Feeds

New US swarmsats will scatter to avoid space-war strikes

F6 Bomb-burst manoeuvre will avoid actual bomb bursts

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The USA's new "fractionated" swarm satellites - in which groups of small wirelessly-linked modules in orbit will replace today's large spacecraft - will be able to scatter to avoid enemy attacks and then reform into operational clusters.

Concept graphic illustrating the 'fractionated' satellite concept. Credit: DARPA

Trying to knock this down will be like punching clouds.

Federal documents released yesterday regarding the "System F6" project (Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft) announcing a conference for interested contractors specify the requirement:

Defensive cluster scatter and regather maneuver. Demonstrate the ability of every module in the cluster to egress from a 20 km diameter “threat sphere” within 5 minutes. The modules must subsequently regather into a cluster configuration following the defensive scatter.

It has previously been specified that the F6 swarmsat cluster must be contactable even when out of line-of sight from US ground stations or other military comms platforms. British satcomms firm Inmarsat was recently awarded a contract to supply the trial F6 swarm with constant broadband access via commercial satellites.

The ability to contact an F6 swarmsat at any time would allow its controllers to order a "defensive scatter" on detection of a threat such as an antisatellite weapons launch or an approaching unidentified spacecraft. Such detections might be made by the various new space-warning systems being set up by the US, or by existing methods.

Much though active space warfare - including attack on another nation's spacecraft - is strictly forbidden by international law and treaty, it would seem that the USA intends to be ready for it anyway. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.