Defense

October 18, 2012

SkySat balloon, payload launch impresses Army officials

Capt. Joseph Mroszczyk, Training and Doctrine Command capability manager for space and global missile defense, prepares to release the SkySat balloon and payload from 2525 Aviation Way, Colorado Springs, Colo., during demonstration of the system Oct. 11, 2012. Allen Kirkham with the Battle Lab looks on.

The crisp early morning of Oct. 11 saw a number of hot air balloons in the sky above Colorado Springs Airport.

However, one balloon had a particular mission and stood out from the rest.

The launch was brief to the casual observer, but was part of a demonstration of the Combat SkySat military retransmission platform for members of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command.

The event included a briefing by members of the command’s Future Warfare Center and Battle Lab to senior Space and Missile Defense Command, or SMDC, leadership on the Combat SkySat system, its capabilities, and how it can be applied to the Army mission.

Those in attendance included Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, commanding general; Ronald Chronister, deputy to the commander; Brig. Gen. Timothy Coffin, deputy commanding general for operations; Laurence Burger, director of FWC; and other SMDC personnel in the Colorado Springs area.

After questions and a close examination of a sister system – the Combat SkySat Tethered system – on display inside a warehouse, the group moved outside to the back of 2525 Aviation Way. At 7:31 a.m., Capt. Joseph Mroszczyk, space and missile defense officer, from the Training and Doctrine Command capabilities manager for space and global missile defense, assisted in the release of the balloon carrying a communications payload and power supply.

According to Battle Lab officials, the balloon and its payload reached an altitude of 30,000 feet and was brought down after 30 minutes aloft (the system is designed to stay up for 12 hours.) The balloon and its package came down safely 62 miles east of Colorado Springs.

The Combat SkySat military retransmission system lifts off into the Colorado sky eventually reaching an altitude of 30,000 feet during a demonstration on the morning of Oct. 11, 2012, at 2525 Aviation Way, Colorado Springs, Colo.

As part of the demonstration, a second balloon was launched earlier that morning from the Comanche National Grasslands in south central Colorado. Its purpose was to demonstrate the communications capability by providing a communications relay with the group observing the demonstration launch in Colorado Springs. Officials stated it reached an elevation of 80,000 feet in one hour and 20 minutes.

“From that altitude, we communicated from here with the launch team 150 miles away, using a standard PRC 148 hand-held radio with standard antenna,” said Mary Miller, chief, operations division, Battle Lab, and one of the action officers for this event.

SMDC leadership reaction was extremely positive, according to Miller.

“All parties were excited to see the launch and to witness firsthand the extended communications reach of this capability,” said Miller. “The power of a demonstration is that it makes the capability real, instead of a data point on a chart or a briefing slide.”

“This system solves the problems faced by troops on the ground where mission requirements place them in situations where distances exceed terrestrial line-of-sight and where satellite and airborne communications aren’t available,” explained Allen Kirkham from the Battle Lab, and one of the briefers on the Combat SkySat, to the group.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>