The Military’s Outdated Ground Antennas and Potential Vulnerabilities

With New Space being pushed forward, the space available for existing and new satellites that are going to be launched is going to experience difficulties to achieve maximum output for mission objectives for all of these satellites. There will be limited availability to downlink, uplink, and process mission objectives with limited space, ground stations, terminals, and capacity for all of these upcoming missions.

A prime example would be the SCN (U.S. Space Force controlled Satellite Control Network) which was established in 1959, which has ground stations across the world. Especially since the design, architecture, and system is dated back to 1959, they still perform maintenance on all the hardware but still very outdated. Especially, with all the new satellite programs that are being launched, it will be difficult for the SCN to be able to handle the workload of all these new spacecrafts. Recapping back to when the SCN was first established, there hasn’t been any new development of these ground stations or improvements to the entire design and architecture of the ground stations. Using the same design and architecture back then compared to now there are a lot of vulnerabilities to the system. The most targeted systems are at the ground level and the user terminals are also the most vulnerable areas of attack. Especially, since all points intersect back at the ground system where it’s most vulnerable for both space and cyber technologies. However, even though it is difficult to access these systems, often or not there will be waivers because of security updates for performance issues. Remember compliance does not translate to security.