What will we do if China hits our technology in space?

I believe if China gets too desperate, they will attack our satellites, I don't believe we'll be able to keep them at bay.  This will pretty much shut down the grid, oil and gas production, and we'll be in the dark with no way to fight. Can we overcome China if they do this?  I don't hear much about this, but ordered a book on the China 2025 Marathon to global dominance.  I don't know if it will have a solution to this dilemma but it is certainly something everyone should consider and worry about.

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(edited)

America, China, Russia, and others probably already have a growing capability for disabling satellites.  It is important that we are able to differentiate where the attack came from so that we could retaliate quickly. We also need backup systems in place. 

The major consideration should be how it affects civilians daily life, financial institutions, the infrastructure, the economy etc. We need backup systems for them also. There are many books that explain what kind of a disaster could occur with electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks. The effect is analogous to some extent. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_electromagnetic_pulse

Edited by ronwagn
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15 hours ago, ronwagn said:

America, China, Russia, and others probably already have a growing capability for disabling satellites.  It is important that we are able to differentiate where the attack came from so that we could retaliate quickly. We also need backup systems in place. 

The major consideration should be how it affects civilians daily life, financial institutions, the infrastructure, the economy etc. We need backup systems for them also. There are many books that explain what kind of a disaster could occur with electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks. The effect is analogous to some extent. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_electromagnetic_pulse

Fortunately, the system is a little more redundant than it appears at first glance.  E.g not all GNSS satellites are in the same orbit, and I'm not aware of any technical limitations on placing them wherever we want.  We also have ground-based pseudo satellites that provide the exact same service as satellites in orbit, the only reason for orbiting them being global coverage with the minimum number of devices.  GNSS is especially redundant in the US, where a number of technologies appeared to enhance GPS accuracy.  In the event of losing every GNSS satellite constellation, we wouldn't have much capability overseas - but we'd likely be fine at home. 

A receiver need only have line-of-sight to 4 satellites for position fix.  If all you need is accurate time, a single satellite suffices.  As it happens, much of the domestic "critical" infrastructure is stationary and, therefore, doesn't need a position fix.  That infrastructure could operate just fine from a single, ground-based pseudo satellite, which we already have. 

There's more to this, obviously, but you get the picture: we'll be fine. 

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2 hours ago, mthebold said:

Fortunately, the system is a little more redundant than it appears at first glance.  E.g not all GNSS satellites are in the same orbit, and I'm not aware of any technical limitations on placing them wherever we want.  We also have ground-based pseudo satellites that provide the exact same service as satellites in orbit, the only reason for orbiting them being global coverage with the minimum number of devices.  GNSS is especially redundant in the US, where a number of technologies appeared to enhance GPS accuracy.  In the event of losing every GNSS satellite constellation, we wouldn't have much capability overseas - but we'd likely be fine at home. 

A receiver need only have line-of-sight to 4 satellites for position fix.  If all you need is accurate time, a single satellite suffices.  As it happens, much of the domestic "critical" infrastructure is stationary and, therefore, doesn't need a position fix.  That infrastructure could operate just fine from a single, ground-based pseudo satellite, which we already have. 

There's more to this, obviously, but you get the picture: we'll be fine. 

Great information. So, you think that the ground based equipment would keep the critical information humming and would be adequate for all critical infrastructure. In that case, we need to make sure that the ground based equipment is well protected also. 

Do you know if 5G will enhance redundancy or possibly be more vulnerable if overly relied on?

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4 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

Great information. So, you think that the ground based equipment would keep the critical information humming and would be adequate for all critical infrastructure. In that case, we need to make sure that the ground based equipment is well protected also. 

Do you know if 5G will enhance redundancy or possibly be more vulnerable if overly relied on?

I agree with ronwagn and mthebold but would add, with players like China, their proclivity toward technology theft and slow, patient, covert approaches to ascending to a place of dominance in everything including economics and military, I think we may be more in danger of “back doors” that can be activated in the computer chips they manufacture which are in so many things that make us hum.  

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(edited)

What will we do if China hits our technology in space?

Who's "we?" :) 

Since there is never a consensus on anything in a democracy, the free world might not agree to take action until it is too late. Brexit is a good example. 

You are correct in your concerns. China's new BDS global satellite system is their redundancy to the American GPS system. Since projectiles are delivered with GPS systems, the Chinese did not trust America's system. 

What should concern the Free World is the rapid escalation of China's sales of rocket, satellite, and communication technology and services to other "developing nations." China is a leader in providing communication to many nations around the globe. As an authoritarian nation, what is to prevent China from coercing another nation into adhering to their demands, especially if China can pull the plug on all satellite communication? 

Another area of concern is what is being planned for the far side of the moon. It is possible to place military assets and communication technologies out of view.

The world MUST wake up to the FACT that any nation with China's technological, educational, manufacturing, engineering, and economic power is NOT a "developing nation." As such, the world MUST demand adherence to human rights, the rule of law, transparency, reciprocal trade, and sovereignty protection. 

Edited by Microbio-glutonist
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I don't know if anyone on Oilprice reads WSJ, but an article they had in the paper today was pretty incredible.  They outlined the step by step attack by Russia on the grid in Oregon.  If you don't get the Journal, you can probably find it somewhere else, but it is worth the read. Russia didn't need to go anywhere in space.  They just went to a contractor and hacked his e-mail and went from there.  

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3 hours ago, ronwagn said:

Great information. So, you think that the ground based equipment would keep the critical information humming and would be adequate for all critical infrastructure. In that case, we need to make sure that the ground based equipment is well protected also. 

Do you know if 5G will enhance redundancy or possibly be more vulnerable if overly relied on? 

I know nothing about 5G in particular.  Cell towers already track the locations of phones to conserve power/bandwidth.  If you improved the precision of clocks in the cell network and ensured they were all synchronized, I don't know of a technical reason why you couldn't have critical infrastructure ping the cell tower asking for a time sync.  I'm not an expert though; there may be arcane reasons why this is inadvisable. 

When talking about GPS, it's important to note that we only obtain two things from it: 
1)  Precise time
2)  Position of varying accuracy
Time and position; that's it. 

The timing - which I'd guess is what most "critical" infrastructure relies upon - comes from a cluster of atomic clocks on board each satellite.  If you have a network of clocks distributed over a wide area that must be synchronized (e.g. electrical grid controls), you have those clocks synchronize themselves to the GPS signal.  The clocks & radio equipment aren't particularly expensive, heavy, or power hungry, and there's no requirement that the signal come from space.  If you wanted crazy redundancy, you could mass produce them and attach them to any convenient tower.  In cases where you don't need quite so much precision, it would only take a handful of ground-based transmitters to cover the entire country.  Whatever the specifics, this problem is solvable at a reasonable price point. 

Redundancy for position is trickier because, in the absence of other data, you need four satellites: one for each dimension in space, and one to "synchronize" the clocks (the math doesn't work that way exactly, but you get the idea).  Because calculating a position requires extreme timing precision, all four satellites must have line-of-sight to the receiver.  Current research is working on reducing that requirement, but nothing consistent has appeared yet.

Another possibility is combining GPS signals with other sensors.  E.g. by using both GPS and wifi, your phone can more precisely locate you.  If it loses the GPS signal, it can briefly fill that gap using accelerometers.  It also has location data from your cellular network.  Name a sensor that provides position data, and that data can be added to the mix, incrementally improving the calculated position with each addition.  Some of this has been implemented already; some of it is in the research stage.  As these techniques improve, the system becomes more redundant.  Of note: the combination of data sources happens strictly within the receiver; there's no need to build expensive infrastructure. 

Now imagine you have an airliner trying to land at an airport.  The legacy technologies still exist and can land planes - but not as many planes as a precise GPS system.  This presents a bottleneck for air traffic control.  If you had ground-based GPS "pseudo-satellites", China couldn't touch them.  Or you could link airliners into nearby cellular towers.  Or you could use cameras & image recognition software to read the airfield lights.  Or you could upgrade the radar that already exists at every airfield to meet precision & volume requirements.  Or you could upgrade the legacy technologies.  If all that fails, maybe we could do it with terahertz radio waves.  Point is, we have options.  If the voters let congress know infrastructure security is a priority (as opposed to supporting welfare queens), it will happen. 

 

2 hours ago, TXPower said:

I agree with ronwagn and mthebold but would add, with players like China, their proclivity toward technology theft and slow, patient, covert approaches to ascending to a place of dominance in everything including economics and military, I think we may be more in danger of “back doors” that can be activated in the computer chips they manufacture which are in so many things that make us hum.  

Fortunately, Trump is taking action on Chinese technology, as is most of the rest of the world.  I doubt they'll be allowed to get their hands on critical hardware. 
 

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Here's a dark tangent to think about. We as a nation watch other superpowers develop and sell high tech equipment and weaponry to lesser nations all the time. America does it themselves so our hands aren't snowy white either. Now, what would happen if, for instance, China, were to sell a weapons system to Syria in order to appear as if they were helping Syria to defend it's borders and prevent hostility from destroying their nation, but that system had a worm which could be undetectable until a missile was launched? At the point of launch, in this scenario, the guidance was diverted from Syrian intentions and sent off to a target designated by the Chinese so it would look like an attack was preempted by the Syrians. This isn't something far fetched or unreasonable to consider from any nation with any type of satellite capability or high tech system, since we all know anything can be possible with programming and current computer technology. If China, or any other nation has ambition to be the Alpha Nation this could be done so that they can attack the enemy of their choice at any time but the onus would fall on another country. The implications could be enormous with guided SAM or STS missile systems, but imagine the capability if ICBMs were the weapon of choice? This is what I think of when we discuss nations rapidly expanding tech and weapons as a focal point to their expansion. Stealing and looting technology has far deeper implications than just injustice and annoyance that the Chinese took the newest iPhone tech and copied it. Virtual reality used to be a toy and now its gone beyond the wildest dreams of any Hollywood movie set or video game with more implications and applications than anyone could imagine. Pandora's box is open and cannot be shut, we all know that. Do we allow the monsters inside to proliferate unchecked?

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