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.


 
 

 
Courtesy photograph

F-22 inaugural deployment to Europe

Courtesy photograph A pair of F-22 Raptors fly near the coastline of Panama City Beach, Fla. Four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III, and approximately 60 airmen arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allie...
 
 
ILS photograph

Boeing-built satellite will create first global high-speed broadband network

ILS photograph The Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite launched Aug. 28 aboard a International Launch Services Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. EL SEGUNDO, Calif.–When the third Boeing-built [NYSE: BA] Inmarsat-5 sat...
 
 

Civil Air Patrol joins total force ‘Airmen’

When conducting missions for the Air Force as the official Air Force auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol is now included in the Air Force’s definition of the total force. CAP has provided 74 years of support to emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. In August 2015, the Air Force updated Doctrine Volume 2, “Leadership,”...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 
 
LM-C130

U.S. Air Force receives additional MC-130J Commando II

MARIETTA, Ga., Aug. 27, 2015 – A crew from the U.S. Air Force Aug. 27 ferried a new MC-130J Commando II aircraft assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command to Cannon Air Force Base, N.., from the Lockheed Martin facilit...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>