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
Tune your radio: galaxies sing while forming stars
21.02.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms
17.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News