Signals & Space Monthly Briefing

February 2019

Prepared by the CyberWire (Friday, February 1, 2019)

US National Intelligence Strategy, 2019 edition, is out.

The Director of National Intelligence this past month released the 2019 US National Intelligence Strategy, outlining a host of "diverse and interconnected" threats posed by "traditional adversaries" as well as "evolving threats." It warns that emerging technologies will "enable new and improved military and intelligence capabilities for our adversaries," and that, "despite growing awareness of cyber threats and improving cyber defenses, nearly all information, communication networks, and systems will be at risk for years to come."

Space and cyber are called out at the beginning of the document as the areas of greatest concern. "No longer a solely U.S. domain, the democratization of space poses significant challenges for the United States and the IC. Adversaries are increasing their presence in this domain with plans to reach or exceed parity in some areas." In this context "democratization" means not only more capable programs by nation-state rivals, particularly Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, but also more sophisticated, affordable, and widely available commercial products and services. The strategy sees the US in a similar position with respect to cyber operations: confronting an increasingly complex and effective range of actual and potential threat actors. And space and cyber have this in common: they're both now inextricably intertwined with the way societies now live, and conduct business. The capabilities found in these two domains bring fragility with their benefits. 

The strategy lists seven mission objectives—three foundational and four topical. The foundational objectives include strategic intelligence to address issues relevant to "enduring national security interest," anticipatory intelligence to address "new and emerging trends, changing conditions, and underappreciated developments," and current operations intelligence. The topical mission objectives include cyber threat intelligence, counterterrorism, counterproliferation, and counterintelligence and security. 

Space competition, again.

The National Intelligence Strategy isn't alone in seeing renewed competition in space. Many observers have been considerably more blunt. Foreign Policy calls it "a new Cold War" (and counsels American patience with its rival). China's successful robotic mission to the far side of the moon isn't exactly a Sputnik moment, but it's widely seen as inaugurating a new space race, one that a Washington Post op-ed sees as a race the US is losing. Beijing's space exploits are, in the short-term, a way of consolidating China's status as a great power: Xinhua says that China plans to deploy more than fifty spacecraft in at least thirty launches during 2019, which is a clear gesture in that direction. In the mid-term it seeks to establish a permanent presence in space. In the long-term some see a competition over off-earth resources (South China Morning Post).

This competition has at least three parties: Russia is also playing. Russia's position as a leading space-faring nation may be fading, especially as the US approaches its return to routine human spaceflight and deprecates its partnership with Moscow (Ars Technica), but Russian leaders, who blame the Americans for the erosion of bilateral cooperation in space, are by no means prepared to go into quiet decline. TASS quoted Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin's brief, direct statement of Russia's strategic goal: "to regain Russia’s leadership in space, pure and simple."

Peer competition elsewhere (both cyber and kinetic).

Much of the direct, physical confrontation among major powers this month has been maritime. The US and the UK have conducted joint exercises in the disputed South China Sea (Navy Times), and the US Navy has returned to the Black Sea, a response to Russian actions against Ukraine in those waters during the last two months of 2018 (Radio Free Europe | Radio Liberty).

In cyberspace China continues its long-standing program of industrial espionage (at which the US and its allies are striking back with sanctions and lawfare). Russian cyber operations continue to concentrate on information operations directed toward disruption and influence (Infosecurity Magazine).

Emerging technological capabilities.

China has begun conducting drills involving anti-satellite weapons, which suggests a growing operational kinetic kill capability (National Air and Space Intelligence Center). Both Chinese and Russian anti-satellite systems and ambitions are among the space threats presently concerning US policymakers (Space Daily).

US missile defense programs appear to be undergoing a revival, as a missile defense review calls for a mix of ground and space-based systems, some of which would employ directed-energy weapons. Foreign Policy calls it the most ambitious missile defense plan since the Cold War. It envisions tighter coupling of offensive, in some cases preemptive, capabilities with such existing systems as THAAD and Aegis cruisers and destroyers. The F-35 is currently being tested to see whether it could be used as a boost-phase interceptor.

The US Missile Defense Review added cruise missiles and hypersonic glide weapons to the threats the program would address. These additions are seen as a direct response to recent Russian and Chinese developments. The plan's most significant feature, however, may be its advocacy of a new sensor layer: space-based sensors in low earth orbit deployed to detect and track missile launches. As the Center for Strategic and International Studies notes, with approval, the Review shows good continuity with earlier missile defense planning, but makes significant departures in its urgent appraisal of technological superiority as fragile, and its commitment to positioning missile defense as a contributor to international stability. How the plans may be realized in actual appropriations, of course, remains to be seen. 

One interesting sidelight on missile defense: the US Navy appears to see an opportunity to shed this particular mission, and may regard the Review as affording an opportunity to get out of the missile defense business (Breaking Defense).

Space Force begins to take shape.

Space Force is moving closer to becoming a reality. Space Command, the combatant command reestablished at the end of 2018, already is a reality, and is widely seen as a harbinger of the separate military service that Space Force is expected to become. Organizational details about Space Force are expected to become clear in 2020 appropriations, that is, in the next budget. Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan says he already has a candidate for the Force's first commander in mind, but he intends to keep that selection to himself (Defense News). One of the effects of planning for the new Space Force is expected to be high demand for, and spending on, new satellites (Defense News). The Defense space budget in general is trending upward (Space News).

Space Force may not yet have Federal money appropriated for it, but a television show about it, called, obviously, "Space Force," has Netflix money and is under preparation. Steve Carrell will star in a reunion with the creator of "The Office," which suggests popular culture will encounter the new sixth service in a workplace comedy as opposed to Roddenberrian space opera (Mashable).

Service reorganizations.

Army Cyber Command, looking almost a decade out, thinks it will become Information Warfare Operations Command by 2028 (Defense Daily).

The Air Force is pursuing its plans to merge IT and intelligence functions at the Air Force Staff level (Federal News Network).

The US Army has now clearly pushed electronic warfare and cyber capabilities down to brigade level. It's establishing two organizations built around the 17th and 41st Field Artillery Brigades to, as Breaking Defense puts it, "hack, jam, sense, and shoot." Hacking and jamming increasingly go together, as cyber operations and electronic warfare continue to converge. Sensing is a natural, and necessary for both electronic and kinetic attack. The shooting would be done, for the most part, by rockets, specifically HIMARS High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. The hacking and jamming would be the work of battalion-strength Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare, & Space Detachments, one per brigade, inevitably to be known by their acronym I2CEWS. The organizations are a serious sign that the US at least is prepared to delegate significant cyber capability down to surprisingly low tactical levels. One of the new detachments is now operational with the 17th Field Artillery Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Washington State. The other is destined for the 41st Field Artillery Brigade, now reestablished at Grafenwoehr, Germany.  

Notes on procurement and prototyping.

There appear to be two distinct but, one hopes, complementary paths to overcoming slow Defense procurement. One, represented prominently by big cloud contracts like JEDI, aims to find and transition leading-edge but well-established civilian technologies to military use. The other looks for the breakthrough, unexpected innovation that offers the promise of operational transformation. Here are some examples of programs designed to take the Pentagon down those two paths.

US Army Futures Command, now almost half a year old, represents that service's attempt to break out of an acquisition system that has long seemed too sclerotic, too preoccupied with the niceties of contracting and the avoidance of the appearance of fraud or favoritism, to keep pace with technological change and operational needs. Futures Command intends to foster rapid prototyping to get articles into the hands of operators who can give them a swift, realistic assessment before the Service commits to large-scale production and fielding (Breaking Defense).

DISA has also established an office designed to get new technologies fielded more quickly. Its new Emerging Technologies Directorate will seek, as so many other Defense organizations do, to bridge the gap between discovery and invention on the one side and operational capability on the other (SIGNAL).

The Air Force is taking a venture capitalist's approach to finding innovative start-ups and securing the use of their technologies. It's going to hold a live-pitch day in March, where the best ideas will compete for $40 million in funding (Nextgov).

Whatever disruptive innovations the Air Force finds among its start-ups, we hope they're compatible with a military version of a civilian cloud.

Industry notes.

The small satellite market is in a minor (at least) boom phase, with demand driven by both commercial (satellite internet, maritime applications) and government (missile defense, surveillance) needs. Some companies, General Atomics among them, are seeing earlier acquisitions of small satellite firms paying off.

One start-up, Swarm, has raised $25 million in a Series A round to fund its projected deployment of a smallsat constellation (Space News).



Today's edition of the CyberWire reports events affecting Afghanistan, China, the Congo, Ethiopia, Iran, Gabon, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Russia, Somalia, Syria, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yemen.

Selected Reading

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities (18)

Trends (4)

Marketplace (38)

Products, Services, and Solutions (18)

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards (21)

Design and Innovation (11)

Research and Development (15)

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation (42)

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement (2)

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities

America's Spies Warn: Space Is Getting a Lot More Dangerous (The National Interest) Thanks to Russia, China and many others. 

Exclusive: Kremlin-linked contractors help guard Venezuela's Maduro... (Reuters) Private military contractors who do secret missions for Russia flew into Venezue...

‘Nearly all’ American networks will be susceptible to cyberattacks (Fifth Domain) “Nearly all information, communication networks, and systems will be at risk for years to come,” according to the 2019 national intelligence strategy.

Pentagon: Chinese Military Units Training With ASAT missiles (Washington Free Beacon) Chinese military forces have deployed multiple units armed with anti-satellite (ASAT) missiles that can destroy scores of American satellites.

US intelligence warns of ‘ever more diverse’ threats (Military Times) Russia’s efforts to expand its influence and China’s modernizing military are among the “ever more diverse” threats facing the U.S., according to a major intelligence report released Tuesday.

Lockheed Martin executive: Reported Navy hack did not impact Aegis Common Source Library ( A recently reported hack of Navy contractors did not affect Lockheed Martin's Aegis Common Source Library, according to a company executive.

Navy sends second message to Moscow this month (Navy Times) The U.S. Navy has sent another warship to the Black Sea.

US and British conduct training in South China Sea (Navy Times) U.S. and British warships conducted joint maneuvers in the South China this month in what they called a sign of their shared emphasis on regional peace and stability.

Iranian navy vows to sail into America’s backyard (Navy Times) One of Iran's top naval officers says Tehran will send a

U.S. Increasingly Concerned About a Chinese Attack on Taiwan (Foreign Policy) The Pentagon says reunification is the primary driver of China’s military modernization.

‘We’ll see how frightened America is’ — Chinese admiral says sinking US carriers key to dominating South China Sea (Navy Times) Another Beijing official has sounded off about the communist nation’s perceived dominance of the South China Sea region, this time coming as an alarming threat of inflicting mass casualties on the U.S. Navy.

China’s first steps before going to battle (C4ISRNET) A new report released by the Defense Intelligence Agency explains why the Chinese military could target command and control systems before any conflict begins.

3 ways China’s military could use cyber in war (Fifth Domain) A new report articulates how China might use cyber capabilities during a conflict.

The History of Ashiyane: Iran's First Security Forum (Recorded Future) In this analysis, Insikt Group explores the historical links between Iran’s first and largest security forum, Ashiyane Forum, and the Iranian government.

Jihadist group consolidates control in northwestern Syria (FDD's Long War Journal) Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a US and UN-designated terrorist organization, has strengthened its grip on northwestern Syria in recent weeks. HTS has seized ground from rival insurgents.

Withdrawing From Syria Leaves a Vacuum That Iran Will Fill (Foreign Affairs) An American withdrawal from Syria would provide Iran with the operational space to expand its growing network of Shiite foreign fighters, who can be mobilized and moved throughout the Middle East. If Iran’s leaders see this as a worthwhile strategy whose benefits outweigh its costs, the network could grow from a regional threat to a global one, ultimately creating more problems in the long term for the United States and its allies.

Western mercenaries ready for Syria, Russians already there (Asia Times) Speculation is rampant that US-based 'Dogs of War' may engage in Syria and Afghanistan, but Russian competitors are more flexible and aggressive

The Year of Living Dangerously With Nuclear Weapons (Foreign Affairs) The United States could find itself in not one but three nuclear crises in the next 12 months: one with North Korea, one with Russia, and one with Iran.


Crypto via satellite is starting to take off (Asia Times) A number of tech companies around the world are working on putting blockchain and crypto-currency platforms into space aboard satellites

Where will NASA go in 20 years? It may depend on private space and China (Ars Technica) To divine the future of NASA in 2038, we looked back to 1998 for some clues.

Here’s what the battlefield tech industry predicts for 2019 (C4ISRNET) C4ISRNET asked industry leaders what trends they expect to see in 2019. This is what they said.

On the Cyber Edge of History (SIGNAL Magazine) Legislation, strategies, policies, authorities and a spirit of cooperation across government and the international community align to meet the cyber threat.


7 ways contractors can think about recovering shutdown costs (Washington Business Journal) “It certainly is not a given” that contractors will recover costs caused by the 35-day shutdown, an attorney tells us. “It’s also not foregone conclusion that you automatically cannot recover those costs.”

Don't Worry, Defense Industry: Boeing Has Not Taken Over The Pentagon (Forbes) Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan's Boeing background will not give Boeing the inside track in the Pentagon. Instead of worrying about rogue officials and his reported blue comments on the F-35, industry should worry about defense budget cuts and strategic changes that would undercut their programs.

What do Cyber Command’s acquisition requests reveal? (Fifth Domain) The command wants to support its J9 advanced concepts and technology directorate.

DISA Targets Emerging Technologies (SIGNAL Magazine) DISA has reorganized its technology innovation efforts into a single organization known as the Emerging Technologies (EM) Directorate.

Air Force wants startups to answer the call for $40M (FedScoop) The Air Force will hold its first Air Force Pitch Day on Mar. 6 in New York City, offering startups the chance to win small awards for their innovative ideas that same day. The service has allocated up to $40 million for the event. Startup companies and small businesses will have the chance to win up to $158,000 …

Army posts DCGS-A sources sought notice (Intelligence Community News) On January 15, the U.S. Army posted a sources sought notice for Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS-A) Enabled Tactical Ground Station. Responses are due by January 21 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern. Thi…

Why You Should Consider the NSA’s Commercial Solutions for Classified Program (Technology Solutions That Drive Government) The program certifies commercial tools defense and intelligence agencies can use to build encrypted networks and helps streamline IT footprints.

Space business buoys Harris, troubles L3 as merger progresses ( Harris Corp. and L3 Technologies reported contrasting financial performances for their space activities Jan. 29, with Harris charting growth in classified smallsat programs and L3 recording losses in satellite communications components.

Swarm raises $25 million for smallsat constellation ( The new Series A funds will go toward deploying the company’s full constellation over the next 18 months, as well as adding new hires and boosting technology development.

Blue Origin Breaks Ground for BE-4 Rocket Engine Factory in Alabama ( As Blue Origin breaks ground on a new factory for producing rocket engines, the company says development of its BE-4 engine will be completed later this year.

Why Facebook, SpaceX and Dozens of Others Are Battling Over Internet Access From Space (Fortune) Companies are scrambling to offer high-speed online access from the final frontier.

Loon Takes Its Broadband Tech Up a Notch With Satellite Deal (PCMAG) Telesat wants to apply technology from Alphabet's Loon to its upcoming satellite-based broadband service, which is slated to launch in 2022. If all goes well, the low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites will offer low-latency Gigabit internet to customers anywhere in the world.

Updated: Lockheed Martin scores critical Army airborne electronic warfare contract (C4ISRNET) Lockheed was awarded a contract under the Multi-Function Electronic Warfare (MFEW) program.

Gilat Awarded Multi-year Contract for Broadband Solution Over ISRO's GSAT-11 Satellite Covering India (PR Newswire) Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ: GILT) (TASE: GILT), a worldwide leader in satellite networking...

Rocket Lab snags DARPA launch contract for first 2019 mission (TechCrunch) Launch startup Rocket Lab is following the success of its first couple commercial launches by adding a prestigious (and deep-pocketed) new client: DARPA. The New Zealand-based company will send an experimental satellite called R3D2 into low Earth orbit sometime in late February if all goes well. DA…

Kinetic IT scores $90m Defence support deals (CRN Australia) Unisys out of gig, but Fujitsu retains some work.

Ethiopian telco mulls acquiring comms satellite (Satellite Pro ME) Following INSA's unsuccessful bid to acquire a satellite, Ethio Telecom has revisited its original plans to acquire a satellite to serve the varied needs of the country.

SpaceX cutting 10 percent of its staff to become a leaner company (Ars Technica) "We must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team."

How Enhanced Launch Vehicles Are Supporting The Booming Space Economy (Forbes) More than 6,000 satellites have been sent into orbit around Earth since the space industry’s inception some 60 years ago, according to NASA. And a report from the Satellite Industry Association claims an average of 144 were deployed every year between 2012 and 2016.

A multibillion-dollar Pentagon cloud program that’s not JEDI moves closer to reality (Washington Business Journal) The Defense Enterprise Office Solution procurement, or DEOS, is valued at up to $8 billion over 10 years.

Microsoft's big win: Pentagon signs massive $1.76bn contract (ZDNet) Microsoft wins a five-year services deal with Department of Defense, Coast Guard, and intelligence community.

Microsoft continues to build government security credentials ahead of JEDI decision (TechCrunch) While the DoD is in the process of reviewing the $10 billion JEDI cloud contract RFPs (assuming the work continues during the government shutdown), Microsoft continues to build up its federal government security bona fides, regardless. Today the company announced it has achieved the highest level o…

Why Microsoft (Not Amazon) Could Win The Pentagon Contract (Seeking Alpha) The majority of forecasts favor Amazon for the Pentagon contract while overlooking the partnerships that MS has made with the DoD since Nadella became CEO in 20

A Smarter Commercial Cloud (SIGNAL Magazine) Heavy hitters in the commercial cloud industry, such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, are pushing cloud-computing capabilities to what they refer to as the intelligent edge.

9 companies will compete for work on the Navy’s giant engineering contract (C4ISRNET) The Navy awarded a contract for cyber, electronic warfare and information warfare services to nine companies in a deal that could eventually be worth as much as $962 million.

TRANSCOM Blazes Cyber Trail to Commercial Cloud (SIGNAL Magazine) The command is making strides in transferring its unclassified systems and is sharing lessons learned that will make the path to cloud usage smoother for others to follow.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency awards BAE Systems five-year contract of $250 million (Geospatial World) US: The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has awarded BAE Systems a five-year, $250 million contract to continue providing Full-Motion Video (FMV) advanced analytic services, training, and intelligence production support. “Our experts play a critical role in analyzing multiple FMV feeds to produce actionable intelligence in support of a 24/7 national security mission,” said Peder Jungck, …

Raytheon signs contract to support UK RAF’s Shadow aircraft fleet (Airforce Technology) Raytheon has received a £250m contract for the provision of support and sustainment services to the UK Royal Air Force's (RAF) Shadow aircraft fleet.

Mercury Systems Receives $6.0M Follow-On RF Microelectronics Order for Airborne Electronic Warfare Application (GlobeNewswire News Room) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY,, announced it received a $6.0 million follow-on order from a leading defense prime contractor for precision-engineered radio frequency (RF) microelectronics for an advanced airborne electronic warfare application.

Mercury Systems Receives $2.1M Order for Digital RF Memory Devices for Airborne Electronic Warfare Training Application (GlobeNewswire News Room) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, announced that it received a $2.1 million order from a leading defense prime contractor for low-latency, multi-role digital RF memory (DRFM) modules used in an advanced electronic warfare (EW) training program for an Air Force platform.

Mercury Systems Ships First Space-Qualified Commercial Solid State Drives for Low Earth Orbit Satellite Application (Mercury Systems) Award-winning SSD technology integrated into SpaceVPX form factor delivers long-term data integrity in radiation-intense environments ANDOVER, Mass., Jan. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, ) announced the first prototype shipments of the Company’s 3U

Mercury Systems Receives $7M Order for Rugged Servers (GlobeNewswire News Room) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, announced it received a $7 million order from a leading defense prime contractor for rugged servers to be used in an on-the-move tactical communications application. The order was booked in the Company's fiscal 2019 second quarter.

Mercury Systems Secures $40M Flight Controller Design Win (Nasdaq) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, announced it secured a design win for advanced, safety certifiable flight controllers from an international aerospace company with an anticipated lifetime value of $40 million over the ten-year period of the contract.

Mercury Systems Receives $6.4M in RF Microelectronics Orders for Advanced Airborne Electronic Warfare Application (GlobeNewswire News Room) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY,, announced it received $6.4 million in follow-on orders from a leading defense prime contractor for advanced radio frequency (RF) subsystems that are integrated into an airborne electronic warfare (EW) system. The orders were booked in the Company’s fiscal 2019 second quarter and are expected to be shipped over the next several quarters.

Mercury Systems Receives $9.8M Integrated Subsystems Order for Naval Electronic Warfare Application (Nasdaq) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY,, announced it received a $9.8 million follow-on order from a leading defense prime contractor for advanced subsystems with integrated radio frequency (RF) and digital microelectronics for a naval electronic warfare (EW) application.

CyberSpace Operations Consulting Announces Merger and Integration with Advanced Core Concepts (PR Newswire) CyberSpace Operations Consulting (CSOC), a leading provider of engineering and technical...

Lockheed Martin Hired to Provide Missile Defense for Hawaii (The Motley Fool) For $585 million, the Pentagon will try to build a ballistic missile defense system for the state lying closest to North Korea.

Top executive quits Lockheed Martin’s UK space business (Defense News) Patrick Wood, the director of international advanced programs and the executive responsible for Lockheed Martin Space’s U.K. business, resigned from his post.

Products, Services, and Solutions

Orbital Data Network provides emergency telecom services using UHP VSAT system (Space Daily) Orbital Data Network has announced an enhancement of their solutions and services for restoring communication infrastructure to public safety networks, based on the latest VSAT technology from Canad

NorthStar Earth & Space partners with SpecTIR to deliver complete hyperspectral image services (PR Newswire) Imagery with substance will enable advanced environmental management

Inmarsat wins contract to provide GX Aviation inflight broadband solution to Indonesian national airline Garuda (Proactiveinvestors UK) Inmarsat Plc (LON:ISAT) - The FTSE 250-listed global mobile satellite communications group said more than 175 aircraft within the Garuda Indonesia Group will now be equipped with GX Aviation

WORK Microwave Introduces World's First Commercial V-Band Frequency Converters (Multichannel) WORK Microwave, a worldwide leading manufacturer of advanced satellite communications equipment, today announced the availability of the industry's first V-Band frequency converters as a qualified product. The converters are available in various dimensions of outdoor housings and cover the full ITU uplink bandwidth range from 47.20 to 51.40 GHz, providing a full 4 GHz of bandwidth. As global consumption of bandwidth-intensive data and broadcast services increases, higher throughput satellites will be a requirement in the future. By offering V-Band-ready equipment, WORK Microwave is helping the satellite industry tackle this important challenge.

Chinese firm scores a win in smallsat-launch competition (Ars Technica) Satellogic aims to image Earth at 1-meter resolution once a week.

Global Ku-Band HTS satellites provide unprecedented SATCOM network solutions (Military Aerospace) Government customers require reliable and resilient satellite communications (SATCOM) wherever missions take them. With launch of Horizons 3e, the Intelsat EpicNG global high-throughput satellite (HTS) constellation is complete.

Axiz partners on high throughput satellite (IT-Online) In what it believes is an African channel first, Axiz has announced the signing of Innova HTS, a new partner that enables cost-effective broadband satellite solutions into Africa. Jacques Malherbe, Axiz chief technology officer and managing executive of Advanced Technologies, says that Axiz is pleased to introduce this leading technology into its product and services …

Nanosatellite company announces first commercial IOT product (The Lead SA) Satellite communications company Myriota has announced the first of a string of commercial products that will utilise its low-cost earth-to-satellite transmission technology.

Chinese companies OneSpace and iSpace are preparing for first orbital launches ( Chinese private companies OneSpace and iSpace are making progress with plans to attempt their first orbital launches in the first half of 2019.

Europe's Arianespace takes on SpaceX by cutting Ariane 5 rocket... (Reuters) Europe's Arianespace is discounting the price of satellite launches with it...

To rebuild satellite communications, Ubiquitilink starts at ground level (TechCrunch) Communications satellites are multiplying year by year as more companies vie to create an orbital network that brings high-speed internet to the globe. Ubiquitilink, a new company headed by Nanoracks co-founder Charles Miller, is taking a different tack: reinventing the Earthbound side of the techn…

Here’s how SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule will look motoring in from sea (TechCrunch) If you're coming back from space at high speeds, it's generally safer to descend over water than land, for a number of reasons. Certainly SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule will do so, and this is how it'll look when it comes back to land aboard the Go Searcher retrieval ship. Expect a bit more of a hero…

Microsoft's Outlook app is now secure enough for US government use (TheINQUIRER) The app now meets the DoD's compliance standards, apparently,Security ,outlook,Pentagon,office,contract,mobile security,department of defence

SpaceX Launches 10 Iridium Satellites Into Orbit, Then Sticks Rocket Landing ( A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 10 Iridium Next satellites blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California this morning (Jan. 11).

Mercury Systems Announces First Production Shipments of Award-Winning RF Transceiver for Next-Generation Electronic Warfare Applications (GlobeNewswire News Room) Ready for rapid system integration through adoption of the OpenVPX standard architecture

Lockheed Martin halts work on GOES-T to wait for instrument fix ( Lockheed Martin, prime contractor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) R Series, has halted work on GOES-T, the next spacecraft scheduled to launch, and turned its attention to its successor, GOES-U, as it waits for Harris Corp. to complete modification of the Advanced Baseline Imager.

Naval Dome Introduces New Dashboard for Optimum Cyber Monitoring (Maritime Executive) Maritime security specialist Naval Dome has come up with an innovative approach to managing the cyber security status of all protected systems onboard ships, allowing shipboard and shoreside staff to monitor and evaluate fleet-wide system data, even when they are offline. Until now, only crew members have been able to access a ship’s offline data sets.

Marlink Expands VSAT Services to Transpetrol Tanker Fleet (Maritime Executive) Marlink has been awarded a contract renewal to expand its Sealink VSAT service to international ship...

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards

Why note cards can’t simulate a cyberattack (Fifth Domain) The Pentagon's rudimentary training methods to prepare for cyberwar have raised concern that the United States will not be prepared for future battles.

Navy’s weakness lies in delivering innovative products fast, CNO says (Federal News Network) The Navy says it can handle any fight, but it's processes for bringing products to sailors is slow.

The Pentagon’s Cybersecurity Is Falling Behind (Bloomberg) The U.S. military’s cybersecurity capabilities aren’t advancing fast enough to stay ahead of the “onslaught of multipronged” attacks envisioned by adversaries, the Pentagon’s combat testing office is warning.

Russia, China have hypersonic missile tech that U.S. can't defend against, StratCom chief warns ( Both Russia and China are poised to deploy the new weapons. U.S. is racing to catch up.

The New Iron Curtain: Russian Missile Defense Challenges U.S. Air Power (Wall Street Journal) Russia’s tactics against the West, including election meddling and online disinformation, have drawn the most attention from lawmakers and the U.S. government. Proliferation of the S-400 system demonstrates how Russia is also investing heavily in traditional military firepower.

Can Saudi Arabia produce ballistic missiles? Satellite imagery raises suspicions. (Washington Post) A facility outside the missile base at al-Watah has signs of a complex that would be used to make rocket engines.

The Army wants to use AI to prevent cyberattacks (Fifth Domain) New research and investments are spearheading how the Army is using AI for cybersecurity.

US spy satellite launched into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base (Air Force Times) A powerful Delta 4 Heavy rocket carrying a U.S. spy satellite lifted off Saturday from California.

Nasa asked to use Chinese spacecraft for moon mission, top scientist says (South China Morning Post) US space scientists had asked permission to borrow China’s Chang’e 4 spacecraft and relay satellite to plan a mission to the far side of the moon

Space-based interceptors and drones with lasers: the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Review wish-list revealed (Defense News) The Missile Defense Review comes with a grab-bag of new ideas it wants the Pentagon to explore.

Iran satellite fails to reach orbit after launch that worried US (Military Times) The U.S. is concerned Iran may develop the ability to launch a nuclear weapon at the U.S. mainland.

Shipmates, Information Management Is a Life-or-Death Proposition (Defense One) In the U.S. Navy, using and protecting data isn't just for "the IT guys" anymore. Everyone needs to get on board.

The future of the US surface fleet: One combat system to rule them all (Defense News) As the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet moves into 2019, a radical shift is coalescing among its leaders.

What will it take to monitor and secure mobile military networks? (C4ISRNET) Soldiers in combat require immediate access to information, which requires a dependable and secure network. Army leaders must have a system in place that allows them to quickly address problems and bottlenecks as they occur.

How this urban warfighting experiment could transform how Marines fight in cities (Marine Corps Times) A yet-to-be selected rifle company will run through a month of urban experiments at a facility in Indiana.

AI Will Test American Values In The Battlefield (OODA Loop) How will military leaders deal with AI that may treat troops as expendable assets to win the "game".

New nano-satellite system yields high-res imagery at lower cost (UPI) Constellations of nano-satellites can produce high-resolution images for less money, according to new research.

This Year SpaceX Made Us All Believe in Reusable Rockets (WIRED) A few small glitches marred an otherwise stellar year as SpaceX honed its reusable rocket technology.

Here’s the Army’s latest electronic warfare project (C4ISRNET) Dubbed Raven Feather, the Army is taking aim at platforms and vehicles.

BAE Systems looks to introduce AI decision support into naval combat systems (Jane's 360) BAE Systems' Naval Ships Combat Systems business is exploring the application of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques into its INTeACT family of surface ship combat management systems (CMS) as part of a wider innovation activity known as Project Dragonfly.

Services Wargaming Multi-Domain Consensus: Army 3-Star Futurist (Breaking Defense) “All the services understand the need to move to Multi-Domain Operations,” Lt. Gen. Wesley said. “Second, we all agree that MDC2 [Multi-Domain Command & Control] is the most important joint problem that we have to solve. After that, the specifics of how you conduct MDO – that’s where the variance is that we’ve got to converge on.”

Design and Innovation

High Throughput Satellites Spur Innovation on the Ground (Via Satellite) High Throughout Satellite (HTS) systems have brought unprecedented flexibility and bandwidth to the marketplace, but the new capability comes at a price: increased network complexity that will require innovation on the ground to manage effectively without breaking the bank. HTS satellites, which have been deployed in

Asgardia Micro-Nation to Launch 10,000 Satellites to Make Web Free (Space Daily) Moscow (Sputnik) Jan 31, 2019 - Asgardia, a micro-nation that calls itself a space kingdom whose territory currently consists of one satellite orbiting around the Earth, seeks to make the Internet nearly free for all users by laun

R3D2 Going to Space (SIGNAL Magazine) The groundbreaking, compactable antenna from DARPA will offer greater radio communication capabilities on a smaller satellite.

How the intel community could use machines and AI (C4ISRNET) The intelligence community's

Without a clearer ethics policy, the US could lose the military tech battle with China (C4ISRNET) Nearly three decades after the Cold War ended, a new strategy of containment is underway at the Pentagon.

SpaceX Revs Its Engines as It Gets Closer to Crewed Flight (WIRED) Next month SpaceX's passenger capsule is expected to launch on an uncrewed mission—a big step toward bringing human spaceflight back to the US.

‘Businesses Will Not Be Able to Hide’: Spy Satellites May Give Edge From Above (New York Times) With 2,200 observation satellites going into orbit in the next decade, start-ups are trying to use them to churn out financially useful information that could help companies track their rivals.

After Thursday test firing, SpaceX may be a month from commercial crew launch (Ars Technica) The rocket can roar. Now, how about that Dragon spacecraft?

Lessons from SpaceX: How to build the next Toyota Camry for space (TechCrunch) In case you missed it, space is being democratized -- and quickly. But it’s not just students and hobbyists in their garages toying with model rockets anymore.

Here’s why Elon Musk is tweeting constantly about a stainless-steel starship (Ars Technica) "Starship will look like liquid silver."

Cloud Computing Enables Combat Coders (SIGNAL Magazine) Development operations, commonly known as DevOps, revolutionizes Air Force technology development.

Research and Development

Airbus wins DARPA contract to develop smallsat bus for Blackjack program (Space Daily) Airbus Defense and Space Inc. has been awarded a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a satellite bus in support of the Blackjack program.

Can the Army harness the inertia to transform navigation? (C4ISRNET) It may take till 2050, but the Army wants quantum physics to power navigation that requires fewer signals, which means more stability in denied environments.

Navy Builds Hypersonic Test Ground in California (Breaking Defense) The Navy is refitting its decades-old China Lake weapons testing and research site in the Mojave Desert to begin hosting hypersonic weapons testing from a variety of platforms, including undersea launchers.

This DARPA satellite will be designed, built and launched in 18 months (C4ISRNET) Rocket Lab said it plans to launch a satellite for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) next month from the company’s main launch complex at the Mahia peninsula.

Boeing-Lockheed's Vulcan rocket design 'nearly fully mature' (Reuters) A joint venture between Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp will conduct the fina...

The First Plants to Grow on the Moon Are Already Dead (Motherboard) Cotton sprouts grew for about one week in a biosphere brought to the Moon by China’s Chang’e-4 mission.

This Steam-Powered Spacecraft Could Travel the Solar System Forever (Popular Mechanics) The spacecraft could harvest water from moons and asteroids to generate unlimited fuel.

US considers new ways to detect and track enemy missiles (Military Times) The Trump administration is considering ways to expand U.S. homeland and overseas defenses against a potential missile attack, possibly adding a layer of satellites in space to detect and track hostile targets.

With China looming, intelligence community backs AI research (Fifth Domain) The United States government is trying to boost its artificial intelligence capabilities with new research, according to public documents and experts.

China just made history by landing on the far side of the Moon (Quartz) "This is the first time that the Chinese space program has done something that no other country has done before."

‘New Chapter’ in Space Exploration as China Reaches Far Side of the Moon (New York Times) It was China’s second moon landing, and the first spacecraft to touch down on the side of the moon that always faces away from Earth.

China just landed on the far side of the moon: What comes next? (National Geographic) The lander-rover combo touched down where no human or robot has ventured before. Find out what it's doing there, and what else is headed for the lunar surface.

DARPA’s plan for AI to understand the world (C4ISRNET) A new DARPA program seeks to use AI to better understand and predict world events.

3 ways the Navy wants to protect its weapons from cyberattacks (Fifth Domain) Th Navy's research represents the core of good cybersecurity, both inside and outside the Pentagon.

Russia is reportedly working on a longer-range version of the deadly Kalibr cruise missile its adversaries already fear (Business Insider) Russia is, according to state media, developing a long-range version of the deadly Kalibr cruise missiles wielded by the Russian military.

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation

China and Russia, Aligned More Closely, Seen as Chief Security Threat to U.S. (WSJ) Intelligence officials warned of increased threats from tighter cooperation between China and Russia, while also differing with President Trump in their analysis of North Korea’s nuclear intentions.

Pompeo to announce U.S. suspension of landmark nuclear arms treaty (CBS News) The move would put Washington and Moscow a big step farther down a path toward scrapping the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces pact

Europe must get its act together on space technology, Airbus warns (CNBC) The CEO of Airbus Defence and Space has told CNBC that China and the U.S. are moving faster to understand the physical universe beyond the Earth's atmosphere.

Trump’s Muscular New Plan to Fend Off Russian and Chinese Missiles (Foreign Policy) The U.S. president rolled out the most ambitious missile defense strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Trump's Missile Defense Plan Creates More Problems Than It Solves (WIRED) The Trump administration has presented its Missile Defense Review, and yes, there are lasers.

Japan, US vow to cooperate in space, cyber domains, over North Korea (Nikkei Asian Review) Asia-focused English-language publication that brings you insights about business, finance, economic and political news, comments and analysis for Asia, by Asia on

Japan and India to discuss space and cyberspace at upgraded 'two-plus-two' security talks (The Japan Times) The two nations will aim to launch ministerial security talks early this year to deepen security cooperation, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said.

Russia’s Conventional Weapons Are Deadlier Than Its Nukes (Foreign Policy) Withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty would take the United States one step forward and many steps back on international security.

The longstanding NASA-Russian partnership in space may be unraveling (Ars Technica) Russia is less and less a space super power.

‘Top priority': Russia plans for renewed space race (Washington Examiner) Russia is gearing up for an era of renewed competition in space, a top Moscow official said Thursday, following years of cooperation with the United States.

‘Be Ready To Fight Now’: Top Admiral On Russia & China (Breaking Defense) "The Battle of Guadalcanal was a brutal campaign, but shows us what the next fight could be like," Vice Adm. Brown said. "Usually, the CO (skipper), XO (executive officer) and senior officers – even admirals – were killed immediately – but what happened?"

New defense intelligence assessment warns China nears critical military milestone (Defense News) The new assessment from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency warns that China may soon be comfortable making a move on Taiwan.

Opinion | The new space race pits the U.S. against China. The U.S. is losing badly. (Washington Post) Americans are stuck in a Cold War mind-set, but China’s ambitions go far beyond planting flags on new moons and planets.

A New Cold War Has Begun (Foreign Policy) The United States and China will be locked in a contest for decades. But Washington can win if it stays more patient than Beijing.

The United States and China – A Different Kind of Cyberwar (OODA Loop) China is waging a long-term cyberwar against the U.S. and other western countries that is very different in nature than the type of conflict Western powers generally conceive of as "war". The Chinese cyberwarfare efforts are

To the moon and beyond: Why China is aiming for the stars (The Christian Science Monitor) For Beijing, Thursday's historic lunar landing is as much about cementing global-power status on Earth as it is a foray into the cosmos.

Lift-off for China-US rivalry over space’s new frontiers (South China Morning Post) Cold war-era treaties have not kept pace with developments such as space mining and new military technologies, analyst says

US cyber commander warns countries to ‘wise up’ over the threat of cyber attacks (First News) A former Commander General in the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) has said that tougher regulations are needed by countries to combat cyber attacks.

Japan surges new weapons, military roles to meet China’s rise (Military Times) Japan is reinvigorating its forces as China expands its reach.

South Korea’s new defense report backs off from calling North Korea its enemy (Military Times) The conciliatory tone comes as U.S. and North Korean leaders look toward a second summit on the North's nuclear program.

Bolton Says U.S. Withdrawal From Syria Is Conditional (Wall Street Journal) The Trump administration won’t withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria unless Turkey offers a firm commitment not to target America’s Kurdish allies, national security adviser John Bolton said.

Pompeo: Trump threat to Turkey shows US commitment to Kurds (Military Times) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that President Donald Trump’s threat to devastate NATO ally Turkey’s economy if it attacks U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria underscores America’s commitment to its partners.

White House asked Pentagon for military options against Iran, report says (Haaretz) The request, which a U.S. official said 'definitely rattled people,' was made after mortars launched by Iran-affiliated militants fell near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, The Wall Street Journal reports

Why Iran Waits (Foreign Affairs) Staying in the nuclear deal is Tehran's worst option, except for all the others.

United States Determined to Drive Iran’s Oil Exports Down to Zero (Atlantic Council) State Department official says strategy aimed at forcing Tehran to the negotiating table The United States is determined to drive Iran’s oil exports down to zero in its effort to maximize economic pressure and force Tehran back to the negotiating...

Only the US can rein in ambitions of Iran (Times) Farewell, Bashar al-Assad the butcher. Welcome Bashar the builder. Syria’s murderous dictator is undergoing an extraordinary rebrand. Arab embassies are reopening in Damascus, the Arab League is...

With Mattis Gone, the Pentagon Is Playing Musical Chairs (Foreign Policy) The secretary’s departure set off a chain reaction that will reshape Defense Department leadership.

The top three Pentagon officials are ‘acting’ in their jobs. Does that matter? (Defense News) There are a number of holes to fill at the top of the DoD.

Shanahan has identified top pick to lead Space Command (Defense News) Additional details on Space Command, including where it will be based, are expected to be shared around the release of the FY20 budget.

Will Space Force Boost Already-Rising Spending on Satellites? (Defense One) Defense execs see increased sales as Pentagon upgrades orbiting gear to fend off attacks.

Space Force skeptic will guide its fate in HASC shakeup (Defense News) The new House Armed Services Committee's leadership roster has been announced.

A U.S. Space Force: Will It Ever Be Launched? (The National Interest) The new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is unconvinced such a force is necessary. Perhaps a quick review of what led to this force being proposed, what has been done to date, and what this force would mean for our capabilities in space will give lawmakers some much-needed perspective.

Re-establishing U.S. Space Command is a great idea (Brookings) There are many excellent reasons why the United States should re-establish U.S. Space Command.

Space Force? Coming to a TV near you. (Defense News) Sometimes life in the Pentagon is a workplace comedy.

Netflix reveals Space Force comedy series before Trump gets real thing approved (Ars Technica) This marks Carell's first starring TV role since his seven seasons on The Office.

Former defense executive named as new deputy national security adviser (CNN) A former Reagan administration official and defense executive has been tapped to serve as deputy national security adviser.

Rounds to Chair Armed Services Cybersecurity Subcommittee in 116th Congress (U.S. Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota) The Official U.S. Senate website of Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota

Army Cyber To Become Information Warfare Operations Command By 2028 - Defense Daily (Defense Daily) Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) is likely to be renamed Information Warfare Operations Command by 2028 as the unit looks to expand its capability portfolio to

Air Force moves ahead with headquarters-level merger of intel, IT functions (Federal News Network) The Air Force will merge the three-star positions that oversee intelligence and IT into a single position, known as the A2/A6. Lt. Gen. Dash Jamieson is expected to lead the new organization.

Hack, Jam, Sense & Shoot: Army Creates 1st Multi-Domain Unit (Breaking Defense) A new Army unit will hack and jam enemy networks and provide targeting data for both long-range missiles and missile defense.

What’s in—and not in the long-awaited Missile Defense Review? (Defense News) CSIS Senior Fellow Tom Karako breaks down the contents of the review—and what it didn’t have that some expected.

The Navy Has Had Enough of Missile Defense And Sees Its Chance (Breaking Defense) The Navy is looking to get out of the missile defense business, the service’s top admiral said today, and the Pentagon’s new missile defense review might give the service the off-ramp it has been looking for to stop sailing in circles waiting for ground-based missile launches.

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement

Pentagon to review Amazon employee’s influence over $10 billion government contract (Washington Post) The role played by a start-up founder and Amazon employee, Deap Ubhi, is at the center of a high-stakes lawsuit over a $10 billion contract. The lawsuit could affect the future of the Pentagon's cloud computing efforts.

U.S. Probes Boeing Satellite Deal Backed By China (Wall Street Journal) The SEC and the Commerce Department are investigating Boeing’s relationship with a satellite startup backed by a Chinese government-owned firm, following a WSJ article last month.

Compiled and published by the CyberWire editorial staff. Views and assertions in source articles are those of the authors, not CyberWire, Inc. or Cosmic AES


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