Sunday, February 17, 2008

Whoosh Kaboom!

OK, so they want to shoot down that satellite; depending on who you believe, because of its Evil Nasty Chems, to keep the Secret Spook Systems aboard from the general enemy, or just to do a live-fire exercise with SPACE ROCKETS!!! and impress the Chinese. Well, the first one is nonsense, the second is unimpressive (Germany, Italy, France, Canada and Japan all have synthetic-aperture radar satellites - how rare can this one be? After all, this one's defining characteristic is that it doesn't work) it looks like the third.

And to do it, they're rolling out the giant floating radar, or the USS Karl Stromberg as I like to think of it. Well, they better hope the waves aren't more than 8 feet on the day, as its seakeeping is so dire that it can't be towed with a sea state worse than that. The AEGIS system should, I think, be able to cue itself for a target that looks something like a re-entering IRBM, but this is pressing the limit of my knowledge.

Looking it up on Heavens Above, the satellite's track is over Graham Land in Antarctica, up across Africa from Angola to the Middle East (and interestingly, straight over Israel), then across the Asian continent for a good view of the ME, India, Siberia, China and Korea, over northern Japan and then sharply southwards down the Pacific; it's quite a way from the Stromberg's beat off Alaska, especially as they have to intercept head-on rather than a stern chase (the rocket does 3 km/sec and the sat 7.8). I wonder what the weather's like in the Western Pacific for the "first week of March"?

The track passes close to the Marshalls; presumably they'll take the GFR to Kwajalein or somewhere like it, where they have various other huge dish antennas and spookydooky things.


ejh said...

Isn't likely to impress the Chinese so much that they want one too?

Alex said...

They've already got one.

Anonymous said...

A ship named Stromberg involved with the shooting down of spy satellites?

We live in a James Bond movie (The Spy Who Loved Me) now, don't we?

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