DIY Anti-Satellite System
Satellite tracking software freely available on the Internet and a smattering of textbook physics could be used by any organisation that can get hold of an intermediate range rocket to mount an unsophisticated attack on military or civilian satellites. Such an attack would require modest engineering capability and only a limited budget. That is according to researchers writing in Inderscience Publishers' International Journal of Critical Infrastructures.
A terrorist organisation or rogue state could threaten essential satellite systems, say Adrian Gheorghe of Old Dominion University Norfolk, in Virginia, USA and Dan Vamanu of "Horia Hulubei" National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering, in Bucharest, Romania. Military satellites, global positioning systems, weather satellites and even satellite TV systems could all become victims of such a simple attack.
Gheorghe and Vamanu have carried out an analysis of just how easy it could be to knock out strategic satellites, their findings suggest that dozens of systems on which military and civilian activities depend make near-space a vulnerable environment. The team used a so-called "mathematical game" and textbook physics equations for ballistics to help them build a computer model to demonstrate that anti-satellite weaponry is a real possibility.
Accuracy and elegance are not issues in carrying out a satellite attack, the researchers say, as long as the projectile hits the satellite. In fact, all it would take to succeed with an amateurish, yet effective anti-satellite attack would be the control of an intermediate range missile, which is well within the reach of many nations and organisations with sufficient funds, and a college-level team dedicated to the cause. "Any country in possession of intermediate range rockets may mount a grotesquely unsophisticated attack on another's satellites given the political short-sightedness that would be blind to a potentially devastating retaliation," the researchers say.
On January 11, 2007, China deliberately destroyed one of its own weather satellites in a test, which some analysts suggested as having the potential to revive a techno-political race believed to be defunct since the 1980s. According to Gheorghe and Vamanu that was the cool analytical view, but some hot diplomats are quoted as saying this demonstration is inconsistent with international efforts to avert an arms race in space and so undermining security.
"While it may be true that, when it comes to nuts and bolts, things may not be quite as simple as they sound here, the bare fact remains - it can be done." Their conclusions suggest that the risk of deliberate satellite sabotage should be placed higher on the security agenda.
Jim Corlett | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
New technique promises tunable laser devices
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...