Moreover, the GPS system that the American military and society in the United States relies upon, is also nearing its expiration date and risks complete collapse. Meanwhile, China and Russia are deploying their own advanced GPS-like systems, BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and GLONASS, respectively. America’s GPS infrastructure was banned from Russian territory on June 1st of 2014. Europe has also created its own GPS-like system, Galileo, which like the previous has both commercial and military use.
If you haven’t noticed yet, there is a new inevitable chapter in world history that is post-America being opened up — and it is right around the corner. We’re talking from months (maybe even weeks) to two or three years away. Whether America itself as we know it will survive the transition to see it remains to be seen. For the most part, at this moment, its adversaries and so-called allies are making moves that want a world without America.
The satellite infrastructure that the DoD relies on for operational awareness is inefficient and is badly in need of modernization. The status quo isn’t acceptable, and changes must begin now.
Those aren’t my words, although I agree with them strongly. It’s the message contained in a memorandum dated July 29th sent by General John Hyten, Commander of the U.S. Air Force Space Command, to senior subordinates. As reported in this recent story from Space News, emerging threats from other powers and budget constraints are prompting the DoD to leverage commercial efficiencies and to adopt a common ground infrastructure.
From the article: “Even our newest systems lack required resiliency and survivability,” Gen. John Hyten, commander of Space Command, said in a letter to senior subordinates. “We must retool our entire space architecture to one that can be commanded through a robust common platform.”
I’ve also reviewed the memo that the Space News article is based on. The July 29th direction should surprise no one, since it builds on the clear intent voiced by General Hyten in December of last year. In addition to greater resiliency and lower costs, the DoD is very interested in using uniformed personnel for battle management rather than for infrastructure maintenance.
Critical decisions need to be made now regarding the future of the U.S. space architecture. The challenges the country currently faces demand collaborative solutions with government and the commercial sector. General Hyten’s leadership in this area is gratifying, and we stand ready to assist.
Full article: The Urgency of Modernizing Satellite Control Infrastructure (Spacewar)