DSCS (Defense Communications Satellites) support military communications. MILSTAR coordinates military branch communications and weapons deployments under command. GPS (Global Positioning System) or NAVSTAR can pinpoint target positions to within 50 feet from orbit. TDRSS (Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System) are military communications satellites which exchange data among themselves through space in the even that ground-based communications are destroyed or interrupted. Even as the ineffective “over the horizon” and other such “back-scatter” RADAR techniques were replaced by satellite systems, so the RADAR communications exchange among satellites was also replaced. Each discovery of a new communications system provoked he antagonistic development of hostile systems whose function was to disrupt and interfere. Opposing forces have forever developed “jamming techniques”, a military advantage against antagonists. Each countermeasure in turn seeks new continua, undisturbed communications technologies. Indeed, this search for completely new continua is forever pursued by newer interference techniques. Each communications continuum is always balanced by a countermeasure technology. These neutralizing countermeasures find their limitations however, when communications continua of excessive energetic potentials are secured; a state of art which we will now examine.
This problem of continua and interference technologies began in the later years of World War I, when antagonistic forces discovered the multiwave spark-broadcasting technique which killed wave radio communications in the battlefield. “Jamming” became a radio communications countermeasure of unprecedented importance. Systems whose deliberate purpose was the radiation of broadband noise were developed in secrecy. Along with these countermea-sures came the need for maintaining communications despite the static of jamming apparatus. Naval engineers reinvoked the art of signalling by light. Photophonic signalling soon replaced the use of telegraphic code with vocal transmissions. Designs perfected by several inventors soon permitted secret vocal communications between ships through both ultraviolet and infrared “darklight” beams (Zickler, Case, Coblentz). Though these tests actually proved the viability of point-to-point darklight communications across several miles of space, the systems suffered because their light sources diverged with optical path length.
Each of the early satellite systems relied on the directed RADAR beam method for exchanging signals between command centers and satellite stations. But the use of radio jamming techniques provoked the demand for an uninterruptible or unjammable form of communications between ground command and satellites. The LASER, an unexpected development in optical communications, suddenly provided a potent exchange system which could not easily be interrupted by natural or hostile military agencies. The large military tracking dishes and their cumbersome worldwide line of relay stations were all replaced by point-to-point LASER signalling systems. In this arena, radiowave communication has become obsolete. Whether military or commercial, the future of all orbital communications systems is found in luminal energies. Comprised of two components, the LASER and the SATELLITE, luminal communications exceed the radio art by immeasurable factors of clarity, reliability, and security. Please recall that EMP strikes, whether nuclear or RADAR induced, offered no interruptive hazards for optical channels. Potential EMP environments demanded the development of optical communications systems, a technological line which led to a wide diversification of military applications. But there were those who had observed that beyond optical spectra, there existed a realm of energetic continua whose penetrating power could not be resisted, and would not sustain interference except by exceptional means. The possible implementation of radiant transmission means other than wave radio is more than a theoretical possibility. It is a documented fact.
In 1932 a “Ray Aviation Compass” was developed by S. L. Weber, a working guidance system which provided beacon light in the X-Ray spectrum for aircraft and seagoing vessels. Employing an extremely sensitive fluorescent screen, the Ray Compass system proved invaluable during inclement conditions ordinarily prohibitive to aircraft. In 1946, several remarkable radiative sensor technologies were applied to military operations. While the “Submarine Detecting Method and Apparatus” (E. McDermott) used extremely sensitive detectors for tracking the “heat wakes” of deeply submerged vessels, an early IR system, other more esoteric systems began appearing. “A Method And Apparatus For Locating Objects” (J. H. Demming) is a system for sighting radioactive sources from great heights, no doubt an early reconnaissance means for determining the development of nuclear arsenals. The “System For Directing The Movements of Air and Marine Craft” (W. T. Weber) describes a tested means by which thin X-Ray beams are projected “either as continuous beacons or as periodically interrupted code”. Utilizing this system, convoys and air squadrons could maintain unjammed communications in transport, maintaining position and direction with absolute precision. This technology also enabled the precise directing of aircraft to the decks of large carriers at sea, permitting an excellent safety margin regardless of weather or time of day.
This trend in ultra-radiative beam technology, initially developed during World War II, was neither viewed as excessive or impractical. Indeed technology of this variety continued appearing throughout the Cold War. The number of military applications for nucleonic energies represents a formidable assortment, means for tracking and tagging enemy movements, as well as directing the movements of operational forces. An “Angle of Attack Indicator, Using radioactive Source and Detector” (E. D. Jernigan, 1967) utilizes a nucleonic radiative source to project a thin weak scanning beam of Gamma Rays out into space. Designed to track supersonic aircraft, sensors read the scattered Gamma Ray “echoes” resulting when supersonic shock waves and flow lines are encountered by the Gamma Ray beam. The “Radiation Generator providing Amplitude Modulation” (R. Kaminskas, 1971) has as its assignor the AEC. It is an aircraft landing system which uses Gamma radiation interferometry to direct supersonic aircraft, a Gamma Ray analogue of RADAR.
Most of the engineering community associates RADIATION TECHNOLOGY with “radiant” LASER technologies. To a military obsessed with weapons and communications supremacy, the potentials represented in Ultraviolet, X-Ray, and Gamma Ray technologies were truly tantalizing. Was it any wonder then that a flood of patents, producing powerful coherent radiations in each of these spectra, were produced throughout the last thirty years? LASER technology began reaching heights of perfection never before dreamed, lumi-nal channels rapidly becoming available across the spectrum for communications, detection, and weapons applications. While the optical LASER was the first coherent optical device, it has not remained the sole variety of coherent radiant technologies.
- CHAPTER 7