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Lasers Threaten Satellites : But Arms Control Can Help

By Sessler, Andrew M.

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Book Id: WPLBN0000233541
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 1.0 MB
Reproduction Date: 2008
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Title: Lasers Threaten Satellites : But Arms Control Can Help  
Author: Sessler, Andrew M.
Language: English
Subject: Government publications, Legislation., Government Printing Office (U.S.)
Collections: Government Library Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Government Printing Office


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Sessler, A. M. (n.d.). Lasers Threaten Satellites : But Arms Control Can Help. Retrieved from

Excerpt: After a five year hiatus, anti-satellite weapons are returning to center stage. Several new anti-satellite programs, spawned by the Strategic Defense Initiative, including several ground based laser weapons, threaten to begin a new space weapons competition in the next several years, threatening American military satellites and overturning one of the major arms control achievements of recent years. Negotiated limits on the new ground based lasers could enhance American security. But some members of Congress and others have questioned whether limits on the testing of these weapons can be verified. Although satellites for this purpose are currently under development, they are not expected to be launched until the late 1990s. A cooperative approach to verification could resolve the problem. Less exotic, ground-based technology could be used to verify limits on the brightness of ground-based Easers of the type that could be used to attack satellites. Such a device, located perhaps within a kiIometer of a laser facility, could monitor weapons testing by detecting and measuring laser light scattered by aerosols suspended in the atmosphere. A near-term demonstration of the possibility of verifying such limits is the single most important step that can be taken to consolidate the progress that has been made in recent years toward averting a space weapons competition.

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