Report: Personnel Error Tops SATCOM Industry Concerns

Site: NASA.gov

The government is concerned satellites are in danger of cyber warfare that would damage the military’s communication capabilities.

However, Space Data Association Chairman and Director Stewart Sanders told Satellite 2012 conference attendees Tuesday that spacecraft operated by untrained personnel is a greater concern, GCN reports.

Both the federal and commercial sectors are alarmed by the increasing radio frequency interference caused by intentional jamming.

Sanders said a majority of communication interferences are a result of unintentional human errors.

Deliberate jamming of satellite communications comprised a meager 5 percent of radio frequency problems, while most SATCOM interference was a result of errors aligning antennas and transmitters, Sanders said.

Sanders said situational awareness is as important to commercial spacecraft as military vehicles.

Bill Janosky, Harris CapRock’s information assurance director, told the panel radio frequency interference remains a problem for the military as well as a result of issues with personnel training and keeping them up to date.

The Defense Information Systems Agency is trying to mitigate personnel errors by providing additional training and awareness of SATCOM interference, according to GCN.

Janosky suggested that government and commercial operators develop information assurance standards to ensure the integrity, confidentiality and availability of SATCOM information.

SAT Corp. President Bob Potter said increasing numbers of spacecraft orbiting Earth also causes interference.

Potter said the Defense Department will have to develop signals that will not necessarily stand out in the crowd so it will not be the target of attacks or interference.

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