Feeds

US deploys satellite jamming tech

Son of Star Wars tracks phantom menace

High performance access to file storage

The US has created electronic-warfare squads capable of jamming enemy satellite transmissions. Fearful of losing its advantage of superior technology resources over its potential enemies, the US has established mobile teams equipped with electronic jamming gear capable of disrupting attempts to interfere with its satellite resources, The Washington Times reports.

"You can't go to war and win without space," Gen. Lance Lord, the four-star general in charge of the Colorado-based Air Force Space Command, told the paper. Air Force Space Command is tasked with both protecting Us satellites from attack or disruption and maintaining an offensive capability against "enemy" space hardware. Just who the enemy might be in this context isn't entirely clear but may include China and Russia.

Talk of jamming capabilities in space, together with earlier reports of space cannons, brings to mind former US president Ronald Reagan's ill-fated Star Wars program of the 1980s not to mention James Bond flicks such as You Only Live Twice. Gen Lord is keen to downplay suggestions that the US was intent in turning space into a battlefield.

"We're not talking about weaponizing* space. We're not talking about massive satellite attacks coming over the horizon or anything like that. This is really a way to understand space situational awareness, who's out there, who's operating. We understand that," he said.

Russia reportedly developed anti-satellite weapons at the height of the Cold War and China is judged to pose a threat to the US's strategic superiority in space. Unnamed officials told Washingtom Times that China has carried tested electronic signal jamming against satellites. If China has this capability then the US needs to develop countermeasures, the thinking goes. "China's had 45 successful launches since 1996. They will be a very robust and potent competitor in the future, and we want to make sure we understand who they are and how they're emerging in this business. They look at us; we look at them," the official said.

The US Space Command has a responsibility to accessing military threats. "We understand that jamming has gone on and other things have occurred, and we watch that very closely," Gen. Lord said. "If somebody is trying to use space against us, we could interrupt, in a reversible kind of way, those kind of capabilities as needed and as directed by US policy."

Anti-satellite weapons are currently limited to jamming signals sent from the ground to satellites that try to disrupt US military or civilian spacecraft, Gen. Lord concluded. ®

Bootnote

*No, it's not in our dictionary either, but we know what he means.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.