Re: Anti-Satellite Weapons (was S.D.I. lives?)

Philip Chien (kc4yer@amsat.org)
Sun, 7 Sep 1997 23:42:19 -0400

KavanaghNY@aol.com said:

><| A recent article circulated on an Internet Newsgroup indicates that the US
><| Department of Defence has received a request from the US army to allow them
><| to test their latest laser weapon MIRACL on an orbiting satellite.
><| It seems that the in the firing line is MTSI-3 (Miniature Sensor technology
><| Integration Satellite).......
>
>I heard a short blurb on NPR concerning this.  Many experts are crying that
>this demonstration of our ability to destroy satellites will force other
>nations to develop the ability, too.   The tone of many of their reports
>sounds as if this is the first time an anti-satellite weapon (ASW) will be
>used.  It is not.

Russia has tested their FOBS (Fractional Orbital Bo??? System) a couple of
times in orbit.  It requires the attacker satellite to enter the same orbit
as the target, then the attacker explodes which destroys the target.  It's
only usable for satellites at a fairly low altitude and not considered to
be a very sophisticated system.

>Although I can't site any hard evidence, I am almost sure the Soviets
>destroyed at least one of our satellites during the cold war.  I can't
>remember if they did it from the ground or in orbit, but they did it.

There have been *rumors* about Soviet tests against U.S. satellites, but
nothing which has been verified.  There are a couple of cases where U.S.
satellites have had their sensors overloaded or components failed and there
was a belief that a Soviet ground-based laser was the cause, but those were
just theories.  In one case it turned out that the overloaded sensor was
caused by a massive fire.


As far as the proposed test to use the ground-based laser to deactivate the
MSTI-3 satellite -

Would this be the first attempt to shut off a satellite using an infrared
remote control?

;-)





Philip Chien [M1959.05.31/31.145//KC4YER@amsat.org]