Operational Denial of Commercial Space Imagery   [open pdf - 4MB]

From the thesis abstract: "This study investigates the capability of the United States to deny commercial space-based imagery to its adversaries during times of hostilities. The United States recognizes that this imagery poses a threat to national security interests, but has not identified a mechanism for operational denial of this information. In 1994 the Clinton Administration removed the U.S. ban on the export of high-resolution imagery because the proliferation of space-based sensors makes this information commonly available whether or not it sit he United States that sells the imagery. This study examines U.S. space policy, domestic and international space law, and previously suggested approaches to countering the threat posed by this imagery. The study also examines technical feasibility as well as operational effectiveness of 28 proposed solutions. The conclusion of this study is that the United States does not currently have a system or methodology for denying space-based imagery in all cases. However, three different types of laser systems could be developed into a potentially effective countermeasure to space-based imagery. These systems include a high-powered ground-based laser, a high-powered airborne laser, or mobile, low-powered lasers that could function as tactical jammers of space-based sensors."

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