C. Space Applications Technology Program (SATP)
The objectives of the SATP are to enhance warfighter capabilities and reduce casualties through the exploitation of space. Army-unique technologies are being developed and user demonstrations performed to exploit space to meet Army requirements. User endorsed capabilities will be gleaned to permit Army space requirements to be defined and submitted to platform developers. The program is highly leveraged with multi-agency participation. Refer to Volume I, Section III-Q of the ASTMP, for more information on Space Exploitation. The projects in the Space Exploitation technology area are as follows:
Laser Boresight (STO). This program will develop a solid-state laser calibration capability for Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) system. The laser calibrator will provide a known ground registration point for space-based sensors resulting in improved launch point predictions and impact area for Theater Ballistic Missiles (TBM). It will reduce the command and control timelines plus improve the overall responsiveness of the Joint Precision Strike and TMD forces by significantly reducing the TBM search box. The improved line-of-sight target accuracy will result in higher quality missile warning, alerting, and cueing information. This capability will be integrated into the JTAGS Pre-Planned Product Improvement (P3I). By FY97, demonstrate improved TBM launch point and trajectory parameters by using a compact, in-theater, tunable laser calibration system for the Defense Support Program satellite sensors. Extensive field testing with the theater warfighter in FY97 and transition to JTAGS PM in FY98.
POC: Dr. Richard Curtis, MDSTC; (205) 955-3802
Laser Satellite Communications (STO). A proof-of-concept demonstration will be conducted using ground-to-ground and ground-to-air systems for laser communications. This technology has the potential to increase the data capacity above that of existing communications, while decreasing the weight, size, and power requirements. The proof of concept will be developed into a technology demonstration and in the future transition into a dual use terminal or a tri-band to support the common ground station. Mountain top-to-mountain top experiments have been successfully completed. Feasibility studies are being done to assess the ground-to-ground and space-to-ground roles. More hardware is being built to perform ground-to-ground and ground-to-air experiments. Future experiments will put hardware on a satellite to perform space-to-air and space-to-ground experiments.
POC: Mr. Steve Hammonds, MDSTC; (205) 955-1843
Hyperspectral Imaging. The goal is to develop and demonstrate an Acousto-optic Tunable Filter (AOTF) to obtain hyperspectral imagery and polarization data in tactical scenes. This will enable discrimination of specific objects in a diffuse scene, to include searching for marijuana or looking for man-made objects.
The AOTF will also provide a significant improvement in space-based hyperspectral imaging processing capability. Hyperspectral images may be used to detect targets not detectable by other sensor types. The AOTF will provide the ability to select, in real-time, spectral bands to support individual mission requirements. Applications include target detection, weather/terrain, and mapping.
The approach is to develop the device and collect hyperspectral data to tactical interest on the ground, onboard an aircraft, and in space to demonstrate practical utility. (The airborne tests will serve to reduce the technical risks of the orbital flight.) The U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center, U.S. Army Intelligence Center, and central MASINT office will use the data to build a signature data base, identify useful combinations of spectral bands, and identify strategies for reducing data processing requirements. This effort is jointly funded by the Army and the central MASINT office. Hardware completion and initiation of data gathering from a ground-based sensor was completed in FY95. An airborne flight capable system will be completed in FY97.
POC: Mr. Ben Kerstiens, MDSTC; (205) 955-1769
GPS Azimuth Determining System. The GPS Azimuth Determining System is a combat multiplier that provides pointing with survey quality accuracy using the principle of microwave interferometry to signals transmitted from NAVSTAR GPS to provide azimuth, position, elevation, and roll to an azimuth accuracy of 1.0 mil and elevation accuracy to 3.5 mils in 4 seconds. One objective is to transition the technology to PM MLRS, PM TRAILBLAZER, and PM AFAS. The azimuth determining system will be used to meet the pointing requirements of indirect fire weapons, radars, intelligence systems, communications tracking, and forward observers.
The approach is to enhance the GPS receiver to provide instantaneous survey-quality Azimuth, evaluate the system, and then transition to selected PMs.
POC: Mr. Jim Washington, USASSDC; (703) 607-1893
Battlefield Ordnance Awareness (BOA). The program is to demonstrate a near real-time ordnance reporting system using onboard processing with space sensors. This technology will improve battlefield visualization of friendly and enemy ordnance fires and cruise missile launches. It addresses the need to target ordnance delivery for counterfire purposes, a major battlefield deficiency. The BOA capability will identify the ordnance by type and provide position information for counter fire opportunities, as well as Battle Damage Assessment, blue forces ordnance inventory, information for dispatch for logistical and medical support, and search/rescue. Advanced processor technology will be used with state-of-the-art focal plane staring arrays to provide critical information to the commander. By FY97, acquire ordnance data by type and develop algorithms for near real-time processing. By FY98, demonstrate ordnance reporting with a BOA sensor/ processor package from a fixed platform. In FY99, develop a space-qualified BOA sensor package with onboard processing.
POC: Ms. Kaye Blankenship, MDSTC; (205) 955-3522
Automated Target Recognition--Semi-Automated Image Processing. This program consists of a series of efforts aimed at enhancing the ability of imagery analysts to exploit large amounts of wide area and point target imagery generated by sensors. The ASPO is currently engaged in two efforts to apply ART technologies to ASARS II imagery. The first of these is Rapid Focus, a hybrid optical-digital processor designed to provide real-time processing to perform initial target detection and location in search imagery and to identify target types in finer resolution imagery. The second approach, Streaker, uses a digital processor to detect and locate potential targets in search imagery in order to focus analyst attention. The ASPO is also participating in the ARPA SAIP Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration which will provide a suite of tools and applications that can be exported to DoD imagery exploitation systems that will allow the imagery analyst to accurately and completely search and analyze imagery, generate reports, and provide imagery products within operational timelines. A modest level of Army funding is required to assure availability of this technology for Force XXI.
POC: Mr. Eugene Lambert, ASPO; (703) 275-5988
Blue Force Tracking. Grenadier BRAT (Beyond line-of-site Reporting and Targeting) is a series of Army Space Program Office/Battle Command Battle technical tests and warfighting experiments to determine the capabilities and limitations of using national and theater systems to do Blue Force tracking, status reporting, and targeting. Grenadier BRAT has the potential to provide digitized situational awareness and status reporting with information injected directly into the existing Army architecture. Tracking can go deep into the enemy territory because it does not have ground-based line-of-sight limitations. Coverage and dissemination is near worldwide. Demonstrations of this capability occurred in June 1995 in the Grafenwoehr training area, Germany, in the September 1995 All Services Combat Identification Evaluation Team evaluation sponsored by the JROC and in the XVIII Airborne corps' exercise Royal Dragon in May 1996. Currently, Grenadier BRAT is an approved initiative in TFXXI and is working with the SOF community in developing a CONOPS for use in the AWE. It is also pending approval to be evaluated in Division XXI. A modest level of Army funding is required to assure availability of this technology for Force XXI.
POC: Mr. Gregory Kesner, ASPO; (703) 275-5671
Tactical Direct Access Demonstration (DARPASAT). A tactical satellite launched by ARPA will be used to conduct a proof-of-concept technology demonstration with Army TENCAP systems to show the capability of satellite mission tasking direct from theater forces. The Joint Army/ARPA/NSA program will conduct the technology demonstration of this concept in support of Early Entry and Battle Command doctrine. Minimal funding for ground operation is required to conduct FY97 demonstrations.
POC: LTC Steven Leonard, ASPO; (703) 285-9035
Satellite Communications (SATCOM) on the Move. A NASA Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) will be used to demonstrate communications on the move using EHFs. This will help define interservice requirements for future SATCOM developments, and will influence future capabilities for communications on the move.
The project will demonstrate the need for the technology and will also provide an EHF satellite communications-on-the-move capability to improve Army command and control for as long as the ACTS satellite is available. Demonstrations will show high data rates using a mechanically steered antenna, up to 1.544 Mbps, and a phase array antenna will be used to demonstrate data rates up to 9.6 kbps.
The Jet Propulsion laboratory's (JPL's) ACTS Mobile Terminal (AMT), funded by the National Communications System, will be used to demonstrate proof-of-concept by installing AMT on a military vehicle (HMMWV) with a SINCGARS interface. The transition partners are Battle Command Battle Lab (BCBL), CECOM, and Global Grid. This is a dual-use technology since it uses the commercial bandwidth associated with the ACTS system and can be modified to operate with the MILSTAR waveform for future terminal modification.