France debates its near-space policy

To start off 2023, the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force organized a colloquium on Very High Altitude Operations, meaning operations between conventional airplane altitudes, under 20km, and "orbital space" above 100km. It featured Air Force officials, but also the companies and research institutes involved in developing platforms able to fly at these… Continue reading France debates its near-space policy

ASTERX 22: France’s annual military space exercise

While Russia started invading Ukraine, French Space Command was holding its annual exercise, called ASTERX 22. The ministry of armed forces then gave a presentation to the press about the command and the exercise. Background on French military space policy The presentation started with an introduction of French military space. To readers of this site,… Continue reading ASTERX 22: France’s annual military space exercise

China completes the Yaogan-30 constellation

This article initially appeared on eastpendulum.com, a French-language blog about the Chinese military and aerospace industry The Chinese Yaogan-30 constellation has already been the topic of two previous articles, but this one is probably the last: with the launch of the seventh trio of satellites, the constellation has now six equally-spaced planes, so it has… Continue reading China completes the Yaogan-30 constellation

GEOINT at DRM, the French military intelligence agency

The center for artificial intelligence at the Paris Sorbonne university is organizing a weekly seminar on the state of GEOINT in France, with a lot of distinguished speakers from the French ministry of the armed forces and from the industry. To open the series, they had none other than general (Air) Jean-François Ferlet, the head of the military intelligence agency DRM (Direction du Renseignement Militaire)

The American proliferated LEO architecture

The USA have for a long time been trying to track missiles after the main engine has burned out. The recent rise of manoeuvrable hypersonic gliders and cruise missiles has made this need more pressing, since they fly very low compared to ballistic missiles, and consequently they are mostly below the radar horizon. China and… Continue reading The American proliferated LEO architecture

TJS-4 antenna design documents uncovered

I recently wrote about the TJS-4 satellite, which the Chinese put into geostationary orbit. Based on the picture released during launch, I concluded it was a signal intelligence satellite, capable of collecting signals of "250MHz to 1.5GHz of frequency. It is even possible that smaller elements, not visible on the image, allow the satellite to… Continue reading TJS-4 antenna design documents uncovered