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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Is space the ultimate high ground?
Author(s): Gregory J. Meyer; Francis P. Stallings

Paper Abstract

Military experts often refer to space as the ultimate high ground under the premise that placing systems in orbit provides advantages consistent with the military doctrine of high ground. Although space provides the ultimate "observation post", it has none of the other advantages traditionally associated with high ground. Army Field Manual (FM) 34-130 states the other advantages of holding key terrain: commanding avenues of approach, overcoming obstacles, and affording cover and concealment as additional benefits of high ground. Yet systems in orbit incur none of these additional advantages. Finally, international restrictions and reciprocity concerns limit the employment of weapons in space nullifying many of the unique capability advantages that would otherwise support the "high ground" aspect of space. As the ultimate observation post, satellites provide a large quantity of vital data to military decision makers. This massive amount of data needs to have as much context as possible to convert this data to useful knowledge. To use space assets optimally, the military needs to learn from the past and make space and cyber products distributed and tactical. It is absolutely essential to distribute the right information to the lowest level (tactical elements) of the organization or the "boots on the ground" in a timely manner.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 May 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8044, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications IV, 80440K (20 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.889117
Show Author Affiliations
Gregory J. Meyer, U.S. Air Force (United States)
Francis P. Stallings, U.S. Air Force (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8044:
Sensors and Systems for Space Applications IV
Khanh D. Pham; Henry Zmuda; Joseph Lee Cox; Greg J. Meyer, Editor(s)

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