Aggressive Surveillance as a Key Application Area for Responsive Space


The fundamental goal of Aggressive Surveillance is to transform space surveillance from a long-term, strategic role to an immediate, responsive, tactical role by putting the desired on-orbit instrument where you want it, when you want it—anywhere, anytime, with 8 hours notice, at low cost (i.e., less than $20 million per mission including the payload, spacecraft bus, launch, and 1 year of operations). We want to actively pursue the enemy by acting or reacting quickly, at low cost, and in ways that cannot be predicted. Initial systems can be developed and deployed within 2 years. After the process is initiated, the potential exists to truly change the way business is done in space— in defense, science, education, and commerce. In addition, the process and system are inherently scalable, such that savings in both cost and schedule can be rapidly extended to larger systems at a small fraction of the non-recurring cost and time normally associated with traditional, large space systems.

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Wertz, J., R. Van Allen and C.J. Shelner. 4th AIAA Responsive Space Conference, Los Angeles, CA. April 24–27, 2006.