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
TJS-4, the ears of Beijing
This article initially appeared on eastpendulum.com, a French-language blog about the Chinese military and aerospace industry On October 17th, 2019, China launched the TJS-4 satellite from the Xichang Space Center. It was carried towards geostationary orbit by a Long March 3B rocket. However, contrary to the civilian communication satellites which are often launched to this… Continue reading TJS-4, the ears of Beijing
Some news on the Yaogan-30 constellation
This article initially appeared on eastpendulum.com, a French-language blog about the Chinese military and aerospace industry A few years ago, I wrote about the Yaogan-30 constellation, which is made out of Chinese military satellites in Low Earth Orbit. By then, it had two groups of three satellites each, with the second group still having to… Continue reading Some news on the Yaogan-30 constellation
France’s new space defense strategy
Following last year's announcement by the minister of the Armed Forces of changes in the French space defense strategy, the different options have been studied and the decisions taken by the President of the French Republic. The minister has disclosed some of the contents of this new policy in a speech on July 25, 2019.… Continue reading France’s new space defense strategy
Space Situational Awareness news from the Paris Airshow
With the new French space policy to be announced in a few months, and likely including a heavy Space Situational Awareness (SSA) emphasis, a few companies were presenting their solutions at the 2019 Paris Airshow: Sodern is working with cubesat builder Hemeria and electronics expert CS on Hirondelles, a constellation of cubesats to do satellite-to-satellite… Continue reading Space Situational Awareness news from the Paris Airshow
High-altitude Pseudosatellites, the future of Earth observation?
Persistent observation, a persistent problem For all the improvements in spatial and spectral resolution, agility and accuracy, satellites suffer from one serious drawback: they have to follow the laws of orbital mechanics and keep moving around the Earth. This means they cannot hang around an interesting location, to keep a persistent watch on it, except… Continue reading High-altitude Pseudosatellites, the future of Earth observation?
Safran’s high-performance imager for cubesats
Following the previous post on Airbus’ SAR strategy, we will look at another interesting presentation from ESA's 2018 “Φ-week”, this time on an imaging payload for cubesats presented by French company Safran Reosc. Safran Reosc is a long-time supplier of space optics, specializing in polishing and coating telescopes for Thales Alenia Space or Airbus for… Continue reading Safran’s high-performance imager for cubesats
Airbus’ SAR strategy
In November 2018, ESA held a series of talks on the future of Earth observation. It was part of the agency's "Φ-week" event and took place at ESA’s Earth observation center in Frascati, Italy, and the participants ranged from large space primes to small startups. The full recording of the event is available there. This… Continue reading Airbus’ SAR strategy
Great power competition did not disappear with the end of the Cold War. Nowadays, tensions are rising between the USA with Trump's zero-sum-gain policies, Russia with its aggressive behaviour toward its neighbours, and finally China with its restored military and economic status. This competition takes many forms. Trade wars, alliances and propaganda campaigns are one.… Continue reading Detecting hypersonics