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Report: Pentagon Needs to Do Better Job Protecting Space Assets

1 Mar 2020, 19:23 UTC
Report: Pentagon Needs to Do Better Job Protecting Space Assets
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by Douglas MessierManaging Editor

As space has become a war-fighting domain, the Defense Department (DOD) faces challenges in assessing how its satellites can survive threats against them, erecting a Space Fence to better track satellites and debris in Earth orbit, and upgrading the Global Positioning System (GPS), according to a new report from the director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E).

“The DOD intends to invest at least $100 billion in space systems over the next decade, and we are not alone,” the report stated. “We therefore must thoroughly understand how our systems will perform in space, particularly when facing manmade threats,” Robert F. Behler wrote in the 2019 annual report.

“Yet, the DOD currently has no real means to assess adequately the operational effectiveness, suitability, and survivability of space-based systems in a representative environment,” he added. (Download full report)

Behler said DOT&E is working with the Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) to develop “a space warfighting combined test force, a ‘National Space Test and Training Range,’ and ground-based space test facilities. The threat array would include cyber, directed-energy, kinetic and electronic warfare threats, as well as natural hazards.”

The test force “would enable validation of space-based warfighting ...

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