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If you thought that space research had nothing to do with weapons – think again!

With all three Gunsmoke-J satellites on orbit, the Army is ready to test space-based targeting  C4ISR NETBy Nathan StroutTue Jul 13 2021, The Army is keen to use the vantage of space to find and target beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) threats. While satellite imagery has traditionally been a product of the intelligence community, the development of relatively affordable yet highly capable small satellites that can operate in low Earth orbit has convinced military leaders that it can play a tactical role on the battlefield.

In a demonstration last fall, the Army was able to show that it could take images from satellites on orbit down to Earth, process them with artificial intelligence to find threats, and deliver targeting data to weapon systems in about 20 seconds. That speed is opening a whole slew of possibilities to commanders, enabling them to “see” further down the battlefield in near real time than ever before.

That demonstration used images from commercial satellite constellations, but now the Army has its own trio of imagery satellites to further develop this capability. The Army’s Gunsmoke-J program has launched three cubesats to use “emerging advanced electronics to allow the use of dedicated intelligence assets to provide tactically actionable targeting data to war fighters on a responsive and persistent timeline,” according to an annual budget proposal. Gunsmoke-J is a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration conducted by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command and Assured Position Navigation and Timing/Space Cross Functional Team………..

“This deployment and same day launch of two separate Gunsmoke-J satellites is a major step toward demonstrating what we believe will be enabling tactical warfighter capability,” ……..
If the Gunsmoke experiments are successful, then this work could lead to future systems, which would enhance long-range precision fires in support of the war fighter.”

July 15, 2021 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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