Resiliency is Key

Commercial space is playing a big part in current military operations, and the industry must prepare for a future in which the space environment isn’t as friendly and permissive as today, said Kay Sears, president of Intelsat General, a satellite communications provider. “We want to prepare for the future fight . . . including one that would not necessarily include communications dominance,” Sears told audience members last week at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles. The company is thinking a lot about resiliency, and has invested much into security features, she said. It offers type-one encrypted telemetry, tracking, and command links on some platforms, she noted. While the commercial space model is different from military space, Sears believes that the two worlds can come together to a significant extent. However, “I don’t think we’ll be launching hardened satellites” to withstand nuclear attack, she noted. Commercial space could also increase its capabilities in anti-interference tools, since the space sector is seeing a “dramatic increase” in interference events, said Sears.