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News Briefs: IAI, Alpha Design Technologies in UAV deal for India           Uruguay receives mobile border surveillance system          Japan Successfully Launches New Spy Satellite          Northrop Grumman wins British government cyber-security work          Lockheed Martin introduced sensor system that can track and target multiple targets in radar-denied environments          Northrop Grumman Supports Successful Propulsion System Rocket Engine Test          Astrium delivers microwave radiometer for the Sentinel-3A satellite          Russia Retires Faulty Glonass-M Satellite          Russia, US to protect satellite navigation systems at UN level          Satellite Services supplies on-board sub-systems for smallsats and microsats          Patriot and Sentinel Capabilities Incorporated Into Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System          Lockheed Martin's Aegis BMD System Completes Highest Target Intercept Yet          Raytheon completes critical design review for GPS OCX software          Third Advanced EHF Satellite Will Enhance Resiliency of Military Communications          Boeing Offers Improved Cybersecurity Training and Simulation Tool           Britain recruiting cyber-warriors          Japan, US to discuss strengthening cyber-security          

 

Undetected hubs
Security agencies and defence forces in various parts of the world including India are increasingly falling back on satellite systems for a variety of end uses centring round communications, imaging, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic and signal intelligence, navigation and ocean watch. But one of the pitfalls associated with the use 
 
Timely steps
Many countries including India are facing the constant threats of terrorist infiltration via sea route. The real time monitoring of the thousands of vessels, big and tiny, are posing a big challenge to the security managers. After the November, 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, the Indian defence establishment has been on an overdrive to install surveillance systems on its 7000 kms long coastlines, comprising mainly the coastal radars but India will now be considering other surveillance systems which are appearing on the horizon.
 
Scanning threats
It can be extremely disconcerting for a fighter pilot to know that there is a missile on his tail. It is fortunate that aircraft manufacturers have learned from the improvements in capabilities of missiles of all kinds-air-to-air and surface-to-air (SAM) in particular-to be able to install early warning systems against the means by which the missiles are guided to their target. Survival is then dependant on how the threat is dealt with either through electronic counter-measures or physical means like the dispersal of decoys like chaff and flares and the last-minute cut and run that will determine whether a million dollar aircraft will lose out to a cheaper missile.
 
Digitized war
With practically the whole world going network centric, warfare in the modern world has become digitized to such an extent that one tends to become a slave to a system that, in the event of a nuclear exchange could take us back to the did-did-dah-did (the first letter of the alphabet as transmitted as dot, dot, dash, dot) of the age of the Morse code. That there is a need to retain redundancy within the network could well be forgotten in the desire for situational awareness enclosed in a hand-held tablet that would be one of several gadgets required to be carried (like the hand-held thermal imager) that the unit commander would end up looking like a librarian in Wonderland.
 
Fast data
The Main Battle Tanks, fighter planes and modern warships will prove to be a sitting duck in conflict situation if the adversary is armed with the invisible and superior information and communication network. This is called Net Centric Warfare and the modern age combat will be dominated by C4I3 based information and command network, which will help take a lead in the quick decision making.
 
War in orbit
A well equipped, ground based tracking infrastructure is vital to constantly monitor the position of an orbiting satellite and detect its ground track with precision. The satellite pass prediction and real time satellite tracking constitutes the mainstay of the tracking activities. In the ultimate analysis, tracking is also a fundamental step towards determining the operational efficiency of a satellite for harnessing its potentials. In the Indian context, the telemetry, tracking and command network of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) provides mission support to orbiting satellites as well as launch vehicle missions. The ISRO network focuses on network operations, mission operations, spacecraft health monitoring as well as communications and control
 
Vital synergy
India needed an effective Command and Control organization over its nuclear weapons because of various international and regional concerns in the immediate aftermath of the nuclear tests in 1998. It is high time now to review whether India has been successful in establishing a robust Command and Control organization. There is no doubt in saying that India certainly has been attempting to see how best it can put a line of order in terms of calling a shot especially when the decision to use the nuclear weapons will be made during the case of any eventuality. Moreover, the progress made by India in acquiring long range delivery system also warrants to have a proper assessment about India’s Command and Control Systems. By and large, the word Command and Con
 
Slow pitch
For, way back in 1963 when India took her first step into space with the setting up of the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in the fishing hamlet of Thumba on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the South Indian state of Kerala, US made available Nike Apache sounding rockets to help the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) carry out experiments in atmospheric science, astronomy and meteorology. It was around TERLS that the highly successful Indian space programme had its genesis and growth. In early 1960s, a team of Indian space researchers including former Indian President and well known space and defence scientist, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, credited with laying the foundations of India’s civilian launch vehicle development
 
News Highlights
The concept of “small is beautiful” popularized by the British economist E F Schumacher seems to be influencing the satellite development sector in a big way. With the idea of small, mini, micro and nano satellites catching on, even resources poor developing countries with a not so well evolved  technological and industrial base are now in a position to exploit the fruits of space technology for developmental and research purposes. For the development and in orbit delivery of heavy class satellites for a variety of end uses such as communications and earth observation, necessarily entails complicated technologies and a huge investment. And then there is the risk of either a launch vehicle going haywire during its flight resulting in the loss of
 
Probing journey
In what has been considered a major boost to the Indian planetary exploration programme, the Government of India has approved the Indian mission to the Red Planet Mars expected to cost more than US$80-million to the exchequer. India’s Space Commission had okayed the Mars Mission in December 2011. Against this backdrop, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is now preparing for the launch of an orbiter mission to Mars in November 2013, one of the three upcoming windows available for ‘earth to transit to Mars’. If ISRO fails to launch Mars mission next year as planned, other launch opportunities available are in 2016 and 2018. However, ISRO seems to be keen on getting its Mars probe off the ground before the end of next year. “We are