Space: The new battlefield

Many federal listeners know that changing satellite technology has impacted their world — from enhanced geographic information and data from sensors all over the world. This innovation has a tremendous impact on the defense community as well.

The proliferation of launch methods and the drastic reduction in the size of satellites has given the green light for many countries to place satellites in orbit. From the perspective of someone sitting in the Pentagon, these factors mean one thing: space has become a battlefield.

Head shot of Phil Carrai
Phil Carrai, Kratos Defense and Security Solutions

Phil Carrai is the president of Technology & Training Solutions at Kratos Defense and Security Solutions and this week on Federal Tech Talk, he details a concept called “situational awareness.” For example, satellites have limited fuel to maneuver. If a new satellite in orbit blocks their signal, this can be a strategic loss. Losing signal for a few minutes is not a big deal when it comes to a soccer score, but tremendously important when life-and-death situations are in play.

How do you train a space warrior for an environment unlike anything encountered before in earth? Carrari suggests that creative use of virtual reality, augmented reality, and something called mixed reality. Creative use of existing technology can prepare the next generation of warfighters for this brave new world.

There are challenges in communication as well. Traditionally, satellites would exchange information with ground stations in a proprietary manner, commonly called stovepipes. With the proliferation of satellites and potential threats,  the military must find new ways to manage Enterprise Ground Systems to make them resilient, scalable, and secure.

This ability must be accomplished in a secure environment while taking into consideration budget constraints.

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