabilities that has enabled a low-cost way for the AFRL ANGELS team to flight demonstrate future spacecraft technologies."

The twin GSSAP spacecraft will support U.S. Strategic Command space surveillance operations as a dedicated Space Surveillance Network sensor. The GSSAP will also support Joint Functional Component Command for Space to collect space situ­ational awareness data, allowing for more accurate tracking and characterization of man-made orbiting objects. ANGELS examines techniques for providing a clearer picture of the environment surrounding our nation's vital space assets.

cspg
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Posts: 4711
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 07-29-2014 01:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
The article notes that declassification was cleared, in part, to provide a deterrent effect to adversaries.

So now these days the spyer warns the spyee that his satellites are being spied upon. A good thing or just plain silly?

All times are CT (US)

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