Command video: Realistic satellites

November 12, 2011 · Posted in Command · 1 Comment 

One of the years-long pet peeves of Command’s development team has been the hands-on, realistic implementation & inclusion of air/nav ops-relevant military satellites; their orbital characteristics, systems, abilities and vulnerabilities.

And now, the time has come to make it happen.


(As always, viewing in HD is recommended)

This short demonstration depicts three different satellites in orbit:

  • Cosmos-626, a Russian RORSAT.
  • USA-186, a US KH-12-series imaging satellite.
  • USA-200, a US Jumpseat-2 signals-intelligence satellite.

The different trajectories demonstrated are based on publicly available data on these satellites and are, naturally, tailored to their respective missions: Cosmos-626 with its low inclination frequently sweeps the Atlantic, Pacific & Indian oceans as well as the Norwegian Sea, and USA-186 follows a low-perigee (just 264km), near-polar orbit to maximize its daylight coverage. Likewise, USA-200 follows a highly-elliptical Molniya-type orbit that allows it to “hover” over the African continent in order to intercept signals from Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Satellites in Command are treated very much like any other platform, with the obvious exception of their kinematic characteristics. They can be equipped with weapons, sensors and any other components available in the DBs. Because a satellite may shift its orbit one or more times during its active life (and thus have multiple orbital profiles), we plan on compiling a detailed list of historical data on each system’s known orbits. The idea is to provide the scenario author with a minimum-hassle mechanism of adding historically-accurate satellite systems into a scenario: This requires filtering both by operator country and in-service/out-of-service dates (sat gurus will already have noticed that Cosmos-626, a ‘70s system, could have never actually flown in parallel with the two US systems, which were launched in the 2000s).

Props to anyone who can identify the soundtrack, and its relevance, without using a tune-recognition app…

HAF celebrates its 100 years

November 4, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Join us at Tanagra AFB on November 6!