Building the architecture for sustainable space security: by United Nations

By United Nations

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Extra resources for Building the architecture for sustainable space security: conference report 30-31 March 2006

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The possibility of designing verification systems according to desired cost, whereby it is possible to demonstrate what a verification system might look like at US$100 million, US$ 150 million and so on, can provide a concrete tool for negotiators. In addition, outsourcing is always a possibility, for example, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has such potential. Following the presentations, participants exchanged views on the following issues: Verification; CD-COPUOS collaboration; and ASAT weapon use.

In the former Soviet Union, work focused on improving guidance systems so that an ASAT that would detonate a conventional bomb close to the targeted satellite became feasible. The "CO-orbitalASAT" system was developed and tested between the 1960s and the 1980s. After the nuclear ASATs disappointment, the attention in the United States turned to kinetic energy ASATs. Kinetic weapons rely on their speed to smash into and destroy the target. They are often also called "hit-to-kill" programmes. Again, there have been numerous attempts at developing a successful programme.

Currently researched technologies include: More powerful and better focused laser beam technologies to go through the atmosphere and on to LEO, where most 0 b ~ e ~ a t i o n satellites are deployed; Miniaturization and lightening of the instruments; Assessment and analysis of damages made to the target, which makes the conduct of tests necessary; dazzling and blinding tests could be commissioned by the US Air Force in 2006 or 2007; and Microwave technology is less mature than laser technology, and microwave-related programmes deal more with basic or advanced research than with weapon systems development per se.

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