Space-Based Radar (SBR)
The proposed Space-Based Radar (SBR) system would move the functions of the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), Joint STARS (Surveillance, Targeting, and Attack Radar System), and Rivet Joint aircraft into space. The purpose of moving these systems to space would be to increase coverage area (potential for nearly continuous worldwide coverage) and to reduce the deployment time and the logistical costs related to current airborne systems. This approach represents a shift in space-based radar applications. The previous emphasis on global surveillance has changed to focus on theater support including airborne target detection and tracking.
The nominal airborne warning requirements for the SBR includes:
- Continuous surveillance of F-16 and larger sized aircraft in six 350 nm circles.
- Surveillance of cruise missile sized targets in a proportionally smaller area.
- Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) of cooperating aircraft
- ID of hostiles where special means allow
- An ESM picture of emitters in the surveillance area to controllers
- Communications to allow control of the air battle within the surveillance area
- Communications to supply battlespace visibility to shooters and command centers
The nominal Joint STARS requirements for the SBR includes:
- Continuous Moving Target Indication (MTI) surveillance of slow moving targets in two Army corps frontage areas. Continuous coverage is defined as around the clock with one-minute revisit rates, over an area of roughly 30,000 km2.
- Simultaneous combinations of sector search, attack planning, attack support, and low-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images within the same area.
- Sensor tasking from and data to service ground stations, with datalinks and voice communications to weapon system operators.
- Communications to supply a battlefield view to interested command centers.
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