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Air Reconnaissance | Blimps & LTA Craft | C4ISR | New Systems Tech | R&D - Contracted | Signals Radio & Wireless | USA

Combat SkySat: Cheap Near-Space Communications Relay at JEFX 06

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Standard weather balloon(click to view full) The Pentagon has shown interest in blimps for “near space” use in a variety of roles, from radar surveillance to communications relays. In our in-depth look at the US military’s future $14-18 billion Transformational Satellite (TSAT) system, DID also had this to say: “In terms of long term trends, it’s also worthy of note that a combination of narrowband satellites and MARTS-type communications aerostats for theater communications, wideband AEHF satellites for mission-critical high-bandwidth transfers like UAV video, encrypted communications via commercial satellite carriers, and laid fiber-optic cables for strategic communications are already appearing on the scene… Throw in the possibility of finding new ways to leverage existing systems, and this constellation definitely represents a potential “incremental competition” threat to TSAT.” Add one more piece to this array of incremental options, courtesy of a system currently under examination at the 2006 Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment (JEFX 06)… Combat Skysat is “a bent pipe [radio] repeater the size of a coffeemaker” launched into near-space between 65,000 and 95,000 feet. It’s attached to what can be compared to a weather balloon, and its line of sight gives it a coverage “footprint” of about 600 miles that extends […]

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