Air Force Chief Reiterates DOD Position On Current ABL: Not In The Plan

March 31, 2010 at 7:54 am | Posted in Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: InsideDefense.com

The Air Force’s top uniformed officer today reiterated the Obama administration’s view that the Airborne Laser would never be used in any operational capacity.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter are all on record saying the ABL is too expensive and lacks a working operational concept. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz today echoed those remarks, saying the ABL’s “chemical laser is probably not the long-term play in this area.” ABL was originally an Air Force program when it deputed in 1996; while it was subsequently transferred to the Missile Defense Agency, the Air Force was always seen as the eventual buyer for the platform. Schwartz’s comments today puts an end to any thoughts of the service ever buying ABL.

The ABL, developed by a Boeing-led industry team, carries a $1 billion to $1.5 billion per aircraft price tag.

However, because the Air Force was the service that began the program in the 1990s before ABL was transferred to the Missile Defense Agency, Schwartz’s words may be the final word on using the system operationally.

“That’s not to say that a laser has an absolute place in our future — I’m certain that that’s the case,” Schwartz told attendees of an Air Force Association-sponsored breakfast. “It is probably something more on the lines of the solid-state or electric kinds of systems rather than chemical sorts of lasers, but still developmental and absolutely worth our continuing efforts in that regard and it will be, I’m convinced, a significant factor in our capability in the years ahead.”

Schwartz’s comments come in the wake of the program’s seminal triumph — last month’s first-ever successful intercept of a boosting target missile off the California coast.

The first shoot-down of a sounding rocket — which went unannounced — took place on Feb. 3, according to a Missile Defense Agency statement released Feb. 12. A second intercept of a ballistic missile was accomplished Feb. 11.

The ABL program has suffered from cost overruns and delays since its inception, so much so that MDA for this fiscal year proposed zeroing out funding for the ABL budget line and creating a new program element called the Airborne Laser Test Bed “to fund continued research on lasers,” according to the agency’s FY-11 budget overview.

“[T]he truth is, we would need such a number of ABL platforms that actually affect the mission — that it simply is neither affordable nor in my mind operationally feasible,” Schwartz said this morning. “So we . . . instead will continue to use the ABL for test purposes but focusing on other means of generating this laser capability.”

One effort the Air Force would be willing to take charge of is the command, control, battle management and communications (C2BMC) portion of the Ballistic Missile Defense System, according to Schwartz.

“One of the things that we believe strongly is that [with] our air operations centers and our broader capability as area air defense commanders and so on, we need to integrate the missile-defense capabilities that we field and as they are fielded in this broader context,” he said. “And so, we have made the case that if we’re going to transition the MDA [C2BMC effort] to a program of record, that we would be willing as a service to host that. Other services are interested as well, and so ultimately this will probably be resolved in the Tank. But we think that this needs to be a part of the repertoire of the Joint Force Air Component Commander with their Area Air Defense Command responsibility.”
— John Liang

United Kingdom – Statutory Instrument 2010 No. 902: The Aviation Security Regulations 2010

March 30, 2010 at 10:11 am | Posted in Aviation Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The United Kingdom’s Statutory Instrument 2010 No. 902: The Aviation Security Regulations 2010 (PDF) was made on 22 March 2010, laid before Parliament on 24 March 2010, and comes into force on 29 April 2010.

Jessup Competition 2010: Legality of the Use of Unmanned Drones

March 30, 2010 at 10:04 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

This years Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition will address the legality of the use of unmanned drones as well as international anti-corruption laws. Get the compromis from the website.

Report of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee on its forty-seventh session, held in Vienna from 8 to 19 February 2010

March 29, 2010 at 10:01 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The Report of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee on its forty-seventh session, held in Vienna from 8 to 19 February 2010 (U.N. doc. A/AC.105/958) is now available on the UNOOSA website.

New START Treaty

March 29, 2010 at 9:58 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

the United States and the Russian Federation have reached agreement on a new START Treaty. The White House fact sheet has the following information on the agreement:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
March 26, 2010
Key Facts about the New START Treaty

Treaty Structure: The New START Treaty is organized in three tiers of increasing level of detail. The first tier is the Treaty text itself. The second tier consists of a Protocol to the Treaty, which contains additional rights and obligations associated with Treaty provisions. The basic rights and obligations are contained in these two documents. The third tier consists of Technical Annexes to the Protocol. All three tiers will be legally binding. The Protocol and Annexes will be integral parts of the Treaty and thus submitted to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.

Strategic Offensive Reductions: Under the Treaty, the U.S. and Russia will be limited to significantly fewer strategic arms within seven years from the date the Treaty enters into force. Each Party has the flexibility to determine for itself the structure of its strategic forces within the aggregate limits of the Treaty. These limits are based on a rigorous analysis conducted by Department of Defense planners in support of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review.

Aggregate limits:

* 1,550 warheads. Warheads on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs count toward this limit and each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as one warhead toward this limit.
o This limit is 74% lower than the limit of the 1991 START Treaty and 30% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.
* A combined limit of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
* A separate limit of 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
o This limit is less than half the corresponding strategic nuclear delivery vehicle limit of the START Treaty.

Verification and Transparency: The Treaty has a verification regime that combines the appropriate elements of the 1991 START Treaty with new elements tailored to the limitations of the Treaty. Measures under the Treaty include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the Treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring. To increase confidence and transparency, the Treaty also provides for the exchange of telemetry.

Treaty Terms: The Treaty’s duration will be ten years, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. The Parties may agree to extend the Treaty for a period of no more than five years. The Treaty includes a withdrawal clause that is standard in arms control agreements. The 2002 Moscow Treaty terminates upon entry into force of the New START Treaty. The U.S. Senate and the Russian legislature must approve the Treaty before it can enter into force.

No Constraints on Missile Defense and Conventional Strike: The Treaty does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.

Other resources on the treaty:

Remarks by the President on the Announcement of New START Treaty – The White House

Ban welcomes new arms pact between Russia and the United States – UN News Centre

President Obama Announces New START Treaty – Dipnote

John Kerry calls on senators not to hinder arms deal ratification – RIA Novosti

Obama Seals Arms Control Deal With Russia – MDAA

Ike Skelton on New START Treaty – MDAA

Briefing by Secretary Clinton, Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen on the announcement of the new START treaty – The White House

Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on agreement between the United States and Russia on a new strategic arms reduction treaty (START) – European Union

New START Treaty deal reached – Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces

New START treaty in numbers – Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces

START follow-on: The Senate calculus – Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

S. 3186: Satellite Television Extension Act of 2010

March 29, 2010 at 9:43 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

S. 3186: Satellite Television Extension Act of 2010 was signed into law by President Obama on March 25, 2010:

S 3186 ES

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3186

AN ACT

To reauthorize the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004 through April 30, 2010, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

This Act may be cited as the `Satellite Televison Extension Act of 2010′.

SEC. 2. SATELLITE TELEVISION EXTENSION.

(a) Amendments to Section 119 of Title 17, United States Code-

(1) IN GENERAL- Section 119 of title 17, United States Code, is amended–

(A) in subsection (c)(1)(E), by striking `March 28, 2010′ and inserting `April 30, 2010′; and

(B) in subsection (e), by striking `March 28, 2010′ and inserting `April 30 2010′.

(2) TERMINATION OF LICENSE- Section 1003(a)(2)(A) of Public Law 111-118 is amended by striking `March 28, 2010′, and inserting `April 30, 2010′.

(b) Amendments to Communications Act of 1934- Section 325(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 325(b)) is amended–

(1) in paragraph (2)(C), by striking `March 28, 2010′ and inserting `April 30, 2010′; and

(2) in paragraph (3)(C), by striking `March 29, 2010′ each place it appears in clauses (ii) and (iii) and inserting `May 1, 2010′.

Passed the Senate March 25, 2010.

Attest:

Secretary.

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3186

AN ACT

To reauthorize the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004 through April 30, 2010, and for other purposes.

S. 3180: A bill to prohibit the use of funds for the termination of the Constellation Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other purposes

March 29, 2010 at 8:55 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

S. 3180: A bill to prohibit the use of funds for the termination of the Constellation Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other purposes was introduced on March 25, 2010 by Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL):

S 3180 IS

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3180

To prohibit the use of funds for the termination of the Constellation Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 25, 2010

Mr. LEMIEUX (for himself, Mr. HATCH, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. WICKER, and Mr. COCHRAN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

A BILL

To prohibit the use of funds for the termination of the Constellation Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS FOR TERMINATION OF CONSTELLATION PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION.

(a) Reaffirmation of Prohibition- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall comply with the provisions of the first proviso under the heading ‘EXPLORATION’ under the heading ‘National Aeronautics and Space Administration’ in the Science Appropriations Act (title III of division B of Public Law 111-117; 123 Stat. 3147), relating to a prohibition on the use of funds for the termination or elimination of any program, project, or activity of the architecture of the Constellation Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

(b) Limitation- The provisions of section 1341 of title 31, United States Code (commonly referred to as the ‘Anti-Deficiency Act’), may not be utilized as a basis for the termination or elimination of any contract, program, project, or activity of the Constellation Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

(c) Comptroller General Report- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report on the Constellation Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The report shall set forth a description and assessment by the Comptroller General of the contracts, programs, projects, or activities of the Constellation Program, if any, that are contrary to law or are experiencing waste, fraud, or abuse.

(d) Current Shuttle Manifest Flight Assurance- The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall take all actions necessary to ensure shuttle launch capability, including not terminating any contractor support that will limit or impair the launching of, at a minimum, the payloads manifested for the shuttle as of the date of the enactment of this Act.

H. Res. 1231: Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United States Television Infrared Observation Satellite, the world’s first meteorological satellite, launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on April 1, 1960, and fulfilling the promise of President Eisenhower to all nations of the world to promote the peaceful use of space for the benefit of all mankind

March 29, 2010 at 8:47 am | Posted in Space Law | 1 Comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

H. Res. 1231: Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United States Television Infrared Observation Satellite, the world’s first meteorological satellite, launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on April 1, 1960, and fulfilling the promise of President Eisenhower to all nations of the world to promote the peaceful use of space for the benefit of all mankind was introduced on March 25, 2010 by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ12):

HRES 1231 IH

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 1231

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United States Television Infrared Observation Satellite, the world’s first meteorological satellite, launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on April 1, 1960, and fulfilling the promise of President Eisenhower to all nations of the world to promote the peaceful use of space for the benefit of all mankind.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 25, 2010

Mr. HOLT submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology

RESOLUTION

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United States Television Infrared Observation Satellite, the world’s first meteorological satellite, launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on April 1, 1960, and fulfilling the promise of President Eisenhower to all nations of the world to promote the peaceful use of space for the benefit of all mankind.

Whereas, April 1, 2010, is the 50th anniversary of the launch by the United States of the Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS I), the first weather observation satellite, that was capable of taking television images on command and remotely at locations around the world, and either recording the pictures as television signals for subsequent playback or transmitting the images to ground stations in real time;

Whereas TIROS resulted from the actions by President Eisenhower and Congress to create the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a civilian space agency, which applied technology from several military programs that had been directed by the U.S. Army Signal Corps Development and Research Labs (USASCDRL) at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and the United States Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, Alabama;

Whereas TIROS I images offered meteorologists the ability to examine large-scale weather patterns to improve weather forecasting and enable early warning of approaching storms, thus saving lives and property around the world;

Whereas the TIROS I images led to a better understanding of global patterns and supported transmission of detailed local weather information to national weather agencies around the world;

Whereas the realization of TIROS I was made possible by years of development of computers, missile systems, television imaging, magnetic recording, semiconductor devices, and solar cell applications, all of which resulted from both Government and private sector investments;

Whereas Government investments in research and development made possible the deployment of satellite tracking networks, worldwide WWV receiver time base systems, tracking data reduction for orbit element determination, and other facilities essential to the satellite applications;

Whereas Government and contractor personnel collaborated to observe and analyze the motion of TIROS I in the Earth’s magnetic field, and developed satellite magnetic attitude controls for later TIROS and other spacecraft to utilize the Earth’s magnetic field to orient satellites in Earth orbit;

Whereas the success of TIROS I was a significant Cold War event that restored the national pride and confidence in the space program;

Whereas, since the launch of TIROS I, the United States has launched over 82 experimental and operational meteorological satellites;

Whereas NASA’s Nimbus Satellites and Advanced Communications Technology Satellite continued to enhance understanding and performance by further testing and development of space power systems, sensor development, and other technologies;

Whereas the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) manages and operates fleets of satellites for the purposes of environmental and weather monitoring;

Whereas similar TIROS missions employed launch vehicles, spacecraft, and imaging equipment that was developed by NASA, the United States Air Force and their contractors and has performed in an outstanding manner;

Whereas the next 50 years of United States accomplishments in space, like other important fields, will rely on individuals possessing strong mathematics, science, and engineering skills and the educators who will train such individuals; and

Whereas the United States space program enables the development of advanced technologies, skills, and capabilities that support the competitiveness and economic growth of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) celebrates the achievement of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS I) team who worked together to enable the successful launch and operation of TIROS I by the United States to establish applications of space systems and technology for the benefit of people worldwide;

(2) supports science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education programs which are critical for preparing the next generation of engineers and scientists to lead future United States space endeavors;

(3) recognizes the role of the United States space program in strengthening the scientific and engineering foundation that contributes to United States innovation and economic growth; and

(4) looks forward to the next 50 years of United States achievements in the peaceful use of space to benefit all mankind.

ITU Radio Regulations Board urges Iran to end interference hampering EUTELSAT satellite operations

March 29, 2010 at 8:23 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J Blount with the blog faculty

From the ITU:

ITU Radio Regulations Board urges Iran to end interference hampering EUTELSAT satellite operations

Geneva, 26 March 2010 – The ITU Radio Regulations Board concluded its week-long deliberations today. Among the issues discussed was that of interference with radio signals from satellite networks operated by the European Satellite Organization, EUTELSAT.

The Administration of France, on behalf of the EUTELSAT satellite operator, notified the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) of the interference emanating from the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran. While also considering correspondence from the Administration of Iran, the RRB determined that EUTELSAT satellite networks, operating in the orbital positions at 9E, 13E, 21.5E and 25.5E are receiving harmful interference. The Board noted that “the interfering signals appear to be of a nature that is prohibited under Radio Regulations No. 15.1”.

The Radio Regulations Board concluded that the interference appeared to be emanating from the territory of Iran “based on measurements provided by the Administration of France, and having confidence in the measurement techniques and technologies used, because they are recognized in the ITU-R Handbook on Spectrum Monitoring”.

The interference is reported to have persisted for some time, adversely affecting the operation of several EUTELSAT satellite transponders and channels. The Radio Regulations Board urged the Administration of Iran to continue its effort in locating the source of interference and to eliminate it as a matter of the highest priority.

The Administration of France and the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau have been called upon to assist the Administration of Iran in identifying the source of the interference.

The Radio Regulations Board is a part-time body comprising 12 members representing the world’s five regions: the Americas, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia. Among the Board’s responsibilities is to approve the technical criteria used by the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau in the application of Radio Regulations, to consider reports of harmful interference and to formulate recommendations for their resolution. If agreement cannot be reached between an administration and the Board on a Rule of Procedure, the matter is submitted to a World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) for ruling. The next WRC will be held January-February 2012.

The current Chairman of the Board is Mr Mindaugas Zilinskas of Lithuania.

Library: A Round-up of Reading

March 26, 2010 at 9:37 am | Posted in Library | Leave a comment

Reports
CRS – Strategic Arms Control After START: Issues and Options

GAO – JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER: Significant Challenges and Decisions Ahead

Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Comprehensive Planning and a Results-Oriented Training Strategy Are Needed to Support Growing Inventories. GAO-10-331, March 26.

Blogs
Response from ACLU’s Jonathan Manes on Drones and US Forces – Volokh Conspiracy

£41 million for UK space but no Her Majesty’s agency – Hyperbola

The Idiocy of Lunar Ownership – The Space Advocate

NTSB Dismisses FAA Appeal For Untimely Filing Of Appeal Brief – Aviation Law Discussions

Other notes from Tuesday’s hearing – Space Politics

More talk (and denials) of a Plan B at NASA – Space Politics

Airbus Naughty, Says WTO – DoD Buzz

Space Situation Awareness Up, Counterspace and Space Control Down in FY2011 DOD Budget Request – Space Policy Online

Drone Warfare and UAVs in House Subcommittee Hearing – Opinio Juris

Update on NASA FY2011 budget and NEO funding: Near Earth Object Observation (NEOO) Initiative – Planetary Defense

U.S. and Russia Agree on Missile-Defense Workaround for New Nuke Treaty – MDAA

Missile Defense Agency Honors Raytheon Employees for Satellite Shoot Down – MDAA

OIG: NASA Will Probably Not Retire Shuttle in 2010 – NASA Watch

Russian Bombers in UK Airspace – Coming Anarchy

Harold Koh Statements on Drone Warfare at ASIL Tonight – Volokh Conspiracy

Spatialist Workshop – Spatial Law and Policy

Good News On ITAR – Transterrestrial Musings

Drone Attacks Are Legit Self-Defense, Says State Dept. Lawyer – Danger Room

House Authorization Hearing on NASA’s Exploration Plans: A SpacePolicyOnline.com Hearing Summary – Space Policy Online

If at first you don’t succeed… – Space Politics

NAR/TRA joint statement on legal fee recovery – Dick’s Rocket Dungeon

Drone Warfare Subcommittee Testimony, Up at SSRN – The Volokh Conspiracy

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