Feeds

New US swarmsats will scatter to avoid space-war strikes

F6 Bomb-burst manoeuvre will avoid actual bomb bursts

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.