DARPA Moves Forward With Project To Revolutionize Satellite Communication-Blog 2

Last week, Jocelyn blogged about “Private Satellite used in wartime targets.” Pratyush Tiwari also blogged about “Commercial Satellites can be targets during wartime.” The Ukraine war is being called the First Commercial space war where commercial satellites and their data are being used to support the war. DARPA is creating a project called “Space-Based Adaptive Communications Node program” to “revolutionize communication among LEO satellites.”

DARPA wants to create a low-cost, reconfigurable optical communications terminal that adapts to most optical inter-satellite link standards, translating between military/government and commercial satellite constellations.

Their main question is whether you can secure the military/commercial interface between satellites.

“Optical systems are less prone to jamming because of their tight beams. They also may be less prone to hacking, but that remains to be seen.”

The reason it is interesting is because of the co-mingling of Gov and Commercial space assets during conflict (reference the two blogs mentioned above),  Governments will not want an interface that can’t be secured.  [My Electro-Optics summer course discussed optic communications as well.] The security implications are just that—with all the comm traffic between Government and Commercial Satellites now, and the data rates going higher, optical communication is the next ground to cover.  Wartime Commanders will want data in a timely manner and that they can rely on for accuracy. From our lecture last week, during a conflict, I think Governments will want H-H-M (i.e. high confidentiality, Integrity and moderate availability).  Governments will want to have a high confidence in the data and high integrity the data is good; Moderate availability for planning and execution. 

DARPA Moves Forward With Project To Revolutionize Satellite Communication (technewsworld.com)