An evolving battle management and situational awareness system is allowing the United States to form a layered missile defense by linking regional, theater and national commands into a single network. A new battle management function allows warfighters to optimize sensor and interceptor operations. By fusing sensor data, the system presents commanders with a common operating picture during a ballistic missile attack. The technology allows users to select and place missile defense assets and to analyze and test for potential weaknesses in defensive coverage.
Researchers are looking to improve satellites by studying their functions in space. By sending up nanosatellites for the satellites, scientists can determine problems more accurately and fix defects before launch, saving money and time and reducing the debris in space.
An experimental airborne radar system currently under development may improve tracking capabilities for hard-to-detect airborne and ground targets. The radar would be lofted aboard a robotic airship to float tens of thousands of feet over a region, providing comprehensive and persistent surveillance for up to a year. A key advantage of this high-flying system is that the radar antenna would be a part of the airship's structure, turning the entire platform into a sensor.