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A new system will help government agencies improve their Space Situational Awareness (SSA) by providing additional information about the behavior of satellites in orbit. While many governments run their own RF monitoring programs for SSA and other purposes, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions operates the broadest, most sophisticated commercially-available network of its kind, consisting of a global sensor network, state-of-the-art Network Operations Center (NOC) and advanced, proprietary analytical tools.
Traditional SSA has relied predominantly on radar and optical sensors (such as telescopes) to learn about satellites and other objects in orbit around the earth. Both have limitations. Radar, for example, can only monitor to a certain altitude and telescopes can only see what is not obscured by weather conditions and are virtually blind against bright sunshine, according to globenewswire.com.
Kratos has offered Radio Frequency (RF) monitoring services to government and commercial customers for years, focused mostly on helping those customers resolve interference issues among the satellites they operate. Collected through its unique network of sensors and ground facilities located around the world, that same RF data can also help operators understand more about the health, location, attribution, performance and other behavioral factors about satellites, which communicate using RF signals. Kratos does not monitor the content of those signals, only their characteristics.
With the addition of RF signal data, governments and other satellite operators can get a much more complete and consistent SSA picture. This can provide numerous insights, including detecting payload and other operational changes or anomalies, their origin or cause, and determining the actions of friendly, neutral and adversarial space systems, including the impact of counter-space operations.