The United States and Europe continue to promote the planning and deployment of low-orbit communication constellations, carry out key technology verification, and continuously expand their application scope.
The low-orbit communication constellation has the advantages of wide coverage, low cost, and fast deployment. It has great potential in global communications and Internet access, 5G, the Internet of Things, and the aerospace industry, as well as the application of space military capabilities. important direction of development. DARPA of the United States successfully established an optical link using the "Mandela 2" satellite, and transmitted and received more than 200 gigabits of data within a distance of 100 kilometers. This demonstration verified the feasibility of using commercially available satellite buses and laser terminals to establish a mesh network, which will lay the foundation for the U.S. military to realize inter-satellite communication; The speed has been increased by about 30 times; SpaceX will deploy 709 "Starlink" satellites into orbit through 13 batches of launches from January to mid-May 2022, bringing the total number of satellites in orbit of the "Starlink" constellation to more than 2,400. It has about 300,000 users worldwide. During the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the "Starlink" satellites provided network communication services for Ukraine, and the Ukrainian military also collected Russian military intelligence through pictures and text information provided by the public. British company OneWeb successfully deployed the 13th batch of 36 OneWeb satellites, expanding the size of the OneWeb constellation to 428. The EU plans to invest 6 billion euros to build a near-Earth satellite network to improve the security and self-sufficiency of network communications in EU countries.
Space launch capabilities have been continuously improved, and new breakthroughs have been made in recycling technology.
In order to improve the ability to acquire and utilize space resources, the United States and Russia continue to promote the research and development of space vehicle technology, and actively develop recycling and reuse capabilities to further reduce the cost of space entry and improve the efficiency of space entry. In terms of space launch capabilities, as of mid-May, the "Falcon"-9 rocket of the US company SpaceX has completed 21 launches in 2022, achieving an average launch capability of one launch per week, and successfully achieved "12 flights with one arrow" and "one flight with one rocket". The new launch record of "Arrow 105 Star"; Virgin Orbit's air-launched small carrier "Carrier One" was carried to a high altitude by Boeing 747-400 carrier aircraft for the fourth launch, sending 7 cubesats into orbit , continue to lead the development of air-launched rocket technology, and provide fast, reliable, flexible, and low-cost small satellite launch services for global commercial users. Russia's "Angara" 1.2 rocket has completed its first launch mission and will gradually replace old rockets such as "Proton" and become Russia's main launch vehicle. In terms of space launch recovery, for the first time, the American Rocket Laboratory used a modified helicopter to successfully capture the first-stage rocket performing an orbital launch mission, realizing another rocket recovery technology, which will lay the foundation for further increasing the frequency of rocket launches and reducing launch costs.
Space situational awareness has received much attention, and space-based and land-based monitoring and reconnaissance platforms have become the focus of research and deployment.
At present, the surge in the number of space debris and spacecraft in orbit has exacerbated the congestion and collision risks in the space environment. Therefore, space situational awareness technology has become a key technical means to protect the safety of the country's space assets in orbit. The U.S. Space Force launched two "Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program" (GSSAP) satellites. The GSSAP satellites are equipped with reconnaissance and surveillance cameras with a diameter of 0.3 meters and can detect 1-meter-sized targets at an altitude of 42,000 kilometers. The expansion to 6 will continue to strengthen the U.S. ability to fly around and approach high-orbit spacecraft; the U.S. Space Force commissioned Northrop Grumman to develop a ground-based deep-space radar, which will be able to detect football-sized targets at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers. To monitor the highly dynamic and rapidly changing geosynchronous orbit environment; the U.S. Department of Commerce launched a space cataloging and traffic management software platform prototype "open architecture database" system to provide satellite collision notification, launch monitoring, space object reentry prediction and space debris awareness and other services. The UK seeks to develop multimode radars to meet needs such as space surveillance and traditional ground-based air defense missions.