Protecting Space for Future Generations is in the Vital Interests of the Global Community
Space Security Conference 2013:
Panel on “Space Security Threats: Exploring Current Vulnerabilities in Outer Space”
United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
Remarks of Frank A. Rose,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Space and Defense Policy.
April 2, 2013
Thank you, Theresa Hitchens, for your kind introduction. It is a pleasure to be participating with these distinguished speakers and attendees at this UNIDIR space security conference in Geneva. This is my third year of participating in this annual conference, and I welcome the opportunity to explore and discuss this year’s topic, “enhancing confidence, securing space stability.”
In my talk today, I’d like to focus on the following three topics:
• The importance of space capabilities in today’s world
• The challenges created by an increasingly congested and contested space environment
• Opportunities for international cooperation to respond to these challenges
The Importance of Space Capabilities
For over five and a half decades, nations around the globe have derived increasing benefits from the peaceful use of outer space. Satellites contribute to increased transparency and stability among nations and provide a vital communications path for avoiding potential conflicts. The utilization of space has helped save lives by improving our warning of natural disasters and making recovery efforts faster and more effective. Space systems have created new markets and new tools to monitor climate change and support sustainable development. In short, space systems allow people and governments around the world to see with clarity, communicate with certainty, navigate with accuracy, and operate with assurance.
As one of many examples of how satellites contribute to maintaining international peace and security, it is worth recalling that this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of both the Limited Test Ban Treaty and the launch of the first nuclear detonation detection (NUDET) satellites, called “Vela.” The first two U.S. Vela satellites were launched on October 16, 1963, six days after the “Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water” went into effect. These and other Vela satellites successfully monitored compliance with the Treaty and provided scientific data on natural sources of space radiation for over two decades.
Today, NUDET sensors on Global Positioning System (GPS) and other spacecraft provide a worldwide, highly durable capability to detect, locate, and report any nuclear detonations in the earth’s atmosphere or in near space in near-real time – contributing to crisis stability as well as to treaty monitoring.
Threats to Space Services
As more nations and non-state actors recognize these benefits and seek their own space or counterspace capabilities, we are faced with new challenges in the space domain.
Now there are approximately sixty nations and government consortia that own and operate satellites, in addition to numerous commercial and academic satellite operators. This increasing use — coupled with space debris resulting from past launches, space operations, orbital accidents, and testing of destructive ASATs which generated long-lived debris – has resulting in increased orbital congestion, complicating space operations for all those that seek to benefit from space. Another area of increasing congestion is the radiofrequency spectrum. As the demand for bandwidth increases and more transponders are placed in service, the greater the probability of radiofrequency interference and the strains on international processes to minimize that interference.
In addition to the challenges resulting from space debris and radiofrequency interference, space is also becoming increasingly contested. From the U.S. perspective, concerns about threats were recently noted in an assessment issued last month by James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence.
“Space systems and their supporting infrastructures enable a wide range of services, including communication; position, navigation, and timing; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and meteorology, which provide vital national, military, civil, scientific, and economic benefits. Other nations recognize these benefits to the United States and seek to counter the US strategic advantage by pursuing capabilities to deny or destroy our access to space services. Threats to vital US space services will increase during the next decade as disruptive and destructive counterspace capabilities are developed.”
Responding through International Cooperation
In response to these challenges, the United States continues to be guided by the principles and goals of the National Space Policy that was signed by President Obama in June 2010. The policy places increased emphasis on international cooperation to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century.
To address the hazards of an increasingly congested space environment, the United States has expanded efforts to share space situational awareness services, including notifications to government and commercial satellite operators of close approaches that could result in satellite collisions. These and other “best practices” can form the basis for the development of a set of guidelines for the long-term sustainability of space activities. Long-term sustainability of space activities is a topic being addressed by a working group of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which will be discussed in greater detail by Dr. Peter Martinez, the working group chair, later today.
To address threats to space activities in the increasingly contested space environment, the United States continues to pursue a range of measures to strengthen stability in space. In doing so, we expect to increase the security and resilience of space capabilities, continue to conduct Space Security Dialogues with our friends and partners, and pursue transparency and confidence building measures, or TCBMs.
First, the United States will pursue efforts to increase assurance and resilience of mission-essential functions against disruption, degradation, and destruction. These efforts include expanded cooperation with the private sector, allies, and partners around the globe to maintain continuity of services, including efforts to enhance the security and resilience of space networks and supporting ground infrastructures. Related efforts seek to improve domestic and international coordination of responses to purposeful interference — which the United States considers an infringement of a nation’s rights.
Specific examples include discussions in trans-Atlantic fora, including the U.S.-European Union space security dialogue that I lead. They also include efforts by government and commercial satellite operators to improve information sharing for spaceflight safety and geolocation of intentional satellite communications uplink jamming, topics that will be addressed in greater detail in later sessions of this conference.
Second, the United States is pursuing bilateral Space Security Dialogues with traditional partners as well as with other established and emerging space-faring nations as part of its pursuit of TCBMs. The United States believes TCBMs should be pragmatic, voluntary, near-term actions that aim to increase trust and prevent misperceptions, miscalculations, and mistrust between nations. To overcome these dangers and risks requires, in part, building confidence between nations. This can be achieved with transparency, openness, and predictability through, for example, information-sharing.
In that vein, our Space Security Dialogues provide an opportunity for constructive exchanges on emerging threats to shared space interests, national security space policies and doctrine, and opportunities for further bilateral cooperation. In addition to the direct outcomes from these dialogues, bilateral exchanges themselves serve as important TCBMs which can be considered for adoption and implementation at a multilateral level. Given the complex and interrelated nature of space activities, the willingness of partners to engage in serious and substantive discussions in “whole of government” dialogues is what economists call a “leading indicator” of their commitment to multilateral discussions of space security.
With regard to the third area – multilateral TCBMs — you will be hearing later today from Ambassador Jacek Bylica and Victor Vasiliev on two of the most important efforts — an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, or “Code,” and the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) study of outer space TCBMs. While I will defer to them for specific details on these efforts, I will note that the United States is a strong supporter of both activities, as well as other multilateral efforts in specific regions – such as a workshop on space security that commenced last December within the framework of the ASEAN Regional Forum.
In January 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the U.S. decision to work with the European Union (EU) and other space-faring nations to develop an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities. In announcing this decision, the United States noted that “[a] Code of Conduct will help maintain the long-term sustainability, safety, stability, and security of space by establishing guidelines for the responsible use of space.”
As you will hear later today from Ambassador Bylica, the European Union is leading efforts to develop a text that would be open to participation by all States on a voluntary basis. The United States believes the EU’s latest draft is a useful foundation and constructive starting point for developing a consensus on an International Code. We look forward to participating in the open-ended consultative meeting that the EU and Ukraine will be convening in Kiev next month. These consultations, to which all UN member states will be invited, will provide an opportunity to address all elements of the draft Code. Along with our partners in the EU, the United States’ aim remains to find agreement on a text that is acceptable to all interested States and that can produce effective security benefits in a relatively short time.
Another multilateral effort to pursue TCBMs is the study by the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Outer Space TCBMs, on which I am privileged to serve as the United States Expert. Under the capable chairmanship of our distinguished colleague Victor Vasiliev of Russia, the GGE offers an opportunity to advance a range of voluntary and non-legally binding TCBMs in space that have the potential to mitigate dangers and risks to space security.
The GGE intends to develop a consensus report to the UN Secretary General that outlines a list of voluntary and pragmatic space TCBMs that States could adopt on a unilateral, bilateral, or multilateral basis. As part of its effort to draw upon as much expertise as possible, the GGE has welcomed written contributions from intergovernmental bodies, industry and private sector, civil society, and other UN Member States not already represented in the GGE. We believe the GGE serves as a real opportunity to move forward with pragmatic steps to strengthen stability in space.
In summary, the United States takes seriously the challenges of an increasingly congested and contested space environment and is pursuing a range of measures to increase assurance and resilience mission-essential functions and to strengthen stability in space, including through cooperation with the full range of space-faring nations. We are increasingly reliant on space, not only when disasters strike, but also for our day-to-day life. However, our ability to continue to use space for these benefits is at serious risk. Accidents or irresponsible acts against space systems would not only harm the space environment, but would also disrupt services on which the international community depends. As a result, we must take action now and pursue TCBMs in space, including the ones that I discussed today. These TCBMs will enhance the long-term sustainability, stability, safety, and security of the space environment. Protecting the space environment for future generations is in the vital interests of the entire global community.
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Source – U.S. State Department:
U.S.-India Space Cooperation
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
U.S.-India Civil Space Joint Working Group
March 21, 2013
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Good morning everyone. It’s an enormous privilege to welcome Administrator Bolden, Ambassador Rao, the Indian delegation, and our colleagues from the Indian Embassy, NASA, NOAA, and the State Department here in Washington to this Joint Working Group.
The United States and India are leaders in earth observation. We’re excited to see how this working group can build on joint activities using U.S. and Indian earth observation satellites to better understand earth systems and provide information to improve economies and lives.
We also should seek to increase our commercial space cooperation and create opportunities for U.S. and Indian companies.
And our very capable space science communities have much to offer each other through collaboration. India’s first Indian Mars Orbiter Mission, slated for October 2013, is an exciting opportunity for U.S.-India collaboration.
Being here at this working group this morning is a particular pleasure for me, as I’ve been working for many years on helping make this sort of cooperation possible. Thanks to visionary, bipartisan U.S. and Indian leadership, we’ve recognized how much we have to offer each other and have made great strides in the past decade in bringing our scientific and technical communities together.
The hard work on both sides in transforming our interactions with each other has allowed successes such as including U.S. instruments on India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission — a path-finding step to show our two systems how to work together, as well as a fruitful scientific endeavor pointing out the promise of this cooperation. More recently, the removal of ISRO subordinate entities from the Entity List at the 2011 Civil Space Joint Working Group meeting and additional measures taken since have further expanded the possibilities for trade and cooperation in civil space.
In January, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes satellite export reform measures expected to expedite trade in space technology.
U.S.-India science and technology builds on a relationship that is robust and vibrant. The U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund, established in 2009 and with an annual budget of $2 to $3 million, is a landmark in our belief to work together to promote commercialization of innovative technologies.
This collaboration on innovation across a wide range of disciplines is generating new jobs for our people and helping to address many of the globe’s big challenges.
Our space cooperation has become a signature aspect of this science, technology, and innovation cooperation, highlighting both the constancy of our mutual respect and appreciation for each others’ capabilities through the decades, as well as the vast potential – dare I say universal? — opened up by the changes in our relationship.
I congratulate all of you – the experts and practitioners from both our countries – for your participation in building closer ties in space exploration, space science, earth observation, and launch and ensuring the safety and security of outer space activities. I know your efforts this week will further the cooperation that expands our collective knowledge, brings practical benefits to our citizens, and helps us plan for our future. I wish you all the best in this meeting of the Civil Space Joint Working Group.
Source: Albuquerque Business First
Dan Mayfield, Reporter-
On Wednesday morning, the “informed consent bill” regarding Spaceport America passed the New Mexico Senate unanimously. The vote was 34-0, said Virgin Galactic spokesman Tom Carroll. More…
Source – TSA Blog:
Rapiscan Backscatter Contract Terminated – Units to be Removed
You may remember us blogging about new privacy software we rolled out for the L3 Millimeter Wave body scanners. It’s called Automated Target Recognition (ATR), and with the use of this software, our officers no longer see an image of the person being screened. This is what our officers see if the passenger alarms:
ATR Monitor After Alarm
You can read more about the ATR software here.
Congress mandated as a part of the The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that all TSA body scanners should be equipped with ATR by June 1, 2012 (There has since been an extension to June 1, 2013).
At this point, all Millimeter wave units have been equipped with ATR, but even with the extension to 2013, Rapiscan was unable to fulfill their end of the contract and create the ATR software that would work with backscatter units. As a result, TSA terminated the contract with Rapiscan in order to comply with the congressional mandate.
All Rapiscan AIT units currently operational at checkpoints around the country, as well as those stored at the TSA Logistics Center, will be removed by Rapiscan at their expense and stored until they can be redeployed to other mission priorities within the government. Most of the backscatter units being removed will be replaced with millimeter wave units. The millimeter units will be moved from the inventory currently deployed at other airports and from an upcoming purchase of additional millimeter wave units.
By June 1, 2013 travelers will only see machines which have ATR that allow for faster throughput. This means faster lanes for the traveler and enhanced security.
As always, use of this technology is optional.
TSA Pulls Plug on Airport Nude Body Scanners – Threat Level
TSA Body Scanners – Lawfare
Source – ISU:
17th ISU Annual International Symposium
ISU Central Campus, Strasbourg
5th – 7th March 2013
SPACE TECHNOLOGY AND TELE-REACH:
BENEFITTING HUMANITY ON EARTH AND BEYOND
ISU’s next symposium, the seventeenth in a series, will address ‘Tele-reach’ where we use this term to refer to technologies and applications which allow remote presence, participation, interaction or control. The emphasis here will be placed on exploring the role that space can play in broadening and sustaining the ‘reach’ of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems to benefit humankind in areas such as education, healthcare and environmental management. Looking beyond the socio-economic benefits here on Earth we will widen the scope to include fields such as tele-presence and tele-operation of remote equipment both on Earth and in space.
Six half-day sessions, all held in plenary, will address:
Symposium17Tues. 5th March:
1. Tele-Reach Needs, Current Provisions and Future Plans
Wed. 6th March:
4. Tele-Reach and the Environment
Thurs. 7th March:
5. Other Applications of Tele-Reach on Earth and in Orbit
6. Political, Economic, Legal and Ethical Challenges
At the end of each session a Panel Discussion will provide further opportunities for questions and for interactions by participants. A Poster Session will be held on the first evening in conjunction with the Symposium Reception and posters will then be displayed prominently throughout the following two days.
Res Communis is on vacation.
We will be posting but on a reduced basis during this time. Res Communis will return to full form September 4, 2012. In the meantime, Happy Summer!
Res Communis is on vacation.
We will be posting but on a reduced basis during this time. Res Communis will return to full form September 4, 2012. In the meantime, Happy Summer!
by Elizabeth Ferrell
This post is part of the student blogger project from the summer session of International Telecommunications Law.
Elizabeth Ferrell is a 2L at the University of Mississippi. A nontraditional student and Mississippi native, Elizabeth lived and worked in the Nashville, Tennessee, area for over 20 years, at a television syndication company, a country radio station, and a weekly newspaper, before returning to school to pursue her juris doctor degree.
In today’s digital age, whenever and wherever disaster strikes, images of human suffering begin to appear immediately across the world’s telecommunications networks. As a result, in one very real sense, even a localized disaster takes on global proportions. And truly global disasters – those on the scale of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, or the tsunami of December 2004, boggle the mind. As technology advances, space and international law continue to evolve as international organizations strive to balance overarching concerns about sovereignty and privacy with the more immediate need to save lives and alleviate widespread human suffering.
Some specifics: how technology helps in crisis prevention and relief In times of disaster, human need, at some point, outweighs political considerations. The International Charter on Major Disasters (better known as the Disasters Charter) and the Tampere Convention continue to help create protocol for states, as well as for non-government organizations and private actors, who want to work together for disaster preparedness and rescue.
A 2010 article by Carla Crandall in the Brigham Young University Law Review details the specific benefits of satellite imagery, as provided for by the Disasters Charter.
Satellite imagery helps in disaster preparedness and prevention in several ways.
- It helps experts spot signs of topographic faulting to generate tectonic maps. These maps can help inform the decisions that planners who live in earthquake zones must make about development, building and land use, to minimize damage when an earthquake next occurs.
- It helps locate watersheds and potential flood zones. FEMA has used satellite imagery to help create flood maps for the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Infrared imaging can spot volcanic activity prior to an eruption and help local officials activate citizen evacuations.
And it’s not just for natural disasters. Satellite imagery can help experts spot weaknesses in an infrastructure that could lead to manmade disasters. After a disaster has happened, when the damage is so overwhelming that an earthly perspective offers no clues as to where or how to start, satellite imaging can help by providing damage assessments to guide first responders to areas where they’re most needed. For example:
- After an earthquake, satellite imaging can show not only where the highest concentration of collapsed buildings are, but it can show which buildings were multi-story.
- Satellite imagery helps pinpoint the hot spots in a raging wildfire.
- After a flood or tsunami, satellite imaging can help rescue workers identify and assess damage to bridges and roads that directly affect first responders’ ability to get into an area.
In the face of such benefits, the need for common-sense application of telecommunications, and specifically satellite imaging, would seem, at first glance, like a no-brainer. People want to believe that simple common sense and humanity will ensure that governments, relief organizations, and private enterprises will drop all extraneous concerns in the desire to mitigate the disaster at hand: to relieve suffering, to save endangered lives, to reunite scattered families, to help restore communication, provide shelter and basic needs, and to prevent the spread of disease, looting and chaos, and bloodshed.
But sometimes it just isn’t that simple.
In an excellent 2010 article in Air and Space Lawyer, author Josie Beets lists certain humanitarian rights that come into play not only in war zones but also in situations requiring international disaster response and relief efforts. Most U.S. citizens consider rights to life, food and water, housing, clothing, health, and livelihood as pretty basic. Nonetheless, in some countries, these rights do not always take precedence over state sovereignty considerations. And the use of satellite communications poses concerns even for non-authoritarian governments. In the U.S., the use of satellite imagery comes squarely up against its’ citizens’ rights to privacy and fears of governmental abuse. Hotly debated issues include the use of reconnaissance equipment rather than commercial equipment; the limits to circumstances when satellite imagery may be used; the best way to ensure privacy for citizens when satellite inadvertently picks up data not germane to the disaster work; and more. Currently, research suggests that the laws and legal framework for disaster prevention and aid are inadequate. But both domestically and around the world, various organizations and governments continue to develop ways to meet the needs of the world’s citizens.
No system is perfect, and international law must continually strive to balance disparate governmental philosophies against every nation’s need to take care of its own. It’s a work in progress, and unfortunately, a system’s effectiveness, or lack thereof, doesn’t always reveal itself until it is put to the test. But there will always be a new test.
The next panel of the U.S. Commercial Space Law: Licensing: A Practitioners “Tool Box” was on Space Insurance Contracts. it was moderated by Pamela L. Meredith, Zuckert Scoutt & Rasenberger, LLP.
Jeff Cassidy, President and COO, Global Aerospace, was the first panelist to speak. He gave a brief overview of Global Aerospace and it’s functions. Next he spoke about specific insurance products that were available to satellite operators. He said that insurance coverage begins at launch and covers the satellite for a negotiated period of time.
Next, Sean Fleming, Senior Counsel, Echostar/Hughes Network Systems, spoke about Hughes and its involvement with space insurance, which is from the buyer side. He said that satellite operators buy insurance for a variety of reasons which is often required by investors, but he did note that some companies are self insurers. He stated that there was a variety of contractual obligations that govern risk allocation and what party is responsible for what risk.
John Cozzi, International Space Brokers, spoke next on what insurance brokers and risk management advisors do. He stated that the goal of these entities is to determine a risk profile for a given activity, which includes the full spectrum of risks. The result of this is defining a loss formula which then can be used to develop a policy, which can be taken to the insurance market.
Mark Quinn, Senior VP & Americas Practice Leader, Willis Inspace, was the final speaker. He stated that insurance companies in space activities will not underwrite the entire risk for a given activity due to the high monetary value of the policies. Instead, these activities will be covered by 15-20 different companies each of which is underwriting a portion of the risk. This involves the negotiation of contracts with terms between the underwriters and the insured.
The panel then discussed the various considerations that go into insurance company’s decision to insure, as well as issues related to final settlement in the case of a loss.
After lunch, the symposium resumed with a panel on licensing, which was moderated by Laura Montgomery, Federal Aviation Administration.
Montgomery started by noting that there are four licensing entities in the US: FAA, NOAA, FCC, and The State Department. She then turned to discussing the FAA regime. she stated that the FAA has the authority to license launches and reentry but does not have jurisdiction over on orbit activities. She then discussed the process for licensing that includes policy review, payload review, and financing responsibility review.
Next was Karl Kensinger, FCC, he stated that the FCC had the authority to license the communications segment of space activities. He discussed the transparency requirements involved in the licensing processes. He said thaUN agitating the FCC system required attorneys to have a good understanding of the FCC transparency rules, the process of spectrum allocation, and a firm understanding of the procedures that the FCC uses to license satellites. He also noted that the FCC requires debris mitigation disclosures as part of the procedure for licensing a satellite.
The next speaker was Glen Talia, DoC/NOAA. He stated that NOAA was responsible for licensing commercial remote sensing satellites. He stated that the NOAA system was a cradle to grave system and that in order to operate a remote sensing satellite, a company must get a license from NOAA. The license will have operating conditions, and is granted with close cooperation with other government entities. He said that the procedure is meant to strike a balance between commercial viability of systems and national security. After a license is granted NOAA is heavily involved in monitoring compliance with the license throughout the life of the craft and includes end of life procedures. He noted that one of the major issues that NOAA is facing is the explosion of cubesat operators. He said that these create a variety of issues including debris and ITAR issues.
Finally, Franceska Schroeder, Fish Richardson, discussed export controls. She said that export controls were divided among three agencies: Treasury, Commerce, and State. The State Department has control over space technologies which are part of the US Munitions List (USML), which means that the ITAR is the guiding set of regulations. She stated that ITAR is a highly scrutinized set of regulations by the US government because of the national security implications of these technologies. She noted that the penalties for noncompliance can be significant both in civil financial damages as well as criminal punishments, but that compliance can be a very difficult because the regulations are complex. She noted that there are current efforts to change the system, but stated that it is still unclear how far those initiatives will go.