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The US Space Force

Grey Havoc

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"We enhanced our Multi-National Space Collaboration Office at Vandenberg AFB to empower Liaison Officers from Germany, France, and the United Kingdom in order to align policies and TTPs [tactics, techniques and procedures],” he said in his written remarks. “We are actively working to expand this office by adding Japan, Italy, and South Korea to our collaboration efforts.”
 

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Col. David Rickards, director of staff at Vandenberg’s 30th Space Wing, said the TacRL-2 mission is scheduled for launch in this first half of this year.

“That’ll be a great test for our team to hone the skill required to launch on demand and with agility,” Rickards said. “Said more plainly, we’ll be given a short window of just three weeks to generate, to deploy, and execute a real world launch. We’ll be ready when that day comes. Probably during the first half of this year, I expect a phone call that will start that timer ticking for us.”

Northrop Grumman and the range team at Vandenberg will demonstrate rapid call-up capability to respond to an urgent military need. Teams will not begin integrating the rocket with its payload, which remains unidentified, until several weeks before launch.


Notice to admin: it seems Pegasus thread is locked.
 

Grey Havoc

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bobbymike

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Double posting here
Rules are needed for all players, Saltzman said. “We’re all now participating in this space domain. We’re all operating in proximity of one another. What does it mean to operate safely so that everybody can take advantage of this and continue to do what they need to do in pursuit of their interest but in a safe way?”

The Space Force sees this issue as an extension of what the military does in other domains like the oceans and the airspace. Establishing rules and setting guidelines “are things that we’ve been doing for hundreds of years in the maritime environment and for decades in the air environment,” Saltzman said.
 

shin_getter

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paywall site

Some highlights:
HawkEye’s satellites are so-called smallsats, about the size of a large microwave oven....

RF-intelligence satellites detect where a transmission is coming from in two ways. One, trilateration, relies on measuring minute differences in a signal’s arrival time at each member of a cluster. The other uses the Doppler effect—the shift in a signal’s frequency if the transmitter is moving relative to the receiver. Together, according to HawkEye, these can pinpoint a signal’s source to within 500 metres of its true origin. Kleos Space, a Luxembourgeois company that launched its first cluster in November and hopes to put two more up later this year, says its accuracy ranges between 3,000 and 200 metres.

A cluster sweeps a band of territory 2,000km wide so, circling the planet every 90 minutes or so, it can revisit many areas several times a day. Moreover, unlike spy satellites fitted with optical cameras, RF satellites can see through clouds. Their receivers are not sensitive enough to detect standard mobile phones. But they can pick up satellite phones, walkie-talkies and all manner of radar. And, while vessels can and do illicitly disable their ais, switching off their communications gear and the radar they use for navigation and collision-avoidance is another matter entirely. “Even pirates don’t turn those things off,” says John Beckner, boss of Horizon Technologies, a British firm that plans its first launch in August.

RF data are also cheap to collect. Satellites fitted with robotic high-resolution cameras are costly. Flying microwave ovens that capture and timestamp radio signals are not. Horizon says that building, insuring and launching its August mission should cost no more than about $1.4m....

...employs HawkEye’s data to find guerrilla camps and mobile missile-launchers, and to track both conventional warships and unconventional ones, like the weaponised speedboats sometimes deployed by Iran. Robert Cardillo, a former director of the agency who now advises HawkEye, says dozens of navies, Russia’s included, spoof AIS signals to make warships appear to be in places which they are not. RF intelligence is not fooled by this. Mr Cardillo says, too, that the tininess of RF satellites makes them hard for an enemy to destroy.

Beside matters military, the NGA also uses RF data to unearth illicit economic activity—of which unauthorised fishing is merely one instance. Outright piracy is another. And the technique also works on land. In 2019, for example, it led to the discovery of an illegal gold mine being run by a Chinese company in a jungle in Gabon. And in 2020 the managers of Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo began using HawkEye data to spot elephant poachers and dispatch rangers to deal with them.

Horizon also plans to compile a library of unique radar-pulse “fingerprints” of the world’s vessels, for the tiny differences in componentry that exist even between examples of the same make and model of equipment mean that signals can often be linked to a specific device. It will thus be able to determine not merely that a vessel of some sort is in a certain place, but which vessel it is, and where else it has been.
 

bobbymike

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The school is talking to Space Force headquarters about growing class sizes, with tentative plans to significantly expand the program in the future, Freeborn said.

Early classes are designed to bring in people from the operations, engineering and acquisition communities who will work directly with the space enterprise, but the schoolhouse wants to keep one or two seats open for people in other lines of work, like fighter pilots or mechanical engineers. Space Test Fundamentals will welcome its first Army officer in May as well.

“For this first time out, as Space Force is trying to build out their test community, they really want to make sure that the people that we put through the class will have a chance to impact the space [test and evaluation] community,” Freeborn said.
 

mkellytx

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Wow, what's the world coming to when TPS starts graduating classes wearing sprangs instead of wings. Pity there's no picture of the graduate patch, wonder if there's some throw back to Star Trek...

In all seriousness, congrats to the new class, good to see the school house adapting to new and different opportunities.
 

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