General Accounting Office Reports

Satellite Control Capabilities: National Policy Could Help Consolidation and Costs Savings (Letter Report, 05/02/96, GAO/NSIAD-96-77).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of
Defense's (DOD) and intelligence community's potential opportunities to
consolidate satellite control functions.

GAO found that: (1) the defense, intelligence, and civil satellite
control networks have little interoperability and do not effectively use
the resources and facilities available to them; (2) efforts to study
cost reductions that would result from combining satellite control
networks have been largely unsuccessful; (3) a national satellite
control policy that encourages interoperability and consolidation is
needed; (4) in 1993, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)
was established to coordinate science, space, and technology policies
throughout the federal government; and (5) NSTC could encourage cost
reduction in the satellite control networks through interoperability and
consolidation.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-96-77
     TITLE:  Satellite Control Capabilities: National Policy Could Help 
             Consolidation and Costs Savings
      DATE:  05/02/96
   SUBJECT:  Communications satellites
             Military satellites
             Systems compatibility
             Defense cost control
             Intelligence gathering operations
             Interagency relations
             Aerospace research
IDENTIFIER:  NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System
             NASA Hubble Space Telescope Program
             NASA Space Station Program
             Space Shuttle
             NASA Earth Observing System
             NAVSTAR Global Positioning System
             GPS
             Landsat
             Air Force Satellite Control Network
             Naval Satellite Control Network
             Defense Satellite Communications System
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on National Security, Committee
on Appropriations, House of Representatives

May 1996

SATELLITE CONTROL CAPABILITIES -
NATIONAL POLICY COULD HELP
CONSOLIDATION AND COST SAVINGS

GAO/NSIAD-96-77

Satellite Control Capabilities

(707093)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  AACB - Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board
  AFSCN - Air Force Satellite Control Network
  DOD - Department of Defense
  FITAS - Future Integrated TT&C Architecture Study
  GPS - Global Positioning System
  NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  NRO - National Reconnaissance Office
  NSCN - Naval Satellite Control Network
  NSTC - National Science and Technology Council
  TDRSS - Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System
  TT&C - tracking, telemetry, and commanding

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-270718

May 2, 1996

The Honorable C.  W.  Bill Young
Chairman, Subcommittee on National Security
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives

Dear Mr.  Chairman: 

As you requested, we have been reviewing several issues associated
with the Department of Defense (DOD) and intelligence community space
programs and activities.  This report discusses the potential
opportunity for consolidating satellite control functions within the
government. 

Satellite control is an operation that uses ground antennas for (1)
tracking satellites to record their location and trajectory, (2)
collecting satellite health and status data by telemetry, and (3)
commanding satellites to perform certain functions.  This operation
is commonly referred to as tracking, telemetry, and commanding. 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

Congressional committees have expressed concern about the (1) lack of
standardization, commonality, and interoperability associated with
national security satellite control networks and (2) high costs
associated with operating, maintaining, and upgrading these
networks.\1 Within the defense and intelligence space sectors, the
Air Force, the Navy, the Army, and the National Reconnaissance Office
(NRO) operate separate satellite control networks.  Within the civil
space sector, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
also operate separate networks. 

Defense and civil (excluding intelligence) agencies budgeted a total
of $806 million in fiscal year 1996 to control over 132
communications, missile warning, navigation, meteorological,
environmental, and scientific satellites or missions.  Based on the
President's fiscal year 1996 budget, these agencies plan to spend
over $1.3 billion on upgrading their satellite control systems during
the next 5 years. 


--------------------
\1 Senate Armed Services Committee's July 27, 1993 report (103-112)
accompanying the fiscal year 1994 DOD authorization bill, p.  86 and
House Appropriations Committee's June 27, 1994 report (103-562)
accompanying the fiscal year 1995 DOD appropriations bill, p.  43. 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

Development of separate satellite control networks parallel the
historical establishment of the three space sectors--defense,
intelligence, and civil--within the government.  These sectors were
created over three decades ago and evolved under separate
organizational structures for management, budgetary control, and
policy oversight.  Despite the potential for overlapping programs and
duplicate facilities, these sectors were maintained for national
security reasons and to benefit from an open, unclassified civil
program.  One result, however, was a lack of strong coordination and
cooperation incentives among the respective agencies, which
encouraged both different solutions to similar problems and overlap
in capabilities in such areas as technology development, launch, and
support services.  As the agencies tended to independently customize
their satellite systems to fit particular needs, including satellite
control networks, the result was a lack of interoperability among the
systems and less than optimal use of resources and facilities. 

Efforts to reduce costs by combining government satellite control
capabilities need more attention.  Two studies completed within the
past
2 years by the U.S.  Space Command and one study completed last year
by an interagency working group discussed opportunities to combine
satellite control capabilities.\2 Although these three studies
focused on increasing network efficiency and effectiveness and
achieving economies, they were either limited in scope, lacking in
detailed analysis, or subsumed by another study.  Now, a fourth
interagency study, addressing the same topic, is ongoing by DOD and
NASA to examine the potential for cooperation and savings. 

Implementation of the past studies' recommendations have been
hampered by the lack of a national policy that could provide the
necessary impetus and direction for more efficient use of the
nation's satellite control capabilities.  The government has several
space policies that direct inter-sector cooperative efforts,
including special management structures, but none that specifically
apply to satellite control.  Considering the opportunities for (1)
interoperability and standardization among satellite control networks
and (2) cost savings and greater efficiencies through network
consolidation, it appears prudent to view satellite control from a
governmentwide perspective.  We, therefore, believe that a national
satellite control policy that addresses the objective of
interoperability and standardization through integration,
consolidation, and sharing of the defense, intelligence, and civil
space sector's satellite control capabilities is needed. 

In November 1993, the President established the National Science and
Technology Council (NSTC) by Executive Order 12881 to coordinate
science, space, and technology policies throughout the federal
government.  The President is the NSTC Chairman and membership
consists of the Vice-President and cabinet-level and other officials. 
Included among the principal purposes of the NSTC is to ensure that
science, space, and technology policies and programs are developed
and implemented to effectively contribute to national goals.  The
NSTC developed specific space policies within the last 2 years and is
currently reviewing other existing space policies for possible
revision. 

We believe the NSTC could provide the necessary impetus and direction
for integrating the nation's satellite control networks to reduce
costs.  Similar to other space policies, inter-sector guidelines are
needed to address interoperability, common requirements, network
standards, and the potential use of commercially available designs. 
The guidelines also need to address an inter-sector management
structure with participation by defense, intelligence, and civil
space agencies to ensure policy implementation, that includes
establishing schedules, coordinating network upgrades, and reporting
on the progress being made. 


--------------------
\2 The group consisted of representatives from DOD; NASA; and the
Departments of Commerce, Energy, and Transportation. 


   RECOMMENDATION
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

We recommend that NSTC develop an inter-sector space policy, to be
included with its revisions of other space policies, that would
direct integration, consolidation, and sharing, to the extent
feasible, of the nation's satellite control networks.  Moreover, NSTC
should require the Secretaries of Defense and Commerce and the
Administrator of NASA, with appropriate input from the Director of
Central Intelligence, to establish a coordinated management structure
to implement the policy by completing the necessary studies,
preparing an integrated architecture, and making cost-effective
decisions on the respective agencies' network upgrades. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR
   EVALUATION
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

The Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, DOD, NASA,
and the Department of Commerce provided official comments on a draft
of this report (see apps.  III, IV, and V, respectively). 

The Assistant to the President stated that the Office of Science and
Technology Policy and the National Security Council are leading a
comprehensive review of the administration's national space policy
and are looking at opportunities for convergence and consolidation of
facilities and operations where it is cost-effective and feasible. 
In this context, the Assistant to the President stated that national
satellite control facilities will be addressed and this report will
be a useful input to the process. 

DOD generally concurred with the draft report's findings and
recommendations.  However, it stated that the draft report did not
adequately reflect (1) DOD's efforts to reduce costs, consolidate
activities, or increase standardization; (2) the history of
cooperation among the agencies involved; or (3) the fact that there
are fundamental technical incompatibilities among current generation
satellites that preclude direct consolidation of satellite control
capabilities in the near future. 

We recognized some shortcomings of the draft report in these areas
and have incorporated additional comments provided by DOD, where
appropriate.  However, our focus was not oriented toward individual
agency efforts as much as it was toward inter-sector opportunities
for consolidations and cost savings.  In fact, if greater
interoperability and standardization among the space agencies had
been a goal in the past, there would not be the fundamental technical
incompatibilities among satellite control capabilities today. 
Although achieving governmentwide consolidations and significant cost
savings may be a long-range prospect, we believe it is an effort that
needs to start as soon as possible. 

NASA concurred with (1) the draft report's assessment of
interoperability and consolidation of satellite control capabilities,
(2) the report's recommendation that would enhance these desirable
goals, and (3) most of the report's factual content.  NASA commented
that under the ongoing DOD-NASA study of satellite control, the study
team has recognized that interoperability can be achieved in a
variety of ways.  One way is to implement capabilities to communicate
with various agencies' network resources, and another way is to
implement the same architectures at all agencies' network and control
facilities. 

This latter method, according to NASA, would result in (1) high
ground system cost to achieve commonality and (2) the need for two
issues to be addressed by an inter-sector space policy.  The first
issue was identified as "an apparent incompatibility between national
security and the goal of international cooperation." According to
NASA, it concerns the defense and intelligence space sectors'
reluctance to involve themselves in areas of civil and international
cooperation (such as the use of international standards for
interoperability), whereas the civil space sector seeks such
cooperation and establishes agreements with foreign space agencies
that often preclude DOD involvement.  The second issue deals with
"the use of the frequency spectrum that allows the spacecraft to
communicate with the network systems." According to NASA, government
space agencies operate in different parts of the radio frequency
spectrum, not necessarily because they wish to, but because national
and international regulatory bodies have partitioned the spectrum to
meet distinct agencies' needs. 

NASA stated that the ongoing study team is formulating
recommendations to mitigate these issues in the short term and
establish forums to deal with them in the long term.  It encouraged
the NSTC to build upon these forthcoming recommendations, if it seeks
to develop the inter-sector policy.  In addition, NASA expressed
concern about congressional authorization and appropriation committee
coordination and budget approval that will be required if the space
agencies establish closer relationships. 

The Department of Commerce provided official comments on a draft of
this report to the Assistant to the President for Science and
Technology. 

Commerce stated that the majority of the our (draft) report
historically recounted several efforts over the past years of looking
at alternative ways to "consolidate, converge, and standardize"
satellite TT&C.  It agreed with the fact that most of the previous
recommendations have not been acted upon, only studied repeatedly. 
It stated that most satellite TT&C systems have been designed with a
specific satellite in mind and with different mission requirements. 

Commerce stated that the two recommendations in the draft
report--that (1) an inter-sector space policy on the nation's
satellite control networks be developed and (2) the government's
space agency heads establish a coordinated management team to
implement the space policy--seemed to be a good idea from a cost and
efficiency standpoint as long as implementation is sensitive to
programmatic concerns. 


   SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

We reviewed three satellite control studies that represented DOD's
and other agencies' efforts to determine how to improve efficiencies
and achieve economies in satellite control operations.  We examined
the scope and terms of reference associated with these studies, the
extent of various agencies' participation in the studies, and whether
the agencies' satellite control assets were evaluated as part of each
study.  We ascertained the reasons for not implementing study
recommendations and reviewed the status of recommendations being
implemented.  In addition, we discussed the objectives and scope of
an ongoing satellite control study with DOD and NASA representatives. 
Finally, we reviewed guidelines contained in national space policies
and analyzed plans and budgets associated with operations,
maintenance, and upgrades of various agencies' satellite control
networks. 

We performed our work primarily at the U.S.  and Air Force Space
Commands, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Air Force Space and Missile
Systems Center, Los Angeles, California.  In addition, we held
discussions with representatives and obtained documentation from NASA
Headquarters, Washington, D.C.; NOAA's Satellite Operations Center,
Suitland, Maryland; Naval Space Command, Dalgren, Virginia; Naval
Satellite Operations Center, Point Mugu, California; Air Force Space
Command's 50th Space Wing, Falcon Air Force Base, Colorado; and Air
Force's Phillips Laboratory, Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We also
interviewed representatives of the Office of the Secretary of
Defense, Joint Staff, Naval Research Laboratory, NRO in Washington,
D.C., and of the Onizuka Air Station, Sunnyvale, California. 

Appendix I provides more information on efforts to combine government
satellite control capabilities.  Appendix II briefly describes agency
satellite control networks. 

We performed our work from February 1995 through December 1995 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.1

We are sending copies of this report to the responsible authorization
and appropriations committees and subcommittees of the Senate and
House of Representatives.  We are also sending copies to the
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; the Director,
Office of Management and Budget; the Secretaries of Defense, the Air
Force, the Navy, and the Army; the Acting Secretary of Commerce; the
Administrators of NASA and NOAA; and the Directors of Central
Intelligence and the NRO.  We will make copies available to others
upon request. 

This report was prepared under the direction of Thomas J.  Schulz,
Associate Director, Defense Acquisition Issues, who may be reached on
(202) 512-4841 if you or your staff have any questions.  Major
contributors are listed in appendix VI. 

Sincerely yours,

Henry L.  Hinton, Jr.
Assistant Comptroller General


EFFORTS TO COMBINE GOVERNMENT
SATELLITE CONTROL CAPABILITIES
NEED GREATER ATTENTION
=========================================================== Appendix I

Three separate studies completed within the past 2 years by various
working groups have discussed opportunities to combine or share
intra- and interagency satellite control capabilities.  Although
these study efforts focused on increasing efficiency and
effectiveness and achieving economies, they were either limited in
scope, lacking in detailed analysis, or subsumed by another study. 
Now, a fourth study, addressing the same topic, is underway to
examine the potential for cooperation and savings. 

Implementation of the past studies' recommendations have been
hampered by the lack of a national policy that could provide the
necessary impetus and direction for more efficient use of satellite
control capabilities from a governmentwide perspective.  In addition,
a management structure similar to those identified in other space
policies does not exist to implement such a policy.  As a result,
efforts to combine or share satellite control capabilities, achieve
greater interoperability among satellite control systems, and reduce
costs need greater attention. 


   THREE STUDIES DISCUSS
   CONSOLIDATION OPPORTUNITIES
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1

In January 1994, the U.S.  Space Command issued a report on space
systems roles and missions as directed by the Secretary of Defense
and the Director of the Joint Staff.  Among the report's
recommendations was one calling for Air Force and Navy satellite bus
operations to be merged into a common satellite control network.\1
The recommendation was based on plans that (1) several satellites
under Navy control would be phased out in the near term and (2) an
upgraded Air Force network could control all Department of Defense
(DOD) satellites.  The belief was that such a merger would have the
potential of improving efficiency and effectiveness, while ensuring
maximum support for the combatant commanders.  The recommendation
called for the merger to be done as soon as possible, but not later
than 1999. 

Although the scope of the study was limited to the defense space
sector, the study group did not determine the full technical
capabilities of the Air Force and the Navy networks to control all
satellites.  As a result, the report stated that another study on
merging the networks would be done to determine the most efficient
and cost-effective solution.  This follow-on study, called the Future
Integrated TT&C Architecture Study (FITAS), was initiated by the
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff in January 1994--the same month that
the U.S.  Space Command's report was released. 

In April 1994, an interagency study group consisting of
representatives from DOD, National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA), Department of Commerce, Department of Energy,
and Department of Transportation completed the National Facilities
Study--a review of the nation's aeronautics and space facilities. 
The purpose was to develop a national plan to meet government and
commercial needs for aeronautics and space research and development
and space operations.  The report, issued to top officials of the
participating agencies, made numerous recommendations--one of which
was oriented toward a unified approach to government satellite
control networks to optimize existing capabilities, consolidate
operations, increase efficiency, and save money.  However, the study
lacked a detailed analysis of the subject, and its final
recommendation merely called for a multiagency task force to perform
additional study on feasibility and implementation planning. 

Our review indicated that no action was taken on this National
Facilities Study recommendation.  Although DOD was to have taken the
lead, DOD representatives informed us that plans to take action on
the recommendation were overtaken by FITAS, which had already been
initiated in January 1994 by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

In April 1995, the U.S.  Space Command completed FITAS, which
involved participants from DOD, NASA, the National Reconnaissance
Office (NRO), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA).  FITAS concluded that (1) the government could gain
efficiencies through sharing satellite control resources and (2)
there was a clear need for a common satellite control architecture.\2
FITAS also concluded that there was no central, interagency authority
to coordinate common planning and resource sharing or to effectively
orchestrate interagency guidelines and standards with the goal of
achieving cost savings through an integrated system architecture. 

One of FITAS' recommendations involved establishing an enduring
interagency group to guide development of an efficient common user
network by addressing various architectural objectives that would
lead to cost savings.  However, our review indicated that little
action had been taken on this recommendation, partly because the
study efforts were overtaken by another satellite control study under
a DOD-NASA cooperation initiative, which is discussed in the next
section of this report.  Another FITAS recommendation, which involved
merging the Air Force and the Navy networks, is beginning to be
implemented.  Hardware and software changes are expected to provide
greater interoperability between the Navy and the Air Force networks
in the near future. 


--------------------
\1 Bus operations refers to the tracking, telemetry, and commanding
(TT&C) associated with the satellite platform--the physical structure
upon which mission, or payload, equipment is installed. 

\2 It also stated that some satellites would not be appropriate for a
common use network, particularly those requiring continuous contact
at high data rates, which was defined as greater than 45 million bits
per second, but likely to be redefined as greater than 155 million
bits per second in the next decade. 


   A FOURTH STUDY IS UNDERWAY
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2

In June 1995, top officials from DOD and NASA initiated a cooperative
effort to study seven different aeronautics and space topics of
mutual interest with a view toward reducing investment and operations
costs while enhancing mission effectiveness and efficiencies. 

Satellite TT&C was one of the seven study topics.  Specific subtopics
to be addressed by an integrated product team were identified that
could possibly increase efficiencies and allow for consolidations and
closures.  They included (1) NASA's use of DOD's satellite control
network remote tracking stations, (2) DOD's use of NASA's satellite
ground stations and the feasibility of DOD assuming operation of
these stations, (3) DOD's increased use of NASA's Tracking and Data
Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) and the feasibility of DOD assuming
operation of TDRSS and other NASA satellites, and (4) the
establishment of TT&C standards.  Despite the merits of this effort,
NASA officials alluded to the study's limited scope by emphasizing
that the study excludes (1) the control of satellite mission data,
which is often transmitted separately and through various receiving
sites and (2) the intelligence space. 

The study team plans to provide recommendations to the Aeronautics
and Astronautics Coordinating Board (AACB) in April 1996.  The AACB
is a senior management review and advisory body to DOD and NASA to
facilitate coordination of aeronautics and space activities of mutual
interest to the two agencies.  It was established by the agencies
several years ago, and the memorandum of agreement was renewed in
1993 by the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of
NASA.  Although not an official member of the AACB, NOAA is
participating in the satellite TT&C study at the invitation of the
DOD and NASA co-chairmen. 

A significant element of this study, which was not emphasized in the
three previous studies, is the potential for increased use of NASA's
TDRSS.  TDRSS is a space-based communications relay system currently
consisting of two operational satellites and one spare satellite in
the constellation, which is in geostationary orbit approximately
22,300 miles above the equator.  NASA launched the first TDRSS in
1983 as a cost- effective alternative to the network of ground
stations that the agency previously used to communicate with its
orbiting spacecraft.  TDRSS is particularly suited for almost
continuous communications, if needed, with low-altitude satellites,
such as a few hundred miles above the Earth.  It does so by relaying
transmissions to and from these satellites and their ground stations. 
If only ground stations were used for these satellites, but
continuous communications were needed, numerous stations would have
to be available around the Earth to ensure that the orbiting
satellites were always in view of a station. 

The current justification for TDRSS is being driven primarily by the
Space Shuttle, Hubble Space Telescope, Space Station, and Earth
Observing System programs and by classified users, thus the use of a
TDRSS-like capability could exist for some time.  NASA has been
searching for ways to enhance TDRSS' use within the defense and civil
space sectors.  NASA has stated that substantial TDRSS capacity
remains to meet TT&C and mission data needs for future DOD and NOAA
programs.  Currently, however, there are radio frequency
incompatibilities that limit the use of TDRSS with other agency
satellites. 

Despite these incompatibilities, an example of increased use did
occur in October 1995 when NASA and the Air Force signed a 9-year
agreement for TDRSS support during launches of Titan IV/Centaur
expendable launch vehicles.  This effort is intended to reduce, and
in most cases replace, the support provided by the Air Force's
Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft.  The Air Force is claiming
some cost savings under this agreement.  In addition, the Office of
Management and Budget has been studying ways of making improvements
and reducing the cost of TDRSS.  It asked NASA to respond to several
recommendations concerning TDRSS before or concurrent with the
agency's fiscal year 1997 budget proposal that involve (1) charging
user fees, (2) the impact of off-loading some or all of NASA's future
communication needs to commercial and foreign systems, and (3) any
"privatization" opportunities. 

An opportunity for cost savings may also exist by analyzing the
cost-effectiveness of using TDRSS with DOD's and NOAA's low-altitude
meteorological and environmental satellite systems.  In a May 5,
1994, Presidential Decision Directive, DOD and Commerce were required
to integrate their independent systems into a single, converged
national polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system. 
NOAA was assigned the primary responsibility for all command,
control, and communications functions, with DOD having an austere,
backup capability.  Included in the concept are plans to close Air
Force satellite operations centers at Fairchild Air Force Base,
Washington, and Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.  Although this
convergence effort was initiated independent of the various satellite
control studies, the two subjects are interrelated and need to be
assessed together.  In commenting on a draft of this report, Commerce
stated that the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information
Service's integrated program office has investigated the alternative
of using TDRSS and that the initial results showed it may be a viable
consideration.  It also stated that additional studies were needed
and the integrated program office was proceeding with further
analysis of this and other options. 

In addition, an opportunity for cost savings may exist by using TDRSS
to support the Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS)
navigational satellites.  We have discussed this idea with NASA and
Air Force representatives, but there has not been sufficient
technical analysis done on its feasibility.  In fiscal year 1996, the
Air Force plans to begin developing a follow-on capability (called
Block IIF) to its current design of GPS satellites.  In doing so, it
could make changes to the satellite design that would be
interoperable with TDRSS, eliminating some GPS ground antennas. 
However, an assessment of the trade-offs and cost-effectiveness would
be needed. 


   A NATIONAL POLICY AND
   MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE ARE
   LACKING
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:3

The government currently has several national space policies
directing inter-sector (defense, intelligence, civil, and commercial)
cooperative efforts to ensure efficient use of the nation's resources
in selected space areas.  However, none of these policies
specifically address acquisition, operation, integration,
consolidation, or sharing of government satellite control
capabilities.  In addition, there is no existing management structure
similar to those identified in other space policies or the one
recommended by FITAS, to implement an inter-sector policy on
satellite control.  The following are four examples of policies that
direct specific inter-sector efforts: 

  -- President Bush's National Space Policy, issued as Directive 1 on
     November 2, 1989, specifically called for maintaining close
     coordination, cooperation, and technology and information
     exchange among the national security, civil, and commercial
     space sectors to avoid unnecessary duplication and promote
     attainment of U.S.  space goals.  Specific inter-sector
     guidelines were established in some high-priority areas such as
     space transportation.  Parts of this policy are still in effect. 

  -- President Clinton's Landsat Remote Sensing Strategy, issued on
     May 5, 1994, discusses the importance of data acquired from
     remote sensing satellites and the benefits to civil, commercial,
     and national security interests of the United States. 
     Implementing guidelines that restructured management of the
     Landsat program required substantial cooperation among NASA,
     DOD, and the Departments of Commerce and the Interior, including
     satellite development, launch, operations, and funding. 

  -- President Clinton's policy on Convergence of U.S. 
     Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite Systems,
     issued on May 5, 1994, was intended to reduce the cost of
     acquiring and operating two separate systems, while continuing
     to satisfy U.S.  operational requirements.  Implementing actions
     called for considerable interagency coordination among DOD,
     Commerce, and NASA, including the establishment of an integrated
     program office and an executive committee at the Under Secretary
     level.  These management organizations were subsequently
     established. 

  -- President Clinton's National Space Transportation Policy, issued
     on August 5, 1994, contained specific guidelines for DOD, NASA,
     Commerce, and Transportation to (1) share responsibilities for
     evolving the expendable launch vehicle fleet, (2) develop a next
     generation reusable vehicle, and (3) promote innovative types of
     arrangements between the government and private sector.  This
     policy called for the four agencies to provide a common set of
     requirements and a coordinated technology plan to address the
     needs of the national security, civil, and commercial space
     sectors.  In addition, DOD and NASA were directed to combine
     their expendable launch service requirements into single
     procurements when cost savings or other advantages to the
     government could be achieved. 

These four current space policies are examples of the kinds of
impetus and direction that can be provided to ensure more efficient
use of national space resources.  Considering (1) the lack of
interoperability and standardization, (2) the actions of individual
agencies to upgrade their own networks without regard for the
capabilities of other agencies, and (3) opportunities for cost
savings and greater efficiencies and effectiveness through
consolidation, it appears prudent to view satellite control from a
governmentwide perspective, focusing on ways in which it could be
jointly managed. 

Regarding a space management structure, DOD began, in December 1994,
establishing a central office to consolidate its responsibilities for
space policy, architectures, and acquisitions.  This office led by a
Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Space and reporting to the
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology is intended
to provide a DOD focal point for all space matters, including
representing DOD in all interagency space deliberations.  Its
responsibilities and functions were further delineated in March 1995. 
In September 1995, DOD established a separate Space Architect
organization for the purpose of consolidating the responsibilities
for DOD space missions and system architecture development.  The
Architect reports through the Air Force Acquisition Executive to the
Defense Acquisition Executive.  The intent was to eliminate
unnecessary vertical stovepiping of programs, achieve efficiencies in
acquisitions and future operations through program integration, and
thereby improve space support to military operations.  In December
1995, the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central
Intelligence established a board of directors for defense and
intelligence space programs, called the Joint Space Management Board. 
The purpose of this Board is to ensure that defense and intelligence
needs for space systems are satisfied within available resources,
using integrated architectures to the maximum extent possible. 

Collectively, these three organizational actions established a
framework for greater coordination within DOD and between the defense
and intelligence space sectors.  The importance of these actions is
reflected in the fact that the President's fiscal year 1996 budget
request included plans for DOD to spend about $84 billion through
2001 on defense and intelligence space programs and activities.  This
represents over 5 percent of the planned DOD budgets for that period. 

Regarding coordination with the civil space sector, the only major
management structure we identified was the previously discussed AACB. 
It is a separate DOD-NASA organization and does not officially
include NOAA.  Although it does include the Director of NRO as a
Board member, it does not provide for full intelligence community
representation similar to the Joint Space Management Board.  Panels
and working groups can be established under the AACB to address
functional areas and specific issues, such as satellite TT&C, that
are of mutual interest to DOD and NASA.  If AACB was expanded to
officially include NOAA and full participation by the intelligence
sector, or an interagency group was established similar to the one
recommended by FITAS, the prospects for implementing a national
policy on satellite control would be better assured. 


SATELLITE CONTROL NETWORK
DESCRIPTIONS AND PLANS
========================================================== Appendix II

All satellites must be controlled to ensure that they perform as
required.  Satellite control is usually divided into two
parts--platform (or bus) control and payload (or mission) control. 
Platform control involves monitoring the health and status, and
managing the operation, of the satellite's physical structure upon
which payload equipment is installed.  Payload control involves
monitoring the health and status, and managing the operation, of the
satellite's mission equipment.  Ground antennas communicate with
satellite antennas to perform the TT&C function.  Tracking involves
recording such information as satellite location, trajectory, and
velocity.  Telemetry involves collecting satellite health and status
data, such as temperature, electrical power, and propulsion fuel, as
well as the payload data.  Commanding involves directing satellites
to perform various tasks such as electronic equipment switching,
battery charging, and certain payload functions. 

The U.S.  government operates several separate satellite control
networks within the defense, intelligence, and civil space sectors. 
These networks lack standardization, commonality, and
interoperability.  This means the lack of compatible operational and
technical procedures, the lack of interchangeable equipment or
components, and the inability of systems to provide services to and
accept services from other systems to enable them to operate
effectively together. 

Six government agency networks are briefly described below, including
plans for network upgrades.  Defense and civil (excluding
intelligence) agencies budgeted about $806 million in fiscal year
1996 to operate, maintain, and upgrade these networks, which control
over 132 separate communications, missile warning, navigation,
meteorological, environmental, scientific, and classified satellites
or missions.  Based on the President's fiscal year 1996 budget
request, these agencies plan to spend over $1.3 billion during the
next 5 years on upgrading their satellite control systems.  (See
table II.1.) Intelligence sector networks are not discussed because
of national security classification reasons. 



                               Table II.1
                
                  Satellites or Missions Controlled by
                     Agency and Associated Funding

                         (Dollars in millions)

                                                          Fiscal years
                           Satellites or                     1996-2000
                                missions    Fiscal year        planned
Agency                        controlled    1996 budget       upgrades
-------------------------  -------------  -------------  -------------
Air Force                           80\a         $505.7         $569.3
Navy                                  15           16.2            1.4
Naval Research Laboratory             28           12.1            2.3
Army                                  11           23.2    Unavailable
NASA                                 9\b          206.7          639.1
NOAA                                   8           42.0           95.3
======================================================================
Total                              132\c         $805.9       $1,307.4
----------------------------------------------------------------------
\a The actual number is larger than 80, but is not shown because of
national security classification reasons. 

\b This number refers to NASA missions and does not represent the
number of satellites or spacecraft in orbit. 

\c The total does not add because the Air Force and the Navy have
split responsibilities for 8 satellites, and the Air Force and the
Army have split responsibilities for 11 satellites. 


   AIR FORCE SATELLITE CONTROL
   NETWORK
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:1

The Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) controls over 80
communication, navigation, missile warning, and meteorological
satellites and other missions for DOD, NASA, and the United Kingdom. 
It consists of (1) two operational control nodes located at Falcon
Air Force Base, Colorado, and Onizuka Air Force Station,
California;\1 (2) 17 TT&C antennas at 9 geographical locations
worldwide;\2 (3) a communications calibration site at Camp Parks,
California; (4) space vehicle checkout facilities at Cape Canaveral
Air Station, Florida, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; and
(5) communications connectivity among these locations. 

The Air Force divides satellite control networks into two
classes--common and dedicated.  Its common network can support
several satellite systems, allowing its antennas and software to be
shared among many satellites and therefore reducing costs.  Such a
network is generally associated with satellites that are only
contacted intermittently using relatively low data rates.  The
primary function of a common network is platform control.  However,
it can also provide other supporting functions such as launch and
early orbit tracking of satellites until normal operations are
achieved and telemetry and commanding of satellites that are
experiencing anomalies.  Examples of DOD satellite systems that are
controlled by the Air Force common network include the Defense
Satellite Communications System and the Fleet Satellite
Communications system and its Ultra-High Frequency Follow-On system. 

A dedicated network supports only one satellite system, and its
assets are generally not shared with other satellite systems.  Such a
network is usually associated with satellites that require continuous
contact using relatively high data rates.  A dedicated network
usually performs both platform and payload control through the same
antenna.  Examples of DOD satellite systems currently controlled by a
dedicated network include the Defense Meteorological Satellite
Program, Global Positioning System, Defense Support Program, and
Milstar Satellite Communications System.  Despite the dedicated
configuration of these satellite systems, only the Defense Support
Program and Milstar require continuous contact with their ground
antennas.  Thus, these antennas cannot be shared with other satellite
systems.  Conversely, the meteorological and global positioning
satellite systems are in contact with their ground antennas on an
intermittent basis.  Thus, these systems may be more readily
adaptable for future operation on a common network. 


--------------------
\1 The Onizuka location is to be closed by the end of fiscal year
2000 based on a 1995 Commission on Base Realignment and Closure
recommendation that was approved by the President. 

\2 DOD stated that an Indian Ocean station would be closed at the end
of fiscal year 1996, reducing the antennas and locations to 16 and 8,
respectively. 


      PLANNED NETWORK UPGRADES
------------------------------------------------------ Appendix II:1.1

The Air Force fiscal year 1996 budget for operating, maintaining, and
upgrading the AFSCN is about $506 million.  Currently, AFSCN lacks
adequate standards for hardware, software, procedures, and
interfaces, making it only partially interoperable with other defense
or civil agency satellite control systems.  This reduces the ability
of AFSCN to provide backup support for some other space missions. 
Based on the President's fiscal year 1996 budget request, the Air
Force programmed about $569 million for AFSCN upgrades alone during
the next 5 years.  It expects to (1) move from the current
mainframe-based, centralized computer architecture to a
workstation-based, open architecture using advanced high speed data
links and (2) enhance the communications system by applying DOD-wide
standard protocols that are to be implemented with standard
commercial hardware and software.  The stated objective of the
upgrade efforts is to reduce future operations and maintenance costs. 


   NAVAL SATELLITE CONTROL NETWORK
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:2

The Naval Satellite Control Network (NSCN), which is much smaller
than AFSCN, currently supports the operation of 15 communication and
navigation satellites and some communication packages that are hosted
on other satellites.  NSCN consists of one primary control node and
antennas at Point Mugu, California, and secondary nodes and antennas
in Maine, Minnesota, and Guam. 


      PLANNED NETWORK UPGRADES
------------------------------------------------------ Appendix II:2.1

The Navy's fiscal year 1996 budget for operating, maintaining, and
upgrading the NSCN is about $16 million.  Although NSCN has not been
interoperable with other defense or civil agency satellite control
systems, modifications are being made so that the Navy can use AFSCN
antennas to begin fully controlling two satellite systems--the Fleet
Satellite Communications System and its Ultra-High Frequency
Follow-On system--both of which are partially controlled by the Air
Force.  For fiscal years 1996 through 2000, the Navy programmed about
$1.4 million to convert NSCN to standard hardware using open system
software. 


   NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY
   SATELLITE CONTROL NETWORK
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:3

The Naval Research Laboratory operates a satellite control network in
support of 28 classified and scientific satellite missions.  The
network consists of one primary control node located at Blossom Point
Tracking Facility, Maryland; a remote facility at Vandenberg Air
Force Base, California; and transportable antennas. 


      PLANNED NETWORK UPGRADES
------------------------------------------------------ Appendix II:3.1

The Naval Research Laboratory's fiscal year 1996 budget to operate,
maintain, and upgrade its network is about $12 million.  Of this
amount, about $2.3 million is for upgrading an antenna.  The Naval
Research Laboratory considers all facility upgrades to be completed
and is not currently planning on new hardware or software systems
during the next
5 years. 


   ARMY SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS
   NETWORK
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:4

The Army and the Air Force have split responsibilities for
controlling the 11 orbiting Defense Satellite Communications System
satellites.  The Army controls the satellites' payload equipment and
communications network, and the Air Force controls the satellites'
platforms.  The Army's function basically means that operators
control the radio transponders on the satellites, to include
reallocating power among available communication channels,
configuring communication antenna beams, and changing the
characteristics of various antijam features. 

The Army operates five Defense Satellite Communications System
operation centers located at Camp Roberts, California; Fort Detrick,
Maryland; Fort Meade, Maryland; Landstuhl, Germany; and Fort Buckner
on Okinawa.  In addition, the Army operates three transportable
tactical (ground mobile forces) communications network control
systems located at Fort Detrick, Maryland; Landstuhl, Germany; and
Torii Station on Okinawa.  The Army also operates a mobile classified
facility that is capable of providing platform, payload, and network
control if some of the other facilities became inoperable.  In fiscal
year 1996, the Army budgeted about $23 million for network
operations. 


   NASA SPACE NETWORK
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:5

NASA's Space Network is a space-based tracking, commanding, and data
acquisition capability that currently controls nine NASA space
missions, including the Space Shuttle and Hubble Space Telescope, and
certain classified missions.  The Network consists of TDRSS and its
ground processing complex located at White Sands, New Mexico.  TDRSS
satellites currently in orbit include two fully functional, two
partially functional, and two spare satellites that provide two-way
data communications relay between user spacecraft and the ground
processing complex. 


      PLANNED NETWORK UPGRADES
------------------------------------------------------ Appendix II:5.1

NASA's fiscal year 1996 budget included about $207 million to
operate, maintain, and upgrade its space network.  The radio
frequency used by TDRSS to communicate with satellites and ground
stations is not interoperable with DOD radio frequencies, precluding
TDRSS' ability to support DOD space operations.  For fiscal years
1996 through 2000, NASA programmed about $639 million for its space
network, including the recent procurement of three new TDRSS
spacecraft to replenish existing satellites beginning in 1999. 
Design modifications are planned to make the new spacecraft more
capable.  NASA has installed a second TDRSS ground terminal, and now
has plans to refurbish its original ground terminal at White Sands. 
These terminal upgrades are expected to reduce operating costs.  The
reliability, quality, and volume of TDRSS service available to users
are expected to increase as a result of these upgrades. 


   NOAA SATELLITE CONTROL NETWORK
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:6

NOAA's satellite control network supports four operational
environmental satellites--two in low-Earth polar and two in
high-Earth equatorial orbits.  In addition, the network supports four
standby satellites--two in each of the orbital regimes--that were
once fully operational, but are now degraded.  The network consists
of a satellite control operations facility at Suitland, Maryland, and
two ground stations located at Wallops Island, Virginia, and
Fairbanks, Alaska.  In addition, a ground station located in Lannion,
France, and operated by a French space agency, supports certain
telemetry and command requirements. 


      PLANNED NETWORK UPGRADES
------------------------------------------------------ Appendix II:6.1

NOAA's fiscal year 1996 budget for operating, maintaining, and
upgrading its satellite control network is about $42 million.  For
fiscal years 1996 through 2000, NOAA programmed about $95 million
just for network upgrades.  Although a portion of these upgrades are
to be coordinated with the Air Force as part of converging civilian
and military polar-orbiting environmental and meteorological
satellites, NOAA's network is currently not interoperable with other
defense and civil networks. 




(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix III
COMMENTS FROM THE ASSISTANT TO THE
PRESIDENT FOR SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY
========================================================== Appendix II




(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix IV
COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF
DEFENSE
========================================================== Appendix II



(See figure in printed edition.)




(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix V
COMMENTS FROM THE NATIONAL
AERONAUTICS AND SPACE
ADMINISTRATION
========================================================== Appendix II



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================== Appendix VI

NATIONAL SECURITY AND
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Homer H.  Thomson

ACCOUNTING AND INFORMATION
MANAGEMENT DIVISION, WASHINGTON,
D.C. 

Keith A.  Rhodes

DENVER FIELD OFFICE

Arthur Gallegos
Maricela Camarena
Frederick G.  Day

*** End of document. ***