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Navy Space Surveillance (NAVSPASUR) (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The Naval Space Surveillance network (NAVSPASUR), operated by Naval Space Command, consists of a series of 216.980 MHz transmitters and receivers which form an electronic "fence" across the southern United States. It extends from Georgia to California (4,800 km), 1,600 km off each coast, and 24,100 km into space. The NAVSPASUR fence provides continuous surveillance and unalerted detection, warning and tracking of low-to-medium orbit space objects.

Description (U):

(U) The NAVSPASUR radar beam extends in an east-west direction between San Diego, California to Ft. Stewart, Georgia. The central transmitter is located at Lake Kicapoo, Texas. There are also two smaller transmitting stations located at Gila River, Arizona, and Jordan Lake, Alabama. The transmitters are poised along a great circle inclined approximately thirty-three degrees to the equator. Phase and time differences between stations yields orbital parameters for the object. Comparison to previously catalogued information completes the analysis and allows accurate predictions of the object's orbit. The NAVSPASUR has no capability to track objects in geosynchronous orbits.

(U) The receiving network is composed of six receiver stations at: 1) San Diego, California; 2) Elephant Butte, New Mexico; 3) Red River, Arkansas; 4) Silver Lake, Mississippi; 5) Hawkinsville, Georgia; and 6) Ft. Stewart, Georgia. The Hawkinsville and Elephant Butte sites operate 25-366 m arrays for high altitude space objects, the remaining sites operate 12-122 m arrays for low altitude objects.

(U) Data gathered at the receiving stations is transmitted to the NAVSPASUR Headquarters and Computation Center at Dahlgren, Virginia. In October of1984, NAVSPASUR became the Alternate NORAD Space Surveillance Center, which adds the responsibility for tasking space sensors and space catalogue maintenance backup to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex.

(U) NAVSPASUR includes two mechanically-steered AN/GPS-10 60-foot dish radars with ranges of 23,000 miles, located at San Miguel, Phillipines and Saipan, North Mariana Islands. These two radars form two-thirds of the Pacific Radar Barrier (PACBAR), with the ALTAIR radar at Kwajalein Atoll completing the network.

User Impact (U):

(U) Loss of NAVSPASUR would have dramatic impact on the space surveillance mission and maintenance of the space catalogue.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Operational.

(U) Organizations and Funding:
  • (U) NAVSPACECOM: Funding Source.

Images (U):

Naval Space Surveillance "Fence"Naval Space Surveillance "Fence"
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Initiatives (U): None.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Dedicated SensorsDedicated Sensors
RadarRadar - Dedicated Sensors
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

(U) None.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Navy.

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Mike LaPointe, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 325-6422, DSN 221-6422.
(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703)808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 28 August 1998

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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