Report: Space weapons are a fact of life, but there are many ways to counter them – SpaceNews

CSIS launched a brand new examine known as “Protection Towards the Darkish Arts in Area: Defending Area Methods from Counterspace Weapons.”

WASHINGTON — Nations world wide — notably and Russia — are constructing arsenals of weapons that may destroy or disrupt satellites in orbit. Not a lot may be achieved to gradual that pattern down, however these threats may be countered with applied sciences and techniques, says a report by the Heart for Strategic and Worldwide Research launched Feb. 26.

“If area is to stay a supply of financial and strategic benefit, the US should prioritize and expedite its efforts to enhance area defenses,” states the report titled Defense Against the Dark Arts in Space: Protecting Space Systems from Counterspace Weapons, written by CSIS analysts Todd Harrison, Kaitlyn Johnson and Makena Younger.

The proliferation of missiles, lasers, jammers and different anti-satellite weapons has been extensively documented, however little has been stated about methods to defend in opposition to these threats, stated Harrison. 

“What we needed to do with this report is take a look at the opposite facet of the equation. Sure, we see all these threats to area techniques, however what do you do about it?” he stated. On the Harry Potter-themed title, he stated: “It truly match completely into the Harry Potter theme. If area threats are the darkish arts, then what this report talks about is defending in opposition to the darkish arts.”

Harrison stated CSIS launched into this examine as a result of there has not been a variety of public dialogue and debate about what it takes to defend satellites. He stated it was regarding that the rhetoric from many authorities officers and suppose tanks implies that “area is just not defendable.” Some have urged that the navy shouldn’t depend on area as a result of satellites are susceptible. “And that’s not the precise reply, that that’s not a believable reply both,” stated Harrison. “We are able to’t simply go with out area. What we’ve got to do is figure on addressing the vulnerabilities that we face.”

The applied sciences and techniques the U.S. authorities makes use of to defend area largely are categorised, however there was sufficient public info from the industrial area sector and from international governments to place collectively a 45-page report, Johnson famous. The report particulars, for instance, numerous varieties of defensive techniques that may be deployed on satellites and methods to design constellations to make them extra resilient in opposition to disruptions. 

Some takeaways from the report: 

  • There’s a false impression that area solely not too long ago has been militarized. Area has been a battleground because the starting of the area age. The Russians had space-based orbital weapons going again to the 1960s.
  • In workshops with area and nationwide safety specialists, CSIS performed out hypothetical situations on various kinds of conflicts that they could start or prolong to area. Wargaming may also help body how area defenses could possibly be employed sooner or later. 
  • America wants higher “area area consciousness.” That requires extra investments in and integration with industrial and international authorities area surveillance networks. 
  • The U.S. navy ought to design proliferated area architectures that use various orbits. This can be a highly effective defensive measure that can make area techniques to assault and fewer engaging for an adversary to assault. 
  • The U.S. ought to spend money on robotic techniques that may seize objects in area equivalent to an errant satellite tv for pc that might collide with others or nefarious spacecraft. It ought to deploy automobiles that may dock with an uncooperative satellite tv for pc and transfer it to a location the place it’s not going to be a risk. 
  • The U.S. authorities ought to incentivize industrial area operators to place superior defenses on their techniques, make them extra proof against jamming and cyber assaults. 

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