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U.S. Deploys Satellite Jamming System 342

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-can't-hear-you-nya-nya-nya dept.
CNN has an article about a ground-based satellite jamming system that "uses electromagnetic radio frequency energy to knock out transmissions on a temporary and reversible basis, without frying components". Is this just another old school EM jamming technique, or something new? Of course they won't say, citing "operational security" concerns.
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U.S. Deploys Satellite Jamming System

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  • Thin ice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fembots (753724) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:01PM (#10690690) Homepage
    This whole control of space thing is approaching the thin line between annoyed and pissed.

    While USAF claims this "ground-based jammer uses electromagnetic radio frequency energy to knock out transmissions on a temporary and reversible basis, without frying components", it will only take one mistake (and it's not that unusual) to fry someone's $500mil baby.

    If other countries even dare to think about developing a similar jammer to "neutralize" US's satellite communication and its space-based capabilities, it's likely that US will simply launch another pre-emptive attack to destroy those jammers in these countries.
    • Re:Thin ice (Score:5, Funny)

      by nightsweat (604367) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:03PM (#10690738)
      $500 million baby? I can get you one for $143.50 on the Internet.
      • $500 million baby? I can get you one for $143.50 on the Internet.
        Perhaps, but the remaining $499,999,856.50 is the shipping charge.

        Satellites cost a lot to put together on the ground, but they cost a lot to get put up into orbit too ...

      • but if you purchased one on the internet, it would be considered black market.

        You know that buying black market goods is illegal. It is very likely that you'll be hung high and dry as an example of what a "domestic terrorist" is and be given the royal treatment from Homeland Security.

        Be a good citizen. Buy from the military directly. On the bright side, you know who to call if tech support is needed. [whitehouse.gov]

        -Grump.
      • Re:Thin ice (Score:3, Interesting)

        by McFly69 (603543)
        I don't know about $143.50, but for $50,000 and some Home Depot measuring tape as an antena, you can have yoru own. http://www.hypocrites.com/article2897.html
    • Don't worry, the way we're going we'll be too broke to do that kind of shit soon enough.
    • Re:Thin ice (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Keebler71 (520908) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:09PM (#10690862) Journal
      If other countries even dare to think about developing a similar jammer to "neutralize" US's satellite communication and its space-based capabilities, it's likely that US will simply launch another pre-emptive attack to destroy those jammers in these countries.

      Right... just like the US pre-emptively attacked Russia because they build GPS jammers. Now if a country started using (rather than just developing) such a system, I would agree with your position.

      • Re:Thin ice (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tackhead (54550) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:17PM (#10691052)
        > Right... just like the US pre-emptively attacked Russia because they build GPS jammers. Now if a country started *using* (rather than just developing) such a system, I would agree with your position.

        And because any ground-based emitter of EM is going to show up as a pretty big honking target when it's turned on...

        a) blowing up the jammer is not a pre-emptive attack, and
        b) your jammer will get blowed up real good, real quick.

        Keep in mind that part b) applies to both sides in the conflict. If you're fighting an adversary capable of launching satellites, you're (by definition) fighting an adversary capable of detecting and lobbing anti-radiation missiles at any EM emitter you own that's more powerful than a microwave oven.

    • Re:Thin ice (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ryturner (87582) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:13PM (#10690947)
      Your post indicates thats you think wars should be a fair fight. Personally, I want any war the US is in to be very unfair. The point is it win.
      • Re:Thin ice (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mr100percent (57156) *
        No, I want the US to act civilized. I don't unconditionally support a country, and you wanting the US to be unfair is a slippery slope and dangerous. So should the US commit war crimes? Open a few more Abu Ghraibs? The US would likely win (in the short run), but they would no longer be the moral leader or be in the right. Eventually, the US would back itself into a corner, as playing unfair and pragmatic led to Nazis invading Europe.

        Here's a tip: Go see The Battle of Algiers. It's a good example of how Ira
      • I disagree (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) on Monday November 01, 2004 @06:03PM (#10693795) Homepage
        If fights are fair they are also infrequent. Of the three countries in the "Axis of Evil" we went into Iraq because Iran and N Korea would have been fairer fights. Don't get me wrong, if you are going to pick a dog to kick I'd pick the chihuahua over the pit bull too.
    • Re:Thin ice (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TigerNut (718742) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:18PM (#10691068) Homepage Journal
      ...it will only take one mistake (and it's not that unusual) to fry someone's $500mil baby.

      Not likely. If you assume that the jamming approach is to beam noise at the satellite in the frequency range it's designed to accept, then the power required to jam its receiver compared to what is required to damage the thing is at least a couple of orders of magnitude (factors of 10) different.
      Jamming the satellite's transmissions in a certain terrestrial location simply involves having localized noise generators in the same frequency band as the satellite in question. Or, for world-wide coverage, just launch a satellite(s) in a compatible orbit to the target satellite, and broadcast away.

      • Re:Thin ice (Score:4, Funny)

        by thedillybar (677116) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:54PM (#10691700)
        Offtopic, but why is an "order of magnitude" a factor of 10? Is it just because we're working in base 10? I don't get it...
        • Well, this is what Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] has to say about it. In short, yes, for historical reasons. Occasionally we (here at work) will use 'order of magnitude' in a specific context where it means a factor of two, but that's by no means common usage.
        • Re:Thin ice (Score:3, Informative)

          by back_pages (600753)
          I believe the meaning of the colloquialism relates to an additional power in the radix of your number system - short answer, yes, it's a power of ten.

          Computer scientists often refer to an order of magnitude when going from problem sizes of N squared to N cubed, which is again tied to an additional power in the "radix" of the problem at hand. Computer scientists also use the colloquialism, in base 10, so it really isn't a binding definition.

          Computer scientists who deal in computability and algorithm analy

        • Re:Thin ice (Score:3, Informative)

          by adam31 (817930)
          It doesn't matter what base you're in, an "order of magnitude" always means '10' times. If you're working in base 16, for example, it means 0x10.
    • Re:Thin ice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ajs (35943) <ajsNO@SPAMajs.com> on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:19PM (#10691097) Homepage Journal
      This whole control of space thing is approaching the thin line between annoyed and pissed.

      Ah... yes, well I'll assume you meant that YOU are getting annoyed.

      While USAF claims this [...] jammer [...is...] temporary and reversible [...] it will only take one mistake (and it's not that unusual) to fry someone's $500mil baby.

      How often does this particular jamming technology fry satellites? Really, how often? Heck, you don't even know what this *is*, must less what its failure modes are. ANY complaint about this technology must be on the grounds of lack of information (kind of strange to complain about THIS instead of the dozens of other, far more problematic items that the US military refuses to discuss) or on the grounds that the US feels it has the right to unilaterally develop technology to disable other country's communications (again, I'd start with the MONITORING of communications which is ONGOING rather than the chance that the US MIGHT block communications in the future).

      Anything else is arm waving.

      If other countries even dare to think about developing a similar jammer to "neutralize" US's satellite communication and its space-based capabilities, it's likely that US will simply launch another pre-emptive attack to destroy those jammers in these countries.

      Doubtful. Of the countries that have the capabilities to do so, only one is not an ally, and I don't think we'd invade China over THIS.
      • Re:Thin ice (Score:2, Insightful)

        by arodland (127775)
        Check the summary. It uses, as could be assumed anyway, EM radiation. That's really about all you need to know. If it uses EM to do jamming, then it has the potential to fry stuff.

        As for the other part, have you ever considered the possibility that the parent poster chose to make a post complaining about satellite jamming rather than something else because the article is about satellite jamming, and not something else? And therefore that the OP is on topic, while you are just ranting?
    • A country must do what is in its best interests. If that means destroying ground-based jammers pre-emptively, that's what that means. If that disturbs your utopian ideal where every nation and person is treated equally, I'm sorry. Don't hate the US for being the big guy on the block. Any other nation would do the same if they had a legitimate chance at success.

    • by Sai Babu (827212) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:50PM (#10691629) Homepage
      Jamming is a traditional tactic in electroninc warfare.

      The capability of locating an uplink based on signals received from a satellite is of much greater strategic value then destruction of the satellite. This is true for all engaged parties.

      So why jam at all?
      Suppose something like a cruise missle with partial guidance from a satellite is on it's way to your ship. Ideally you would want to co-opt the satellite and take some control. However, when the time comes, the last thing you want is the correct information to reach the missle. Here jamming makes sense. Without jamming capability a situation might arise in which the strategic value
      to you, of your oppositions satellite, is greater than the value of your ship!

      Come on /.ers You guys play strategy and tactics games all the time...
    • Re:Thin ice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by demachina (71715) on Monday November 01, 2004 @04:02PM (#10691881)
      One of the more interesting uses for jamming satellites coming real soon now is Galileo, the European/Chinese GPS constellation, coming on line in a couple of years. The U.S. is most unhappy that there will be a GPS system with 1 meter resolution, with wider coverage, they don't control, because it will break their monopoly on GPS guided weapons and navigation during a conflict unless they have the capbility to jam it. The U.S. GPS system can be selectively crippled/encrypted by the U.S. to deny its use to its enemies.

      I wouldn't be surprised if the U.S. is making this threat public to send a signal to the Europe/China that if they proceed with a GPS system free of U.S. domination the U.S. is going to counter with the technology necessary to cripple it.

      China's Xinhua has a pretty biting commentary [spacedaily.com] on the subject that appeared on SpaceDaily a couple days ago.

      It is a further indicator that as the U.S. continues to seek its global empire and world dominion it is going to continue to place itself against and at odds with the entire rest of the world.

      Apparently only the U.S. is allowed to decide who can use and deploy basic technology.
      • Re:Thin ice (Score:5, Interesting)

        by G00F (241765) on Monday November 01, 2004 @05:11PM (#10693074) Homepage
        Apparently only the U.S. is allowed to decide who can use and deploy basic technology.

        You seam to think people in the USA want to dictate to the rest of the world how to do things. No, actually what happens is the people who want to dictate to the rest of the world, find it easiest to do so through USA.

        Such as the skull and bones [wikipedia.org], they are a power out of Europe. And other cartel organizations like the riaa/mpaa have existed long before USA, and each country has their own version of the same thing today. So quit blaming USA for everything. We just have a flaw that is being exploited, that is fixable only by the fact we have the right own guns.
        • Re:Thin ice (Score:4, Interesting)

          by demachina (71715) on Monday November 01, 2004 @07:39PM (#10694804)
          OK since some people seem to think this post has merit, I don't know why:

          Skull and bones is a 100% American. Where exactly did you get "they are a power out of Europe". They are in fact full of wealthy and powerful Americans dedicated to expanding America's wealth and power and dictating to the rest of the world. They are close cousins to the Neocons. If you want to read their outline for global domination read The New American Century [newamericancentury.org]. Many of the people behind this statement are in the current administration and key backers of the war in Iraq, including Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush and Paul Wolfowitz. It is kind of a noble sounding statement, freedom and all, until you appreciate its dark side is it advocates American domination of the world.

          The only thing out of Europe about Skull and Bones is yes they are very much an American version of forming a ruling elite like those you find in Great Britain. You know... the sons of the wealthy elite are sent to prep schools and the Ivy League and get the best of everything (like Bush and Kerry), they are qualified to lead and ordinary Americans(like Clinton) aren't. Clinton was basically trailer trash, Rhodes scholar aside, and its one reason the powers that be hounded him every minute he was in office.

          Yes there have been cartels since before the USA, though the RIAA/MPAA obviously aren't examples of the same, recording and motion pictures, not being invented until long after the US came in to being. They aren't doing much but trying to protect and maximize the profits they make on mostly bad music and bad movies. I'm not sure they actually count for much on the global stage because their products are so bad and devoid of substance, though people the world over still seem to buy them for some reason. Maybe they are good sedatives. To break the RIAA's back form a band that makes music that doesn't suck and sell it over ITunes without selling your soul to them. To break the MPAA's back stop watching bad movies which is most of them.

          One might guess you are alluding to a global Jewish conspiracy, if thats what you are getting at why don't you just spit it out and get flamed for it instead of using all the veiled references like "a power out of Europe" and "cartels". What the hell is that.

          Bottomline you are doing what all American's do these days, especially our political leaders. Blame everything bad America does on someone else, instead of taking responsibility when we let our government do bad things. Ranting about "the right to own guns" as being the solution is bullshit until and unless you and probably a whole bunch of others are ready to use them. It would probably be a blood bath and you would probably lose. It may well be that it will come to that if American government stays its current course but I'd say at the moment you are blowing smoke.
  • Way to go! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rearl (262579) * on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:01PM (#10690695)
    "The device appears to have been put into service considerably earlier than had been projected by the Air Force as recently as February.

    At that time, a long-range planning document, dubbed the Transformation Flight Plan, said such a system would let the United States by 2010 "deny and disrupt an adversary's space-based communications and early warning" of attack."

    That's the way to beat the enemy to the punch - make them think you're 5+ years away from ready, then DEPLOY!
    • by Galvatron (115029)
      Now, witness the power of this FULLY ARMED AND OPERATIONAL battlestation!
  • Hoo boy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    When I see verbiage like "electromagnetic radio frequency energy" I immediately get suspicious. Someone's trying to bullshit me here.

  • The article acts as if they should tell us how it works, precisely. While I'm sure many readers already have a good idea, I'm glad they're not just coming out with it.
    • I'm actually starting to get a bit miffed about the desire to know everything about how defensive systems work. There's a part of me that thinks we really shouldn't be announcing anything of this sort. I've got a great idea - let's let the public know exactly how each and every one of our systems operate! The enemy (pick one) would NEVER think of watching CNN or the Discovery Channel to try to gain a small clue they could turn into a tactical advantage!
      • >I'm actually starting to get a bit miffed about the desire to know everything about how defensive systems work.

        What makes you think they're telling us about technologies that aren't already outdated? For all we know the government has had this for 20 years and now they're telling us it's new since they have something else to replace it.

        Maybe I've seen too many movies, but if you think the government is telling us everything that they are doing, you aren't very bright.

    • I'm pretty sure it works by spray painting anti-french slogans on the satellite gyroscope lens....oh crap, I've said too much.... :-)
  • by Sensible Clod (771142) <dc-7@@@charter...net> on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:04PM (#10690750) Homepage
    Maybe this [slashdot.org] was a beta version?
  • So, can I take my tin-foil hat off now?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:05PM (#10690777)
    But i suspect my wifi was temporarily jammed
  • Yeah Right! (Score:3, Funny)

    by darth_MALL (657218) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:05PM (#10690780)
    This is another vaporware lie perpitrated by "the Man" to keep me from telling the truth about *BZZZT* [NO CARRIER]
  • by Stonent1 (594886) <stonent AT stone ... intclark DOT net> on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:05PM (#10690782) Journal
    I'm having a mental flashback of the scene where the anti-missile system hits an MTV satellite and the girl's TV explodes, where she exclaims "Awesome!"
  • The jamming technique fails miserably when the target satellites are equipped with the requisite "tin foil hat" defense system.
    • ... I always wondered why satellites are wrapped in gold foil. The offical reason was that it protected against micro-meteorites, sudden temperature changes and heat stress. Now we know the real reason :)

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:07PM (#10690823) Homepage Journal
    ... until SpamSat is launched, and then all will agree that is a good thing.
  • Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

    by lottameez (816335) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:08PM (#10690843)
    I think the USAF could easily recoup their investment if they allowed people to "vote" TV channels off of satellite comms. $1 a minute to jam the signal. No more QVC, goodbye to MTV-trash - yippee!
  • So that's why my Dishnetwork system quit working!
    • And that's a bad thing???? Though I'm suspecting that Al Jezzera is suddenly going be having a problem getting their Al Queda tapes aired all over the world...
  • Rasberry! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Supero100 (664946) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:08PM (#10690853)

    "Raspberry! I hate Raspberry!"

  • Can you say "Al-Jazeera"? What? Never heard of it? Oh, thats right, we started using the forementioned device to start blocking them ;-)
  • uses electromagnetic radio frequency energy to knock out transmissions on a temporary and reversible basis, without frying components

    Is it possible to knock out transmissions on a reversible basis while frying components?
    • No. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sensible Clod (771142)
      Not unless you can manage to fry ONLY components that the sat doesn't need for communication, and there are, oh, say, zero to few of those in comsats.
  • Probably old school (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:16PM (#10691011) Homepage
    Is this just another old school EM jamming technique, or something new?
    Old school jamming techniques will be quite effective. You find out what the uplink frequency band is, and hit the satellite with a few thousand watts on that band using a high gain antenna. No commands will be received while your jamming is in effect.

    Now, jamming the downlink is harder, but if you hit the satellite with enough power on any band, it'll freak out. With a highly directional antenna, you could even take out only a specific satellite.

    Satellites do have to deal with ionizing radiation and can't have enough shielding to totally block it, so they're equipped to reset themselves when they get `stuck' because some IC got hit with a stray alpha particle -- because it's not *if* it will happen, it's *when*.

    Of course, if you hit the satellite with enough power, you may actually damage it. If that happens, you just play dumb. Sure, it may have happened while the satellite was over the US (or a US base, or US ship), but that was just a coincidence, right?

    I guess a new school jamming technique might be to actually hit it with ionizing radiation (typically X and gamma rays, and high energy electrons and protons (often with some neutrons in the form of an alpha particle) but these are generally attenutated greatly by the atmosphere (and the charged particles diverted by our magnetic field), so this would be hard to do from the ground. But I guess if you can make it strong enough, or do it from a tall mountain/plane flying above most of our atmosphere ...

  • by spooky_nerd (646914) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:16PM (#10691021)
    What's to keep people from encrypting communications, and using commercial satellite systems? In fact, you could put up a satellite system and market it for commercial use. Then, when you use it to transmit your nefarious plans, the US won't want to take it down because it would be too large of a disruption to US businesses.
  • tool of terrorism? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by davidwr (791652) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:16PM (#10691026) Homepage Journal
    Two relatively expensive terrorist tools I'd like to hear more about:

    1) ground-based satelite-destroyers.
    2) space-based satelite-destroyers.

    Can you imagine the damage to the American psyche if all the TV- and other-entertainment- satellites were knocked out at once? There'd be great moaning and gnashing of teeth while America waited a few months or years for replacements to go up.

    Imagine if that happened in the middle of the Superbowl?
    • by Shihar (153932) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:36PM (#10691436)
      Look, when 9/11 happened the Americans went nuts. They ended up whacking off two nations. Think about it. The American response to two buildings being destroy was to take out two ENTIRE NATIONS. That is like responding to two guys getting shot by taking out two towns. So, you understand the American prepensely to overreact a little.

      Now, considering the American psyche, what kind of fucking idiot would you have to be to take out all American TV. You thought they were on a rampage after two buildings fell? Shit, if someone took out American TV, especially during the Superbowl I would go look for the nearest fallout shelter and come out 100,000 years later to open a very profitable glass business. Why glass you ask? Because that kind of nuclear holocaust, that is all that is left.

      Blow up the Statue of Liberty, the White House, and Wall Street, but for the sake of the rest of world, leave the American heart and soul intact and leave TV alone.
      • Well... (Score:3, Funny)

        by Firethorn (177587)
        Technically it was 2.2 buildings(don't forget the pentagon wing) and four planes.

        So we still have to take out a chunck of Libya or Iran.

        If you take out the Statue of Liberty (even though it was given to us by the French), the White House, and Wall Street I'd expect nothing less than the invasion of three countries, not including the invasion of france to grab some artists to replace the statue. (I'm kidding)
    • wow... and if you thought most Americans were ready to nuke the entire middle east on Sept 11, just imagine their reactions on Superbowl Sunday...
    • Have you read "The Sum of All Fears" by Tom Clancy?
    • The terrorists know it would ultimately be better for everyone if TV went away... Mindless sheep are easier to terrorize.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:19PM (#10691072) Homepage
    Definitely some cool technology, but lets think about who would be most threatened by it? I don't think Crapassistan has any satellites to threaten, but the Russians and the Chinese would.

    For the moment the Russians have a far more capable space program than we do and the Chinese have a bigger industrial base. We can eventually beat the Russians with technology, but not in the short term. But with all our collective money funding the war in Iraq, we would not be able to out-produce or out-spend the Chinese.

    I think all it will end up doing is spurring Russia and China into matching the threat. Hopefully we don't find out the hard way that their space capabilities have improved beyond our ability to catch up.

    • For the moment the Russians have a far more capable space program than we do

      Insert a 'manned' in between capable and space, and you are correct. Its only our manned program that's FUBAR. Our unmanned space program is arguably superior and certainly not massively inferior to the current Russian space program.
  • by PornMaster (749461) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:19PM (#10691084) Homepage
    Michael Powell: You've got to jam the Sirius satellites, Scotty, Howard Stern is corrupting the youth of America!
    Scotty: I'm givin' er all she's got, Chairman...
  • Egahds! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Kazrath (822492)
    This is just another way for bible thumping goverment agents to control my Pr0n surfing!.
  • by dfn5 (524972)
    U.S. Deploys Satellite Jamming System

    Cuz I've got cable.

    • Uh huh, and as far as cable TV goes, how do you think they get THEIR signal? Ever wonder why there's an array of dishes at major cable provider sites?
  • http://www.dawn.com/2004/10/31/int7.htm What else does everybody but americans know about america?
  • by Dr. Zowie (109983) <slashdot@deforest.oLISPrg minus language> on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:22PM (#10691135)
    ... I'd use a radiotelescope to identify the wavelengths that the satellite was transmitting, then use the same radiotelescope to send a lot of noise in the same band back at the satellite. Since ground-based radios have essentially infinite power, one could overwhelm any transmission from the satellite with junk signal, reflecting off the satellite itself.

    Since satellites generally use a few watts to a few tens of watts, and generally use low-gain antennae, it wouldn't take more than a couple of hundred reflected watts to do the job. Say a hundred kilowatts of transmission at the ground.

    The chilling implication here: you can only really jam satellites that use low-gain antennae -- e.g. comsats and "cheap" satellites. Anyone who anticipates this type of jamming for a point-to-point communicating bird can just use a high gain antenna to send all their transmitted power straight to the ground station. Another way around, especially for a comlink bird or something that can't use a beam to punch through the noise, would be to use "stealth" planar-panel technology on the satellite. If the satellite presents a flat face to the Earth, the jamming signal will be coherently reflected and probably won't affect the transmission much (except for an unlucky receiver who is in the reflected beam).

    So, er, this is probably good for knocking out comsats and academic satellites -- but foreign spy satellites will probably be pretty hardened against it before too long from now.

    Note: I'm not a military space insider -- just an astrophysicist. These ideas occurred to me in about 30 seconds, so you can bet anyone with his/her own space program already thought of 'em too.

    • Say a hundred kilowatts of transmission at the ground.

      your RF power drops off as distance increases... higher frequencies experience greater spreading loss based on their shorter wavelength. Given the typical sattelite is using microwave frequencies your hundred kilowatts leaving the dish at the ground will be barely 20 watts when it reaches that geostationary bird.

      The amount of power which a satellite transmitter needs to send out depends a great deal on whether it is in low earth orbit or in geosync
      • Hmmm... I agree about the spreading of the beam -- I was implicitly hoping for a pretty tight beam coming from the distortion station. Let's see... suppose you had a 0.05-degree beam (not unreasonable in the X band; barely feasible in the Ku band), and the satellite is 300 miles away, and it's 3 meters in diameter. Then a 10MW transmitter would hit the satellite with about 1 kilowatt of energy (to be reflected or scattered), assuming you have pretty good steering on your beam.

        So, er, I agree -- passive

  • oh boy (Score:5, Funny)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:22PM (#10691142) Journal
    Oh wow is this going to piss off DirecTV.

    Or maybe this is the govt's answer to all those people hacking satellite cards.
    No TV For YOU

  • by Zaffle (13798) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:32PM (#10691340) Homepage Journal

    This is part of the threat the senior US official made at a London conference on Galileo.

    The senior official promised that in the event China used the Galileo system against the US, the US would attempt what they called reversible action, but, if necessary, they would use irreversible action, to knock out the Galileo system.

    Article on the threat [spacedaily.com]

  • by mercuryresearch (680293) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:34PM (#10691389) Journal

    Anyone remember Captain Midnight and the HBO [signaltonoise.net] incident?

    Tracking dish, knowledge of the frequencies in use, signal generator and amplifier and you're pretty much there.

    Of course if they're using DS spread spectrum and they don't have the spreading code, it could be considerably harder, though turning up the power sufficiently would probably desensitise the front end of the satellite enough to stop it from working.

  • RADAR TECH. Sir. The radar, sir. It appears to be.... Jam starts dripping down the screen. RADAR TECH. ....jammed. HELMET Jammed? (takes a taste of the jam) Raspberry. There's only one man who would dare give me the raspberry. (pulls down mask) Lone Starr!
  • by LM741N (258038) on Monday November 01, 2004 @03:36PM (#10691424)
    Have you ever gotten those places on your FM dial, where it sounds like 10 different stations are coming in at once? That is intermodulation distortion. Very large signals competing with other very large signals. This is most likely what this "weapon" does. Just overloads the telemetry, data channels, etc of a satellite receiver. It takes alot of current to produce overload resistant receivers, and current is always at a premium on satellites, so I would expect weak receiver front ends that are subject to this ground interference.
  • *sighs* Okay, so all this "homeland security for terrorists" stuff has developed a critical and highly expensive need for us jamming their SATELLITES?

    Ya know, I'm not really any form of conspiracy theorist, but when I do see something capable of blocking communications by the government on domestic ground, I want to go re-read the Constitution. The only certainty about such a thing was that it was funded for a purpose, so would someone explain to me what a valid purpose for such a thing would be?

    • Hey. I'll sleep a lot better knowing that all of those terrorists and rogue states can't use their highly developed satellite systems to - um - do - uhh - stuff to me.
    • Think about it. If you needed to pacify your own population, what better way than to squelch all information flow, except from Government approved sources?

      Seems like the likely target is the American people, and no one else.
  • ...on Al Jazeera and all the other Islamofacist propaganda satellite channels?

    Yes, this is a troll, but I don't exactly see where giving publicity to people who behead civilians is doing anything to contribute constructively to reconstructing Iraq or Islamic terrorism generally.

    • Then we should also ban CNN too, they ran the Bin Laden tape. Seriously, Al Jazeera is like an Arabic CNN. It's not like they were pro-Saddam or anything. Yeah, they mentioned the beheadings, they also had Iraqi politicians and Iraqi clerics on to condemn it. Even Israel does interviews on Al Jazeera, think about that.

  • Line-of-sight... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by orion41us (707362)
    It seems that this ground-based device is "temporary"... does this mean the the DOS is only active while the radio "beam" is activly engaged on the SAT. Would this mean that only geo-sync sats could be targeted 100% of the time, and others would be Off-line only when in the line of site...
  • Electromagnetic Radio Frequencie Energy.

    Well, I for one love to know of some type of Radio Frequencie Energy that wasen't Electromagnetic.

    Basicly, this is the same idea as me parking my Toyota with it's Radio Shack CB radio next to some trucker and transmitting while he is. Unless he's runnign some kinda 'shoes' - no one's gonna hear either of us. Just some loud, anoying screechie, whiney sounds like what may be used for a bad Sci-Fi movie.

    Kinda like this 'gee whiz' article....
  • IIRC, about three or four years ago Russians have successfully tested a system to permanently fry satellites from the ground using a high intensity laser beam. AFAIK US military still don't have anything along those lines.

    They've also been known to have GPS jamming equipment for years.

    How do they manage to do this every time? They build superior weapons while operating within the constraints of their shoestring budget (relative to the US military R&D budget).
  • I was always intrigued by something I once read on the way the Soviets had planned, back during the cold war, in negating our satellites. We had a huge lead in satellites and their satellites were of negligible worth to them, so they came up with a plan to simply wipe the sky clean. Using their heavy-lift rockets (and they've always had good ones), they would launch a giant pod of, essentially, BBs. Millions of little ball bearings. By dispersing a cloud of these things, everything orbiting at the same
  • It wouldn't take that much brains to jam sattelites from home dishes. 2m dishes are more common in Southern California than swimming pools! (and far more common elsewhere) It may take quite some power, but pulsing a magnetron tuned to the right frequency would do the trick. EXTREME care must be taken to not burn out the mixer and/or LNA of the satellite itself. In the US, one must be mindful of the FEDS but they certainly have better things to do. Feeding more than about 100W to a 5m dish is pushing the sa
  • The only ways to jam a signal is to emit another signal, or alter the incident wave. There's no "new" method to jam a signal. There might be new systems or new emitters, but otherwise, when dealing with EM, these are your two options.
  • Must they use electromagnetic radio frequency energy?

    That's the kind of RF energy EVERYONE uses. I think the US should be different...

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