China's sat jamming test spurs international concerns

17 Oct 2006

(Air Safety Week via NewsEdge) China has beamed a powerful ground-based laser at US spy satellites over its territory, a US intelligence agency reported, in an action that exposed the potential vulnerability of space systems that provided crucial data to American troops and consumers around the world.

The US Department of Defense refused to disclose which satellite was involved or when it occurred. As North Korea defied the international community with its nuclear tests, China's satellite jamming was exacerbating already high tensions in this trouble region of the globe.

The stakes are high, as a space-blinded US military will be left groping and largely incommunicado. A satellite-deprived commercial aviation sphere will soon see its accident rate and its costs escalate.

The US military has rapidly grown heavily reliant on satellite data, for everything from targeting to relaying communications to space-based espionage. Critical space assets include 30 global positioning satellites (GPS) that help target weapons and locate enemy forces and assets.

© 2006 Access Intelligence, LLC

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