The U.S. star chain has huge military potential and can collide and intercept intercontinental missiles

 The U.S. star chain has huge military potential and can collide and intercept intercontinental missiles

The star chain project aims to provide cheap and fast broadband Internet services, and is the largest constellation project proposed so far. In January 2015, musk announced its plan to launch about 12000 communication satellites into space orbit. The plan, which is expected to cost $10 billion, will begin work in 2020, with the aim of providing cheap and fast broadband Internet services to consumers around the world. According to the latest figures of ESA, there are 2000 working satellites in the earth orbit at present. If the deployment of star chain is completed, the total number of new satellites in orbit will be nearly six times of the total number of satellites in orbit in all countries at present, becoming the largest constellation project proposed by human beings so far.

Pictures before the launch of the first 60 star chain satellites

The planned constellation of star chain is composed of 4409 Leo (low earth orbit) constellations distributed at 550-1300 km and 7518 vleo (very low earth orbit) constellations distributed at 340 km. The total number of networking satellites is 11927. The construction of the star chain plan is basically divided into three steps. The first step is to complete the initial coverage with 1584 satellites, of which the first 800 satellites meet the needs of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and other countries for space-based high-speed Internet; the second step is to complete the global networking with 2825 satellites; the third step is to form a more radical low orbit constellation with 7518 satellites. The total number of satellites in the first two steps is 4409, which are in LEO Orbit. These satellites work in the more traditional Ka band and Ku band, and strive to win with quantity. In the third step, 7518 satellites are in vleo orbit and will work in V-band.

Recently, on behalf of SpaceX, the Federal Communications Commission of the United States submitted another 30000 small and micro satellites in low orbit to the International Telecommunication Union, which means that, together with the submitted plan, the star chain plan will eventually form a super giant constellation of nearly 42000 satellites.

II. Military application potential of star chain plan

Although the star chain plan is a commercial satellite constellation plan, its military application potential is huge. At present, commercial satellite constellations are widely used in military communications.

1. Greatly enhance the broadband communication capability of the US Army

The star chain plan can provide high-speed Internet services with low cost and global coverage. If military applications are carried out, it will benefit from the beam coverage of high-speed Satellite Internet without dead corners around the world, which will greatly enhance the combat communication ability of the US military. At present, a number of giant LEO communication constellations in the world are planned to enter the phase of intensive space deployment in 2019. As the largest commercial satellite communication service user in the world, the U.S. military takes the lead in recognizing the military value of commercial Leo Mega constellations. At the beginning of 2019, the newly formed NASA of the US Department of defense clearly stated that it would purchase services from enterprises such as oneweb, SpaceX, etc. that implement the Leo Mega Constellation program.

Low delay: due to the use of low orbit satellites, reducing routing stations and other key designs, the star chain broadband can provide global users with a low delay transmission of only 25 milliseconds, which is an order of magnitude higher than the 250 millisecond delay transmission of the most cutting-edge satellite communication at present. It can be used as the terminal navigation and control platform for long-distance launch of weapons outside the theater, or the robot department in the future Data exchange platform and node between the team and the UCAV.

Pictures before the launch of the first 60 star chain satellites

High throughput: star chain has carried out the early low orbit technology verification test, including the direct interconnection test between the satellite and the antenna array of the US Air Force fighter. It is said that star chain project provides 610mbps bandwidth network service for the US C-12 aircraft, compared with the 5-50mbps bandwidth network service of the maritime satellite purchased by most aircraft networking at present, which is a whole An order of magnitude increase will make the use cost of long-range UAVs (such as global hawk) greatly reduce in the future, and the use of such UAVs will increase by an order of magnitude.

2. All weather seamless surveillance and reconnaissance

Star chain satellite carries optical observation load at the same time. Combined with the advantage of high revisit rate, for major regions of the world, several satellites fly over the zenith direction in each time period, which can realize 24-hour continuous optical monitoring and analysis. Through automatic recognition, classification and tracking of big data system and optical observation of image recognition system, it has high recognition rate of true and false targets and strong anti-interference ability, The monitoring of moving objects on the ground and large targets has entered a new era. It is reported that the U.S. air force is ready to terminate the geosbirs early warning satellite project, and will develop a low orbit satellite group with high survivability in the future, which does not exclude the possibility of deploying the early warning module on the satellite chain satellite.

Satellite launch simulation of star chain

3. Space based target detection / strike capability

Satellite chain has the ability to launch omni-directional beam, which can telemeter, track and control the spacecraft, and then transform it into a high-precision system for calculation, simulation and prediction of launch vehicle / missile, providing information support for the follow-up interception work, as well as the ability of automatic orbit change and avoidance. More than 10000 satellites in orbit also provide direct guidance to ICBM warheads Collision interception provides the possibility. U.S. Air Force General OShaughnessy spoke highly of SpaceXs work. He believed that SpaceX successfully developed a low-cost and large payload launch, and that the best way to solve the ballistic missile problem is to destroy it before it hits the ground. The star chain project is of great significance and will change the whole space defense pattern.

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