This Monday ASP Chief Operating Officer Matthew Wallin published an opinion piece in Stars and Stripes detailing new over the horizon intelligence-gathering opportunities, titled Access to commercial satellite networks can help fill intel gaps.
As tensions between China and Taiwan mount, satellite imagery and signals intelligence will play a key role in long-distance surveillance of land-, sea-, and air-restricted targets. Commercial satellites in particular are already well positioned to monitor from afar. Wallin contended:
There is no shortage of international security threats warranting closer surveillance, but there are limited resources to surveil those threats. Large fleets of commercial satellites can be tasked with monitoring numerous threats and situations around the world and aid in determining which of those threats warrant the attention of more advanced U.S. government satellites.
As global events evolve, commercial partnerships in line with the 2020 National Space Policy could provide critical data for a broader scope of security concerns including Russia, Iran, and Afghanistan—and even monitor the impact of climate change. Wallin concludes:
With so much uncertainty in our time, the U.S. government should work to ensure it has greater access to secure and reliable American commercial satellite networks to fill its intelligence gaps and help make decisions based on timely and accurate data.