THE SECURITY OF SPACE SYSTEMS
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All parts of a space system are vulnerable to harmful interference. Satellite ground stations and communications links are common targets for space negation efforts, including electromagnetic attacks using radiofrequency energy to interfere with or jam satellite communications, and cyber-attacks using software and network techniques to interfere with computer systems that operate satellites.
Development and testing of terrestrial systems to use kinetic force or directed energy against satellites is accelerating. Such anti-satellite (ASAT) capabilities are often embedded in other weapons systems, including anti-ballistic missile defense, and high-energy lasers. To date, no hostile antisatellite attacks have been carried out against an adversary. Neither has any hostile use of space-based—or co-orbital—ASATs been recorded, and to the best of our knowledge, no dedicated weapons systems aimed at Earth have been placed into orbit. But enabling technologies for such capabilities are advancing.
Satellite communications links, computer networks, and the physical components of satellite systems are difficult to protect. Reconstitution and resilience of a space system involve the ability to rapidly rebuild that system in the wake of a space negation attack or to maintain the ability to withstand an attack; both could reduce vulnerabilities in space. As well, there are nascent state and commercial initiatives for space-based satellite servicing.