Space Products and Services
Homeland Security, Defense, and Intelligence
Satellites provide archaeologists a different way to monitor looting activities at ancient sites.
Positioning, navigation, and timing satellite technology combine with flying drones in a plan to save Syrian citizens against disease and starvation.
Possible atrocities once only seen by government agencies are now in the public view.
Imagery and communications satellites were both used in search and rescue efforts for the Malaysian Airlines MH370 passenger airplane. Imagery of the search areas was provided on sites such as Tomnod in hopes that crowdsourcing imagery analysis would help in locating evidence of where the airplane might have disappeared.
Imagery intelligence is becoming more available to the public, as services such as Allsource Analysis gained attention in the news. In October 2014, the Longmont, Colorado, company wrote a comprehensive summary in which it identified a new kind of North Korean submarine in port during its monitoring of North Korean political prisoner camps.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also is working on a satellite wireless communications system which will allow mobile e-mail and voice communications to operate if the cellular infrastructure is compromised.
Space systems are an ideal technology for many military applications and will continue to play key roles in homeland security, defense, and intelligence arenas. For communications, satellites provide an “over-the-horizon” capability that is not matched by terrestrial communication systems.
The U.S. Military’s Global Positioning System (GPS) was completed in 1993. Initially, the system was developed to create a single navigation system used by all forces and for precision weapon delivery. The system is still used for munitions guidance and has become an integral part of logistics tracking and navigation and control of UAVs.
Remote sensing weather satellites also are an important element of military activities. Weather satellites provide a continuous view of weather patterns over the battlefield through a suite of sophisticated instruments. These include high-resolution spatial and temporal images and full-time operational soundings that measure vertical temperature and moisture profiles of the atmosphere.
Defense and intelligence agencies also rely on remote sensing satellites to provide images to increase awareness of a battlefield, target, or national border. The military uses both UAVs and satellites as platforms for these sensors, and these systems may include aerial cameras, Earth-orbiting multi-spectral sensors, and imaging radar systems.