Air Force Research Lab’s Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland AFB, N.M., is working toward launching a “football field in length,” five-ton space-based radar antenna demonstrator in 2010. The aim of the program is to put antennas in space that can provide intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance data for ground target detection. The effort’s official name is Innovative Space-based radar Antenna Technology, or ISAT. It’s one of the key technologies behind the Space-Based Radar. Two contractor teams—Boeing and Raytheon and Lockheed Martin and Harris—are vying to build the 100-yard long experimental antenna. Ultimately, the structures could extend to 300 yards. They will be deployed in a folded position.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.