Space: July 19, 2005

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All the American generals and admirals want more satellite communications, as well as faster throughput. So the Department of Defense has come up with TSAT (Transformational Communications Satellite System). This is basically a satellite based military Internet. It will be optimized for speed. Right now, it takes about two minutes to get a UAV image to another user via satellite. TSAT would do that in a second or two. This kind of speed is needed if all the air, land and sea weapons are linked together, to act as observers and shooters for each other. The only drawbacks with TSAT is that such a system will cost nearly $20 billion, and take over a decade, to build. While this has many of the brass ready to sign on, others are casting about for cheaper and faster solutions, using existing technology to work up to the TSAT gold standard year by year.

 


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