(U) A space based range (SBR) would augment range flexibility and operability, and allow more diverse and demanding space operations in the future. In the future, full access to space from any of the hundreds of large airfields that reusable launch vehicles (RLV) might use requires compatible launch telemetry tracking and control (TT&C) systems, which are not locked into one or two geographic locations. The current air traffic control network for aviation provides a long term answer to this shortfall in range system capability, and the full-time coverage and control that is needed.
(U) A way to achieve this capability (i.e. coverage of launch, on-orbit operations, orbit transfer, rendezvous, docking, tracking of potentially dangerous orbital debris and re-entry) is through a range system consisting of a constellation of satellites. These satellites might provide full coverage of the Earth's surface and orbital environment from LEO to GEO, supplemented by ground based assets at key launch facilities. A Space Based Range system could ensure operable, full-time range services to the entire, future spacelift and operations architecture.
(U) The Air Force is also considering the use of GPS satellites to track space launches. This system would replace the current radar tracking systems.
(U) An SBR would add range flexibility and operability, and allow more diverse and demanding space operations in the future.
|Space-Based Data Relay||Space-Based Data Relay (SBDR)|
|AFSCN||Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN)|
|Satellite Operations||Satellite Operations|
|SPACE FORCES SUPPORT||SPACE FORCES SUPPORT|
(U) Lead Organization: HQ AFSPC/XP
(U) Lt Jimmy Dobbs, SMC, Open Phone: DSN 833-2359.
(U) 21 November 1997
(U) Road Map Production Date: 23 June 2001