Space Based Laser

















23 January 1998









1. 0 Scope

1.1 Background

Over the past two decades, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Air Force, the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO), and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) have developed the technologies essential for a Space Based Laser (SBL) system. The Alpha LAMP Integration (ALI) program has recently performed integrated high power ground testing of hardware elements representative of this type of a system. The next logical step is an integrated space demonstration to gather data for future acquisition decisions.

The SBLRD effort is focused on validating the capability to destroy a thrusting ballistic missile (BM) or BM-like target from space using a treaty compliant SBL demonstrator. This end-to-end proof-of-principles experiment demonstrates all aspects of an integrated SBL including acquisition, track, and aimpoint selection against thrusting targets, and engagement against test articles. At the end of the primary mission, the space vehicle will be used for follow-on non-high energy laser experiments. Eventually, the space vehicle will be safely deorbited. In addition to providing these critical demonstrations, the project will provide an integrated technology legacy for an operational SBL system, as well as crucial data and experience to decision-makers to guide development of any future operational system

1.2 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to (1) provide functional and performance requirements for the SBLRD, (2) establish a common understanding of the SBLRD among the stakeholders, (3) identify the technical trade space for the SBLRD, and (4) define the SBLRD technical success criteria.

This draft Program Management Office’s (PMO) SBLRD TRD is meant to be a guide to the contractor to develop their TRD. The contractor will conduct trades to determine the best mix of system performance, cost, schedule, and risk; including trades in the areas of space vehicle mass, launch vehicle selection, laser power and brightness, target selection, mirror size, the need for refueling, lase time, beam quality, acquisition, tracking, pointing, ground test and any other areas the contractor believes to be pertinent.

  1. Objectives

The Government’s objectives are to: (1) Execute an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty compliant SBL ballistic missile defense demonstration; (2) Collect data to support future acquisition decisions; (3) Continue research efforts to advance and assess the technologies required of an SBL; (4) Assess the utility of the SBL concept and technologies for non-BMD missions.

2. 0 Applicable Documents

a. SBLRD Security Classification Guide (To be developed)

b. Use Space-Based Chemical Laser (SBCL) Security Classification Guide, 21 Nov 91 until previous document is generated.

c. Applicable range safety documents from any launch and test ranges

3. 0 SBLRD Requirements

3.1 System Requirements

  1. The SBLRD shall:

b. The SBLRD shall collect data to characterize space vehicle performance during ground and on-orbit testing to account for variations between predicted and measured performance.

  1. The SBLRD demonstration shall be conducted in compliance with applicable treaties.

d. Positive control of the space segment will be maintained throughout it life on orbit. This will include:

e. The SBLRD launch and launch vehicle shall comply with existing U.S. policy for DoD satellites.

f. Any new integrated ground test facility must be on government property or contractor facilities

  1. Space Vehicle:

a. The space vehicle shall maintain capability of a ground commanded, controlled deorbit into a safe ocean area at the end of mission.

b. Space vehicle time on orbit is to be sufficient to meet the previous requirements and will consider future follow-on experiments

c. The space vehilce shall have the following Technical Performance Parameters and Space Vehicle Performance :


3.3 Security

Contractor shall comply with applicable Security Classification Guides.

3.4 Logistics and "ilities":

The following requirement areas are TBS: design and construction; human engineering (for crew, tester, and maintainer requirements); facilities; supply support (to spares for this demonstration program); support equipment; packaging, handling, storage, and transportation (PHS&T) (potential for storage time on the launch pad due to undetermined launch delays shall be factored into the design); personnel, training, interface requirements, safety, environmental, health, reliability, maintainability (if applicable); personnel, diagnostics, and GFE/GFD.

3.5 Safety/Environmental (TBS)

  1. Verification

The Government’s objective is to conduct a program leading to low risk on-orbit demonstrations on schedule. This objective will be achieved through a combination of element, segment and integrated system tests and simulations.

5.0 Glossary (TBD)

SBLRD - The Space-Based Laser Readiness Demonstrator will include the space vehicle, ground segment, launch segment, ground space vehicle test facility, target objects, and the mission operations required to perform a space based laser demonstration against a thrusting ballistic missile.