The success of Starlink drives the development of anti-satellite weapons in Ukraine

In a new report, the Secure World Foundation warns of the trend toward the destruction of modern communication strategies. There seems to be a growing interest in anti-satellite weapons systems.

SpaceLink by SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space company, allows high-speed Internet access even in remote areas. The current war in Ukraine shows that satellite internet is also of military and strategic importance. It allows the Ukrainian population and army to continue to communicate even in places where Russian attackers have managed to destroy mobile phones and Internet connections. About that other armies have also shown interest in Elon Musk’s Starlink system.

Not surprisingly, this has sparked interest from the “opposite side”. It is just a catalyst for successful use in Ukraine The U.S. Secure World Foundation shows that there has been a lot of interest in offensive weapons that could disrupt space services in recent years.

Satellites are of interest as military targets because the effects of the shutdown could have “global effects beyond the military.” The use of satellite networks means that “large parts of the world’s economy and society are becoming increasingly dependent on space applications.”

It would also not be necessary for an attacker to focus on all satellites. If you destroy a few, their debris may be enough to destroy a large number of other satellites. This type of domino effect will be even more severe the more satellites you use close to Earth.

Satellite technology is the one that takes the chances and risks for the attacker as well as the wholesaler. After all, space-based threats can also be thought of, according to the report. This was recently revealed Chinese military scientists are developing anti-satellite technology to dispel perceived threats to the national sovereignty of SpaceX’s Starlink wireless broadband service. This could mean a whole new way of running a gun.

The Starlink satellite constellation is controversial in China. In January 2022, the Chinese government formally filed a complaint against the United Nations (UN )’s “Kopuos” (Copuos) for having to initiate several escape maneuvers at its Space Station’s “Heaven Palace” (Tianhe). Starlink to satellites.

In the same month, China also tested a technology that pushed an inactive satellite into a higher orbit. It is said to be a method of removing space debris. According to experts, it can also be used to manipulate and destroy satellite systems or communication systems. Therefore, it is possible that China has already tested methods for disabling satellites in space.

Although Starlink is currently a relatively small constellation of about 2,400 satellites, with the final configuration expected to be around five digits, the system has proven to be suitable for military use in Ukraine. The concerns of China and other countries seem understandable.

In fact, the United States is doing little to address these concerns. In contrast, they are actively exploring how privately operated space-based communications can meet the operational needs of the U.S. military. It is the result of a hearing in the US Senate in March 2022, among other things, about Russia’s efforts to block Starlink signals in Ukraine.

Appropriate funds are planned in the U.S. defense budget for next year. China and Russia should spend on “interference-resistant satellite communications” in search of anti-satellite capabilities (ASAT).

Last year, Russia tested an anti-satellite weapon that created a dangerous situation around the International Space Station. The tests are not entirely new. The de facto moratorium on weapons has been in force since 1985. However, this has been broken several times.

China launched a satellite in 2007. In 2008, the U.S. Army launched its own satellite spy with a missile. China has conducted at least seven ASAT tests since 2010, according to the Secure World Foundation. Russia has reportedly conducted at least 14 tests since 2014 and India only two in 2019. About 3,200 of these tests are said to be in orbit.

SOURCE: Science News

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