Damocles Satellite Constellation (Alpha and Beta Echelons)

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Damocles Satellite Constellation (Alpha and Beta Echelons)

Postby Lyras » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:40 pm

Key Data
Organisation: Lyran Protectorate Aerospace Command
Initial launch date: 5 April 2007

Damocles Alpha: Communications and navigation system
Damocles Beta: Multispectral orbital reconnaissance
Damocles Gamma: Orbital supremacy
Damocles Delta: Surface strike

Damocles Alpha
Primary function: Global military communications and navigation system
Primary developer: Protectorate Research and Development Commission
Power plant: Solar panels generating 18 kW, triple-stacked high density nickel-hydrogen batteries
Weight: 6,700kg
Orbit altitude: 42,100 km, geosynchronous
Low data rate communications (voice, data, teletype, facsimile) at 75 bit/s to 2,400 bit/s
Medium data rate communications (voice, data, teletype, facsimile) at 5.2 kbit/s to 9.4 Mbit/s
High data rate communications (voice, data, battlenet, teletype, facsimile) at 780Mbit/s to 26 Gbit/s
Frequency plan: Q-band uplink, Ka-band downlink, maintaining operability with legacy systems
Crosslinks: System supports string or ring satellite to satellite communications. Information processed through Cromwell as and when required. Cromwell system maintains default oversight.
Mission: Protected Communications: Anti-jam, v-low probability of intercept and detect, nuclear-survivable, EMP-hardened.
Launch vehicle:
Inventory: 95,000
Estimated per-unit cost: NS$950 million
Current total project cost: NS$950bn

Damocles Beta
Primary function: Multispectral, real-time digital reconnaissance
Primary developer: Protectorate Research and Development Commission
Power plant: Nuclear powerplant?/Solar panels generating 18 kW, triple-stacked high density nickel-hydrogen batteries
Weight: 23,300kg
Length: 22.5m
Diameter: 4.1m
Orbit altitude: ~720 km, LEO
Wide-field-of-view Optical Imaging Mirror (WiFOM)(3.2m)
High-yield image processing units (x4)
Multimode Broadspectrum Synthetic Aperture Radar (MBSAR – pronounced 'em-bee-sar')
Thermal imaging unit
Reflecting dish (RF SIGINT)
VLF Synthetic Aperture Sounding Radar
Ground Moving Target Indicator
Frequency plan: Q-band uplink, Ka-band downlink, maintaining operability with legacy systems
Crosslinks: System supports string or ring satellite to satellite communications. Information processed through Cromwell as and when required. Cromwell system maintains default oversight.
Mission: Multispectral orbital reconnaissance, SIGINT, ELINT: Anti-jam, v-low probability of intercept and detect, nuclear-survivable, EMP-hardened.
Launch vehicle:
Inventory: 690,000
Estimated per-unit cost: NS$1.3bn
Current total project cost: NS$897tn

'Damocles' is the primary extant/in-development Lyran satellite constellation, granting high-capacity orbital navigation, communications, reconnaissance and strike capabilities to the Protectorate and aligned powers. Damocles is a high-unit count, heterogenous system, with replacements, upgrades and maintenance conducted on both hard- and software.

For decades, Lyran usage of trans- and exo-atmospheric technology lagged behind that of many of the Protectorate's regional neighbours, both within the Storn Archipelago, and further abroad, to Greater Dienstad at large. Of particular relevance was the capabilities in this combat theatre that had been demonstrated by Lyras' erstwhile rival, the Varessan Commonwealth. During the Lyro-Varessan cold war, Varessan domination of this field was demonstrated in spectacular style by the still-not-entirely explained Varessan obliteration of the Upper Virginian Dominion. Lyran development and deployment of such counter-strategic platforms as the LY4032 'Rampart' nuclear-armed exo-atmospheric interceptor missile are indicative of this defensive mindset with regards to the concept of orbital conflict. Lyran usage of space was, with the exception of navigation and communications satellites, almost negligible.

Indeed, so comprehensive was the Upper Virginian Dominion's defeat by Varessa that the spectre of that event would haunt Lyran military consciousness until relations with the Commonwealth thawed, and then warmed. Ironically enough, with the signing of the Lyro-Varessan alliance, the Lyran capability to generate orbital military assets jumped considerably, even as the most obvious and explicit rationale for their creation vanished from view.

Nevertheless, buoyed by Varessan technical expertise and in congruence with the Protectorate's 'full spectrum overmatch' strategic concept, the Protectorate Research and Development Commission embarked on a resource-intensive, and time consuming (to say nothing of highly ambitious) project to dramatically shift the capabilities derived from utilisation of the exo-atmospheric theatre. This project was dubbed 'Damocles'.

From its early stages, Damocles was conceived as an integrated system. While generally considered 'Lyran', due to it being built within Lyras, and coming completely under the control of the Lyran Protectorate's aerospace forces, its design has been a multi-national affair, with military and civilian technological and engineering input from the Varessan Commonwealth, ThePeoples Freedom, Free Republic of Lamoni, United Provinces of Yanitaria, Dictatorial Republic of Sumer and Izistan. The title 'Damocles' is a reference to an ancient Greek legend, which referred to a sword being suspended above Damocles, sitting on his throne, by a horsehair. In this way, the Damocles satellite constellation was seen as a metaphorical sword in the heavens.

The network connection between all elements of the Damocles constellation is achieved through the Cromwell II battlenet. This also provides real-time information and intelligence support, encrypted and filtered as necessary, to personnel and entities requiring that information.

Satellites of the Damocles system are modular, around a common central frame. This central frame holds the command, control and manoeuver elements, while additional modules fold out from the frame, as required, upon arrival within the designated orbit.

The satellites are stabilised and directed by use of six gyroscopes. Three are generally required for most precise manoeuvers, although coarse control can be achieved through the use of two, or in some cases one, of the gyros. The remaining three gyros are redundant, and serve as backup, or for attitude control during exceptionally tight manoeuvering.

Electrical systems are primarily composed on indium-gallium-arsenide (InGaAs), rendering the platforms impervious to electromagnetic-pulse weapons, and similar. Phased-array communications recievers are also provided, designed to cancel out attempted communications jamming attempts.

Encryption is 1024bit, handled by the onboard software suites, or at the ground control stations, as required. Ground stations retransmit data on the Cromwell II system, outgoing at 512bit, as per Lyran standard, for wider use by aligned forces.

The first echelon of Damocles deployed was essentially a Lyro-Fedalan counterpart to the GLONASS, Baidou and GPS networks of the former-USSR, People's Republic of China and USA, respectively. While the immediate utility of this advance may be disputed, the Damocles Orbital Navigation (DON) system allows the Protectorate, and those who stand as its allies or wish to utilise its systems, high-precision, high-reliability, real-time navigation, anywhere in the world, free from the vagaries of being politically aligned to either the USA or Russian Federation, or their respective power blocs. The vulnerability represented by reliance on systems such as GPS was demonstrated beyond all doubt by the United States' control of the system during the Gulf Wars, where Iraqi forces found themselves cut off from the navigational assistance that, in many cases, they had come to rely on. Not wanting to put itself in that position, Lyras, and the contributing states, chose to develop their own equivalent. DON is not a regional network, but provides complete global coverage by use of over five hundred individual satellites, replaced periodically, and as required. The satellites utilised for this purpose also form the communications backbone of the network. The global reach of the network, combined with the multiple contacts present at any given point on the surface, made marrying up the communications suite with the navigational one a logical choice. That has also granted a strong degree of communications redundancy, always a positive in a military context.

The second echelon of the Damocles system, Damocles Beta, was developed as the primary vehicle of the Global ALlied Intelligence, Logistics and Electronic Exchange program, generally known by its acronym, GALILEE. Damocles Beta orbiters are extremely sophisticated broadspectrum orbital reconnaissance satellites, functioning with a wide array of instruments, including cassegrain reflector optical imagers, multimode broadspectrum synthetic aperture radar (MB-SAR), RF-collecting SIGINT reflecting dishes, sounding radar (for radar imaging below the Earth's surface), Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI), and others.

Damocles Beta, also designed as a redundant system, is also the most electronically sophisticated of the Damocles components, and deployment of the entirety of the echelon, to an operational level, is estimated to have required resources (manpower and material) approximately equivalent to nearly NS$900bn.

Sensitivity of the various instruments is very high, with extensive use of onboard computers to process the respective datastreams. Ground resolution using optical imagery is approximately 30cm, and the MBSAR has a surface resolution of approximately 1m. While the SAR is capable of generating greater levels of resolution (up to 50cm), wide-field imaging at that resolution taxes the image processing computational capacities of the satellite, for little appreciable military gain. The platform's synthetic aperture sounding radar allows for penetration of the earth's surface to a depth of three kilometers, another function handled, for the most part, automatically.

The information generated by GALILEE, through Damocles Beta, is made available to commanders, planners, and combatants, by way of the Cromwell II battlenet. The global coverage of Damocles (by virtue of its wide field of view and the very high number of orbiters), coupled with its broadspectrum data-gathering and processing, and its real-time connection to the battlenet, provides an unparalleled advantage to operators, limited only by the choices of what information is required. To the Lyran conceptualisation, when employed properly, GALILEE, through Damocles Beta, Cromwell II and BALCOTH-type user interfaces, has comprehensively and decisively dispelled the fog of war. The networking capabilities of this system, importantly, allow for weapons targetting and guidance, using Cromwell, by virtue of satellite detection.

Use of the processing capabilities has, in large part, removed the requirement for personnel to observe screens, and point out things on the ground. The image analysis systems integral to Cromwell II, and GALILEE also, highlights objects of interest automatically, and retransmits appropriate information to units that require that information. This feature is of particular use for tracking hostile forces, air, land or sea, and making their positions known to friendlies, whether tactically, operationally, or strategically. Indeed, by utilisation of the IR-detection and sounding radar, even bunkers and positions buried under rock are not impervious to detection.

With the Beta echelon of the Damocles constellation providing orbital reconnaissance of the battlespace, the capacity of a hostile force to conduct strategic, operational, and even tactical-level maneuvers unobserved is dramatically eroded.

50% of the Damocles project has been funded by non-Lyran entities, and returns to them from the 50% proceeds are divided as follows;
Minnysota: NS$10.891tn 0.8%
Korrodos: NS$3tn 0.2%
Yohannes: NS$200tn 15.82%
Lamoni: NS$604tn 47.79&
Trescott: NS$3tn 0.2%
Wewtlandem: NS$37tn 2.92%
Technoko: NS$12tn 0.8%
Arazia: NS$0.004872tn 0.003%
Chevronira: NS$3tn 0.2%
Gernonai: NS$4.526tn 0.36%
Of the Quendi: NS$42tn 3.32%
Arkinesia: NS$15tn 1.19%
Tergnitz: NS$5tn 0.396%
Milograd: NS$1tn 0.08%
Coltarin: NS$5tn 0.396%
Trivval: NS$4.5tn 0.356%
Rustika: NS$1.5tn 0.12%
United Gordonopia: NS$15tn 1.19%
Dewhurst-Narculis: NS$5tn 0.396%
Estovakiva: NS$3.2tn 0.253%
Riemaia: NS$1tn 0.08%
Vici Minerva: NS$10tn 0.8%
The Emerald Fires: NS$10tn 0.8%
Varessa: NS$252.487128tn 19.98%
Strength and nobility: NS$3tn 0.2%
Aldarminia: NS$10tn 0.8%
Onekawa-Nukanor: NS$6tn 0.4%
Virtus Dinami: NS$4.783tn 0.38%
Carpathia and Moldova: NS$3.1tn 0.25%
The Eagleland: NS$3tn 0.2%
ViZion: NS$51tn 4.0%

Damocles is a multi-national project, co-ordinated by the Protectorate of Lyras. All echelons of the Damocles system will be available for rental or pay-per-strike access, through Lyran Arms.

Access is proportional to size and capability of the client's forces. The larger and more technologically sophisticated the client, generally the greater the load on the satellite constellation. As such, access rental fees are as follows:

Alpha echelon: 1% of Defence budget
Beta echelon: 1.5% of Defence budget

Alpha and Beta echelons: 2.25% of Defence budget.
Investor states receive a proportional return, based upon their investment.

Aggressive action against Damocles assets is considered to be an act of war by the Protectorate of Lyras.
Last edited by Lyras on Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Mokastana: Then Lyras happened.

Allanea: Wanting to avoid fighting Lyras' fuck-huge military is also a reasonable IC consideration

TPF: Who is stupid enough to attack a Lyran convoy?

Sumer: Honestly, I'd rather face Doom's military with Doom having a 3-1 advantage over me, than take a 1-1 fight with a well-supplied Lyran tank unit.

Kinsgard: RL Lyras is like a real life video game character.

Ieperithem: Eighty four. Eighty four percent of their terrifyingly massive GDP goes directly into their military. And they actually know how to manage it. It's safe to say there isn't a single nation that could feasibly stand against them if they wanted it to die.
Yikes. Just... Yikes.

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