Eyes of the Nation Does the United States Need Space Radar?
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Eyes of the Nation Does the United States Need Space Radar?

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Douglas K. Sersun
246x189x3 mm

In response to emerging national security threats, DoD and Intelligence Community (IC) leaders examined Space Radar's ability to meet 21st century intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) requirements. They assessed the leading candidate architectures' potential performance, including a constellation of 8-14 electronically scanned array radar satellites in low earth orbit. This analysis is important for several reasons. First, it draws conclusions about potential capabilities and its utility in achieving or enhancing Joint military and National Security Intelligence mission area tasks. Understanding Space Radar's utility is important to determine if it has the potential to eliminate or reduce gaps in the C4I and ISR networks' ability to provide timely, accurate, fused, and actionable intelligence. Second, operational scenarios in the post-9/11 world increasingly require global, persistent, day and night, all-weather surveillance. Finally, bureaucratic maneuver among the military and IC regarding roles and missions keep the program from gaining enough momentum to obtain full Congressional support. In the process, Space Radar's operational value becomes increasingly misunderstood. A horizontally integrated space radar system could provide global, persistent, day/night, all-weather surveillance to fill the seams necessary to meet compressed engagement times with accurate, fused, and actionable intelligence. The unique military utility of an affordable and achievable Space Radar architecture stems from its global access, inherent flexibility, and quick responsiveness. By illuminating these key system features, this sophisticated technology can be reduced to an understandable terminology for the ongoing ISR force-mix debate.

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