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France to develop anti satellite lasers and "defensive" mini babysitting satellites

muttbutt

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France to develop anti-satellite laser weapons: minister

France plans to develop anti-satellite laser weapons, its defence minister said Thursday, laying out French ambitions to close the gap on rivals who are developing new arms and surveillance capabilities in space.
The United States, Russia and China have been heavily investing in technology for space, which is seen as a new military frontier.
The ability to detect spy satellites and potentially destroy or cripple them is seen as a key capability.



"If our satellites are threatened, we intend to blind those of our adversaries," Defence Minister Florence Parly said.
"We reserve the right and the means to be able to respond: that could imply the use of powerful lasers deployed from our satellites or from patrolling nano-satellites."
Around 2,000 active satellites are currently estimated to be orbiting the Earth, mostly to relay commercial and military communications, but also to track the weather and for spying.
"We will develop powerful lasers," Parly said during a speech at an air force base outside the city of Lyon.

"It's an area in which France has fallen behind. But we will catch up."
Other weapons capabilities could include machineguns capable of shooting the solar panels of enemy satellites to disable them, a government source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Experts say that the United States, Russia, China and India are capable of destroying enemy satellites using missiles fired from Earth, and probably also by engineering deliberate collisions.
An official from the NATO military alliance told AFP last month that there was no known deployment of space-based weapons in orbit, but concerns were growing about "more aggressive behaviour" from China and Russia.
"Our allies and adversaries are militarising space... we need to act," Parly said during her speech, adding that the first capabilities under her strategy should be ready by 2025 and be completed by 2030.
In September last year, Parly accused a Russian satellite called Luch Olymp of attempting to spy on France's Athena-Fidus satellite, which is jointly operated with Italy, and is used to provide secure communications for the French military.




France to launch 'fearsome' surveillance satellites to bolster space defences


PARIS (Reuters) - France plans to launch mini surveillance satellites to enhance the protection and defence of French satellites from 2023, its defence minister said on Thursday, signalling an intensification in the race to militarise space.
Defence Minister Florence Parly said France was not being sucked into an arms race and that the creation of a new French ‘space command’ announced by the president was central to a strategy to bolster defence capabilities, rather than offensive.
“If we want to be able to carry out real military operations in space, then we need to develop the ability to act alone,” Parly said, speaking at the Lyon-Mont Verdun air base.
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The ‘space command’, Parly said, would fall under the air force’s control. With space fast becoming one of the greatest challenges to national security, the government would draw up new legislation to hand oversight of all French activities in space to the defence ministry.
President Emmanuel Macron’s desire to create a space command, which Parly announced will go live on Sept. 1, followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to usher in a new space force that will form the sixth branch of the U.S. military by 2020.
Parly described the mini-satellites that will patrol space from 2023 as “fearsome little detectors that will be the eyes of our most valuable satellites”. Space and aeronautics company Thales had ambitions in the field, she said.
 

TomcatViP

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Although having a laser fired from earth and the territory of a nation to blind "adversaries" spying satellites as a retaliation measure sounds like a pretty coherent and reasonable defensive mean (but it will have to be only the military hardware that is targeted if we don't want to plunge the 21st century in an ice age of new technologies ), the kinetic attack of other satellite sounds dramatically unnecessary and really concerning.

I am pretty much on the line that this space Machin was a an unprepared announcement to hide an embarrassing story as you may know ( Libya) but not everything can be done or even the intends of it revealed in the press without putting the still emerging space industry at risk. What about civilian hardware targeted as "precautionary" or "retaliation" measure? Does France believes that war are clear cut untidy things? Does anyone have evaluated the impact on the cost of civilian hardware if operators have now to take into account the risk of "French" battling in Space around their satellites or inhabited space station?

This industry still relies on the absolute safety of every launched hardware to make some profit. Even the new spying techniques make sure to use low invasive means (for various reason obviously). And now, the French industry want to fire shotguns in space to impress the Gov and secure some profits?!

If I was any industrial in that sector I would fill a complaint as a preventive measure at the ONU and the WTO to mark the industry total opposition toward this unnecessary added risk.


And by the way, a solar panel is just something that only have to be sprayed/coated to quickly degrade the capabilities of its satellite*. No need to blast the hell out of it and generate debris that will ruin our access to space. At all cost, this only should be the priority of a civilized nation reflecting on the future of its space defense.



*You have the vacuum, you don't even need much energy to achieve a clean and neat result.
 
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galgot

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Although having a laser fired from earth and the territory of a nation to blind "adversaries" spying satellites as a retaliation measure sounds like a pretty coherent and reasonable defensive mean (but it will have to be only the military hardware that is targeted if we don't want to plunge the 21st century in an ice age of new technologies ), the kinetic attack of other satellite sounds dramatically unnecessary and really concerning.

I am pretty much on the line that this space Machin was a an unprepared announcement to hide an embarrassing story as you may know ( Libya) but not everything can be done or even the intends of it revealed in the press without putting the still emerging space industry at risk. What about civilian hardware targeted as "precautionary" or "retaliation" measure? Does France believes that war are clear cut untidy things? Does anyone have evaluated the impact on the cost of civilian hardware if operators have now to take into account the risk of "French" battling in Space around their satellites or inhabited space station?

This industry still relies on the absolute safety of every launched hardware to make some profit. Even the new spying techniques make sure to use low invasive means (for various reason obviously). And now, the French industry want to fire shotguns in space to impress the Gov and secure some profits?!

If I was any industrial in that sector I would fill a complaint as a preventive measure at the ONU and the WTO to mark the industry total opposition toward this unnecessary added risk.


And by the way, a solar panel is just something that only have to be sprayed/coated to quickly degrade the capabilities of its satellite*. No need to blast the hell out of it and generate debris that will ruin our access to space. At all cost, this only should be the priority of a civilized nation reflecting on the future of its space defense.



*You have the vacuum, you don't even need much energy to achieve a clean and neat result.
YES !! Go tag the spaaaace ! To infinity & beyond, do it :p

peinture-en-bombe-do-it-150-ml-p.jpg
 
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Orionblamblam

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Black paint was considered as an anti-satellite weapon from the earliest days of anti-satellite thinking. It's easy and cheap and likely reliable, plus it doesnt leave much of signature that can be picked up by other sensors. Energetic systems can be detected but a ziplock baggie fully of paint, hurled by a passing satellite with a tiny bursting charge timed to go off shortly before intercept, would be hard to detect.
 

galgot

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But... would look better in colour.
Paint your enemy mil sat in girly colours, this is a plus.
 
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Grey Havoc

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I rather suspect that the UN Space Treaty doesn't have long left to live. In fact, it can be argued at least parts of it have been defunct almost before the ink was dry on it...
 
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Orionblamblam

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But... would look better in colour.
Paint your enemy mil sat in girly colours, this is a plus.
I suspect black was preferred because:
1) Likely more opaque so a thinner layer of paint will do the job of blinding optics and blanketing PV arrays
2) It will mess with a spacecrafts thermal balance
3) If the enemy looks up at their satellite with large telescopes and sees it covered in lime green, hot pink or even titanium white, they will be able to make a case that the satellite was attacked. If they see it only as darker, the case is harder to make.
4) Black is the most metal of colors. BRUTAL.
 

TomcatViP

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Orion this is it. Last but not the least the severity of the attack can also be scaled what fits the proper "space" doctrine of a civilized nation.

Let's be clear, "shotguns" are the last thing you'll need to get up there.




This is not a space bullet*

*Ceci n'est vraiment pas une pipe
 
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edwest

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I'm surprised this is even being talked about publicly. Does the public and our enemies need to know any of this? And blinding satellites under what specific circumstances? This is quite nebulous. I have read about concerns over unauthorized "inspections" of foreign satellites but what can really be inspected? In one scenario, an astronaut visually inspects (and photographs?) a foreign satellite at close range. Based on these news fragments, it's easy to picture various orbital tracks as massive debris fields if something kinetic is fired. At one time, NASA published a list of orbital debris. Either publication stopped or some other agency handles it today.

Paint would freeze rapidly.
 

Orionblamblam

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Paint would freeze rapidly.
Depends somewhat on the paint, and how exactly you define "paint." It may be feasible to release a cloud of dust that sticks to the enemy spacecraft via static charge. But this may well be problamatic... as with magnetic mines and degaussing, it might be possible for a satellite to dump its charge and the dust simply floats off. Something more recognizable as "paint" will necessarily have a short lifespan before it either outgases the solvent and turns to dust, or the epoxy sets. But that's unlikely to be a major concern... a paint will last a few seconds, and that's all that's really needed.

One approach might be to mix carbon black with a batch of commercial "cactus juice." This is a one-component resin that sets with heat. It's used to stabilize wood: you soak a piece of rotten, fragile wood with the stuff, get it thoughoughly soaked in, then wrap it in aluminum foil and pop it in a toaster over. Bake at 150 F for a few minutes and it sets solid. A spacecraft could carry a tank of this goop on board and either fling small baggies of the stuff at the enemy (bursting either on impact like paintballs, or prior to impact via proximity fuses), or directly spray it. It stays a thick, viscous liquid, outgasing slowly; but since it's a *black* liquid in full unadulterated sunlight, it'll get hot *fast* and set up a black epoxy coating on the target.

Or just shoot mud at the enemy. Hell, put a monkey in your inspector and have it fling its own poop at the enemy. That'll do the job.
 

martinbayer

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Think of it as a corollary of the second law of thermodynamics - it's always easier to muck something up than it is to make it work.
 

Orionblamblam

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it's always easier to muck something up than it is to make it work.


Imagine trying to *clean* a satellite than has been tagged by a BanksySat. It's unlikely somethign that the sat can do itself; chances are good that any attack will take down the power systems, or at least compromise them greatly. Blast the PV arrays, you could not only degrade their performace, you could perforate them or outright yank them right off. A light mist of flat black Krylon witha closing speed of a few km/sec couls know satellite for a loop.In the unlikely event the target has a nuclear reactor, painting the radiator is a neato-keen way to *really* mess with the thermal control system.
 
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