One of many extra notable area stories of the previous few weeks is that of two Russian satellites allegedly ‘stalking’ a KH-11 reconnaissance satellite tv for pc operated by the US Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace (NRO). Given heightened geopolitical tensions between nice powers and the rising incidence of Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO) in Earth orbit, SpaceWatch.World will publish knowledgeable views on this unfolding story over the approaching days and weeks.
Our second perspective comes from Dr. Malcolm Davis, one in every of Australia’s main specialists on nationwide safety area.
1) How would you characterize the alleged maneuvers of the Russian satellites?
I’d say that the Russian satellites are definitely trailing the US satellite tv for pc with the aim of intelligence gathering. Based mostly on the orbitology I nominate in that article, its hardly coincidental that the Russian satellites have ended up so near the US satellite tv for pc, and can strategy once more near the satellite tv for pc in coming days.
2) Basic John ‘Jay’ Raymond, Commander of the U.S. Area Drive, has characterised the manuovers of the Russian satellites as “threatening” and “destabilizing.” Is that this a good characterization?
I believe that terming such manoeuvres as ‘threatening’ and ‘destabilising’ on the one hand is suitable as a result of it highlights the identical types of manoeuvres that a co-orbital ASAT would make previous to an assault, however then again, the US and different nations have space-based area situational consciousness (area area consciousness) capabilities. It comes down as to if ‘intelligence gathering’ is seen as threatening – and I assume that is determined by how its carried out, and what the intelligence assortment is accumulating.
three) What can/must be finished to mitigate/cease these sorts of incidences? How possible are we to see something finished in any respect?
By way of the way you reply, the US has moved USA-245 to forestall the fast prospect of extended Russian intelligence gathering, and will transfer the satellite tv for pc once more, however actually, in area, there may be nothing that may be finished to forestall the manoeuvre of an opponent’s satellites, in need of evasive manoeuvres, or extra energetic steps. In fact, in wartime, the latter is perhaps a chance, maybe with soft-kill counterspace capabilities to disable an opponent’s satellite tv for pc – however they’ll then do the identical to us.
Dr. Malcolm Davis is a senior analyst on the Australian Strategic Coverage Institute (ASPI) in Canberra, Australia.