PACSAT

A Passive Communication Satellite for Survivable Command and Control

by Edward Bedrosian

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Examines passive communication satellites as alternatives to active communication satellites in the hostile environment that may exist in the postattack period of a nuclear war. Inexpensive, survivable, and jam resistant, they offer an attractive low-data-rate capability. PACSAT is a proliferable candidate for this role. It consists of a long (about 1 km), gravity-gradient-stabilized array of small beads (about 1 cm in diameter) that reflects a narrow, conical, frequency-steerable beam back to the earth. The properties of PACSAT are presented and its performance in a representative system for the command and control of MX is evaluated.

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