Accession Number : ADA507952


Title :   Satellite Vulnerabilities


Descriptive Note : Research paper


Corporate Author : MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA


Personal Author(s) : Rooker, J W


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a507952.pdf


Report Date : 18 Feb 2008


Pagination or Media Count : 18


Abstract : From the Gulf War to Operation Iraqi Freedom, use of satellite communications increased more than 300%, and the data rate to support such operations went up by 500%. More and more, the U.S. Marine Corps is becoming dependent on satellite communications. Perhaps the U.S. military has become too dependent on satellite communications, which are subject to weather, and increasingly vulnerable to attack. Satellites are vulnerable to varieties of attack or degradation, and our abilities to protect them are limited. Some satellite links deteriorate when subjected to weather. Weather effects on satellite communications can be divided into two categories: terrestrial and extra-terrestrial. Terrestrial effects are those caused by planetary weather systems, like rain. Extraterrestrial weather effects, often called space weather, range from solar flares to cosmic radiation. Scintillation also can degrade satellite signals. Scintillation is caused by irregularities in the Earth's ionosphere. This phenomenon can cause severe signal fading to any signal transiting the ionosphere, and can affect Very High Frequency ranges. In any of these cases, the end result is degradation or loss of the signal. Physical attack capabilities are wide ranging. The most accessible targets are right here on Earth. Ground control stations, industrial sites, and critical individuals are all possible targets for an antisatellite strike. Another category of antisatellite weaponry is known as direct ascent weapons. These are rockets fired either from the planet's surface, or wing-launched from a high-altitude aircraft that use kinetic energy to disable or destroy an intended target. Other weapons include long-duration orbital interceptors and directed energy weapons. Satellite communications also are vulnerable to electronic attacks, like jamming and spoofing, and hackers. The military's use of GPS to position itself and guide munitions makes it especially vulnerable to attack.


Descriptors :   *VULNERABILITY , *ATTACK , *SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS , *METEOROLOGY , *DEGRADATION , *ELECTRONIC WARFARE , *COMMUNICATION SATELLITES , TRANSMISSION LOSS , ROCKETS , SUBVERSION , SOLAR FLARES , DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS , GUIDED WEAPONS , SURVEILLANCE , INTERCEPTORS , KINETIC ENERGY , GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM , COSMIC RAYS , MARINE CORPS


Subject Categories : Meteorology
      Radio Countermeasures
      Navigation and Guidance
      Unmanned Spacecraft
      Radio Communications


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE