Accession Number:

ADA539694

Title:

The All Seeing Eye: Space-Based Persistent Surveillance in 2030

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

52.0

Abstract:

This research paper investigates the space environment in the 2030 timeframe with respect to the important space-based earth surveillance mission. It attempts to answer the question Can the U.S. field a persistent space-based surveillance capability in an operational domain that is increasingly challenged by adversary threats To answer this question, the paper looks at the nature of existing threats and the likely capability developments in the next 20 years. To counter the threats, the paper investigates a geosynchronous orbit based surveillance system. Such a system would be beyond the reach of current anti-satellite weapons. However, significant technical hurdles remain to make such a system a reality. Operating in geosynchronous orbit affords a system the ability to remain positioned over one spot on the planet resulting in a persistent capability. However, the increased distance from earth requires optics on a scale that first, stretches the limits of available launch vehicles, and second, tests the manufacturing capability of our nation. This paper looks at advances in deployable optics and expansion in focal plane size to determine if when combined, the two components can meet the systems requirements. Finally, the capabilities of the new system are crosschecked against the expected advances in space threats to determine if a geosynchronous system can accomplish its mission without being contested.

Subject Categories:

  • Unmanned Spacecraft
  • Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry
  • Ground Support Systems and Facilities for Space Vehicles

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE