Air Force Eyes Smaller, Simpler Satellite Designs

By Amy Butler .
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology .

Smaller, simpler satellite designs could begin making their way into service for mainstream U.S. Air Force missions in the middle of the next decade, a shift that would break with a longtime tradition of building large, expensive spacecraft for the Pentagon. This shift from complex and expensive satellites could come about because Gen. William Shelton, Air Force Space Command chief, and other military leaders are embracing the concept of “disaggregation,” or separating capabilities once resident on a single platform onto multiple systems. It could simplify satellite design and create what Shelton calls a “targeting problem” for an adversary looking to cripple U.S. space-based services, by expanding the number of satellites in a constellation ...

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