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Space

AIT (Atmospheric Interceptor Technology) EA

2.0 DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED ACTION AND ALTERNATIVES (DOPAA)

2.1 PROPOSED ACTION

1. The proposed USAF ait program consists of the launch of two sub-orbital test vehicles from the AADC's KLC on Kodiak Island, Alaska. The two launches of the USAF ait test vehicle would realistically simulate potential incoming missile threat trajectories to allow the USAF to evaluate its early warning ground-based system for potential incoming missile attacks on the United States. As part of the USAF ait program, the test vehicle would carry an instrumentation package.

2. The first USAF ait launch is proposed for the period between July to September 1998 with the second launch proposed for March 1999.

3. The location of Kodiak to launch the two sub-orbital USAF ait test vehicles is proposed because it meets the USAF ait program selection criteria. The proposed USAF ait launches would occur from AADCÌs KLC. The KLC site is located on the eastern shore of Kodiak Island on Narrow Cape, approximately 40 miles south of the City of Kodiak, Alaska (see Figures 2.1 and 2.2).

4. The Commercial Space Launch Act encourages "Östrengthening and expansion of the U.S. space transportation infrastructure, including the enhancement of U.S. launch sites and launch site support facilities, with Government, State, and private sector involvement." [49 U.S.C. ß70101(b)(4)] In 1995, SMC/TEB awarded a Spaceport Contract for the purpose of providing competitive, commercial spaceport services to support potential SMC/TEB launch operations for both orbital and sub_orbital missions. At the time the contract was awarded, none of the contract awardees had existing launch facilities. The contract awardees are the AADC; Spaceport Systems International (SSI), California; Old Dominion University Research Facility, Virginia; and Spaceport Florida Authority (SFA). The USAF would be a commercial "customer" of AADC for this proposed action. The USAF would be solely responsible for the two USAF ait launches, to include range safety. The USAF is not involved in the construction or operation of the KLC.

2.1.1 LAUNCH VEHICLE AND TRAJECTORY

1. The USAF ait test vehicle is approximately 37 feet long, weighs 21,910 pounds and consists of deactivated Minuteman II second and third solid rocket motor stages. These stages have been modified to be used as boosters for the test launches. DoD has launched eight vehicles with a configuration similar to the USAF ait test vehicle, all of which were successful. Based on public comments on the Draft EA, the following information is provided: The other vehicles launched by DoD were seven U.S. Army Hera vehicles and one Ground Based Interceptor (GBI).

2. The USAF ait vehicle flight profile is a sub-orbital ballistic trajectory that is approximately 1,820 km in range with an apogee of 810 km (see Figure 4.4-3). At the end of the flight, the USAF ait instrumentation package would splash down into the Pacific Ocean approximately 300 km off the coast of southern Washington state. The first stage of the USAF ait test vehicle would separate at launch time (T)+60 seconds. The expended first stage would impact in the Pacific Ocean approximately 300 km downrange. The second stage would release the instrumentation package at launch T+123 seconds and would impact in the Pacific Ocean just short of the instrumentation package splashdown point. The instrumentation package would continue coasting until splashdown at T+1,022 seconds. The maximum vehicle velocity would be approximately 13,000 feet per second (ft/s) or Mach 14. Impact velocity would be approximately 800 ft/s.

2.1.2 VEHICLE PROCESSING

The following process would be followed to transport the USAF ait test vehicles to KLC and ready the vehicles for launch:

The USAF ait test vehicle would be configured at Hill AFB, Utah.

The USAF ait test vehicles would be placed in a Missile Trailer (Rocket Motor Semi-Trailer) and transported by a C_5 or C-17 aircraft from Hill AFB to the Kodiak Airport.

The Missile Trailer is highway approved. A certified commercial carrier would be contracted to transport the Missile Trailer containing the USAF ait test vehicle from the Kodiak Airport to the KLC site via Kodiak Island Highway and Pasagshak Point Road (see Figure 2.1).

A modified Missile Transporter Erector would be delivered to Kodiak by aircraft or barge and would be driven to KLC.

The USAF ait instrumentation package would be transported to Kodiak via aircraft and transported to KLC by truck. Upon arriving at KLC, it would be placed in the Integration and Processing Facility for prelaunch processing. The instrumentation package would be integrated with the USAF ait test vehicle in the Integration and Processing Facility.

In the Integration and Processing Facility, the USAF ait test vehicle would be removed from the Missile Trailer and placed in the Transporter Erector. The Transporter Erector would move into place at the Launch Pad/Service Structure and erect the USAF ait test vehicle onto the launch stool.

Final testing and checkout of the integrated USAF ait test vehicle and instrumentation package would be completed in the Service Structure at the Launch Pad.

Upon completion of processing, the USAF ait test vehicle would be launched. Range safety for the USAF ait launches would be provided by the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) safety office at Point Mugu, California. The Navy would use NP-3D Orion aircraft to provide range safety functions for the USAF ait test vehicle launches. In addition to range safety support provided by the Navy, USAF personnel and equipment will be certified to accomplish range safety operations.

2.2 KLC FACILITIES

2.2.1 FACILITY OVERVIEW

The USAF proposes to launch two USAF ait test vehicles from AADCÌs KLC. The KLC will occupy 43 acres on a 3,100-acre parcel of state owned property. Facilities that will be constructed by AADC will consist of a Launch Control and Management Center (see Figure 2.3), Payload Processing Facility (see Figure 2.4), Integration and Processing Facility, and Launch Pad and Service Structure (see Figure 2.5). Support facilities at KLC will include access roads, water, power, communications and sewage disposal. For a more detailed discussion of the KLC launch site and its facilities, the reader is referred to the FAA EA included as Attachment 1 to this USAF EA.

2.2.2 CONSTRUCTION OF KLC

AADC is responsible for design and construction of the three facilities (i.e., Launch Control/Management Center, Integrated and Processing Facility, and Launch Pad/Service Structure) that are proposed to be used by the USAF ait program. Construction of the KLC facilities and infrastructure is addressed in detail in the FAA EA that is included as Attachment 1 to this USAF EA. However, the FAA EA analyzed construction of the KLC facilities and infrastructure over an approximate 18_month period. AADC now advises that construction can be completed no later than September 1, 1998.

2.3 ALTERNATIVES

In addition to the proposed action, the USAF considered various other alternatives for launching the USAF ait test vehicles. However, these alternatives were eliminated from further detailed analysis in this EA as they did not meet the selection criteria outlined in Section 1.2. The following sections provide a summary of these alternatives and the reason they were eliminated from further detailed analysis.

2.3.1 ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED BY THE USAF, BUT ELIMINATED FROM DETAILED ANALYSIS

1. USAF considered ground, sea, and air launch systems. Sea and air launches were eliminated because they did not meet the selection criteria of using existing proven, low-risk, low-cost
USAF assets.

2. The USAF evaluated the five existing DoD launch sites as possible alternatives located outside the state of Alaska for launching the sub-orbital USAF ait test vehicle (Figure 2.6). As shown in Table 2.1 and as summarized below, none of the DoD existing launch site can meet all of the USAF ait mission siting criteria.

Wake Island: This site is not within the range to launch the USAF ait test vehicle into the radar coverage of the ground-based radar systems in California that are to be tested by the USAF ait program.

Kauai, Hawaii (Barking Sands): This site is not within range to launch the USAF ait test vehicle into the radar coverage of the ground-based radar systems in California that are to be tested by the USAF ait program. In addition, launching the USAF ait test vehicle from this site would result in overflight of populated areas in Hawaii.

White Sands, New Mexico: This site cannot launch the USAF ait test vehicle into the radar coverage of the ground-based radar systems in California that are to be tested by the USAF ait program. Launches would also overfly populated areas.

Eastern Test Range, Florida: This site is not within range and cannot launch the USAF ait test vehicle into the radar coverage of the ground-based radar systems in California that are to be tested by the USAF ait program. In addition, launches would overfly populated areas.

Western Test Range, California: This site cannot launch the USAF ait test vehicle into the radar coverage of the ground-based radar systems in California at a trajectory that would simulate a potential inbound missile threat.

Therefore, the use of the existing DoD launch sites for launching the USAF ait test vehicle was eliminated from further consideration.

3. The USAF also evaluated four sites other than Kodiak Island within the state of Alaska (see Figure 2.7) using the same criteria as the sites outside of the state. As shown in Table 2.2 and as summarized below, the USAF concluded that only Kodiak Island in the state of Alaska meets the USAF ait mission siting criteria.

Poker Flats: This site is not within range and cannot launch the USAF ait test vehicle into the radar coverage of the ground-based radar systems in California that are to be tested by the USAF ait program. In addition, launches would overfly populated areas.

Elmendorf AFB: This site would result in the overflight of populated areas of Alaska.

Point Barrow: This site would result in the overflight of populated areas of Alaska and cannot launch the USAF ait test vehicle into the radar coverage of the ground-based radar systems in California that are to be tested by the USAF ait program. In addition, Point Barrow does not provide year-around access to transportation infrastructure.

Adak Island: This site is not within range and cannot launch the USAF ait test vehicle into the radar coverage of the ground-based radar systems in California that are to be tested by the USAF ait program. This site does not provide year-around access to transportation infrastructure.

Kodiak Island-Narrow Cape: This site meets all of the USAF ait mission siting criteria.

Therefore, with the exception of Kodiak Island-Narrow Cape, the other sites in Alaska were eliminated from further consideration.

4. Based on the above, AADC's KLC on Kodiak Island is proposed as the site to launch the USAF ait test vehicle.

2.3.2 NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE

Under the No Action alternative, the USAF ait program would not be conducted. Impacts associated with the processing and launch of the two sub-orbital USAF ait test vehicles would not occur. If the proposed action is not conducted, the existing operational, ground_based radar systems will not be tested regarding their capabilities to realistically detect, track, and evaluate simulated, inbound missile threat trajectories from potential Pacific Basin adversaries.



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