NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – As the U.S. Air Force looks to hone its recently issued warfighting operational concepts for space, Lockheed Martin has developed a digital battle manager that promises to integrate the domain into overall planning to a much greater degree than before.
Called iSpace, the space planner is part of Multi-Domain Command and Control concept, which can link various air, ground, sea and space systems for real-time analysis and action, Lockheed Martin officials say.
The system can be used as an operational battle manager. The Air Force is now using it for wargaming and other simulated scenarios, Renee Pasman, mission systems roadmaps director for Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, said Sept. 18 during a demonstration of the system at the Air Force Association’s annual Air Space Cyber Conference here.
Indeed, the Air Force is tapping the system for tabletop exercises, demonstrations and working groups as it works out its space warfighting concepts, she said.
“We want the Air Force to be aware of the technology and give [the service)]the flexibility of how to use it,” she said.
In the demonstration, which involved a fictional attack on a Southern California coastline target, the battle manager networked sensors on a tactical satellite and manned and unmanned aircraft. The technology is available or deployed today, Lockheed Martin officials said.
A space planner for the battle manager can use a catalog of known satellites as well as other terrestrial sensors to find and track any possible space-based threat to the tactical satellite, using detection and discrimination algorithms. The system, for example, could determine a different item – an operational satellite, for example – has suddenly appeared in orbit or moved out of its usual expected position.
The space planner can then alert aerial, cyber or other domain planners of the threat as the battle manger helps them determine the best way to dispose of it, said Kim Ponders, senior business development manager for Lockheed Martin C4ISR programs.