DARPA’s SUMO – the future of anti-satellite weapons

by | Jan 16, 2008 | Satellites | 0 comments

January 2007 saw the Chinese shoot down one of their own satellites at an altitude of about 800km (496miles) resulting in an international outcry and a lot of debris

We hear that the Russians and the Americans both tested ASAT missiles in the 1980s but knocked out satellites at much lower altitudes avoiding the space debris problem China has now given the world

So have the Great Powers, in their inifinite wisdom, abandoned ASAT technology? No, silly!

In my humble opinion this US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency programme called Spacecraft for the Universal Modification of Orbits (SUMO) is exactly that

As if the name is not enough, its website blurb says, “SUMO can remove and install Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs) and replenish propellant and pressurant. For spacecraft with compatible interfaces, SUMO can perform station-keeping and attitude control and modify the spacecraft’s orbit [emphasis added].”

But somehow I can imagine that this SUMO spacecraft could “modify” an orbit even if the target satellite does not have a “compatible interface”

Here you can watch a video of it doing its thing

sumoW445.JPG

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

ULA and SpaceX share spoils of US Air Force contracts 60:40 as Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman are left out

On behalf of the US Department of Defense, the US Air Force has awarded launch contracts as part of the Read more

ABL gets US Air Force launches commitment

The US-based launch vehicle start up firm ABL Space Systems has reported that it has received two US Air Force Read more

Northrop Grumman secures US$2.4bn order for two polar Next-Gen OPIR satellites

American satellite manufacturer Northrop Grumman received an awaited order for two polar orbit Next-Gen OPIR satellites on 18 May. The Read more

Analysis: Was the X-37B/OTV mission 5 illegal under international law?

The US Air Force X-37B mini-shuttle/reusable spacecraft not only broke its own mission duration record on its fifth flight, its Read more

Vector loses US Air Force ASLON-45 launch to Aevum’s new Ravn air-launched design

Given its financial woes, it was not a surprise that Vector had to withdraw from its contract with the US Read more

ULA Atlas V rocket lifts-off carrying USAF comms satellite and piggy-back CubeSat

At 1013 GMT, on 8 August 2019, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket lifted-off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Read more

US Air Force buys three ULA launches for US$442 million and three SpaceX ones for US$297 million

Under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) programme, the US Air Force has awarded two multi-launch contracts: one to ULA and Read more

US Air Force to part fund three companies’ new rocket development but SpaceX is left out for now

A bit like the NASA commercial crew effort, the US Air Force has announced that it is to part fund three companies’ development of Read more

Cookies & Privacy

Click here to read about use of cookies on the website

Categories

Archives