Throughout history, warfare has essentially been based on the holding or taking of one’s position on land, water, and just recently in the air. In today’s world the new frontier of orbital space is slowly becoming the latest addition to this list of the precious places which are vehemently fought over by humans. Satellites are now the foundation on which commerce, communication, warfare and other vital domains are built. To protect the United States’ space systems, the Department of Defense (DOD) is funding several programs which have the objective to keep space a safe place for the United States to operate. These purpose of these programs can be called Space Control, and the aim in my research was to discover as much as I could about these programs. The funding for these programs is somewhat large yet not enormous, with the amount of money requested for RDT&E in Space Control at approximately $2164.1 million, which is 13.4% of the requested funds for RDT&E of Space Weapons as a whole. Of the programs devoted to this field, three programs stand out as being on the cutting edge, yet they are also representative of Space Control as a whole. These programs are Counterspace Systems, Front-end Robotics Enabling Near-term Demonstration, and Starfire Optical Range.
In this poster I will go into detail about Counterspace Systems, Front-end Robotics Enabling Near-term Demonstration (FREND), and Starfire Optical Range. Counterspace Systems and Starfire Optical Range are Program Elements of the United States Air Force, meaning they consist of multiple projects while FREND is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program which does not consist of any other programs besides itself. I also summarize six other programs, of which five are USAF Program Elements and one is a DARPA program. After that I put these and Space Control in context with other Space Weapon applications and the Department of Defense. At the end I theorize about the outlook for the future of Space Control of the future of this research project. All monetary figures used are for Fiscal Year 2009.