Diversified Architectures

In a diversified architecture, multiple systems contribute to the same mission using platforms and payloads that may be operating in different orbits or in different domains. For example, wideband communications to fixed and mobile users can be provided by the military’s WGS system, commercial SATCOM systems, airborne communication nodes, or terrestrial networks. The Chinese BeiDou system for positioning, navigation, and timing uses a diverse set of orbits, with satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO), highly inclined GEO, and medium Earth orbit (MEO). Diversification reduces the incentive for an adversary to attack any one of these systems because the impact on the overall mission will be muted since systems in other orbits or domains can be used to compensate for losses. Moreover, attacking space systems in diversified orbits may require different capabilities for each orbital regime, and the collateral damage from such attacks, such as orbital debris, could have a much broader impact politically and economically.



Best Segment for Countermeasure Deployment

  • Space Segment

NIST Rev5 Controls


ISO 27001

ID: CM0076
Created: 2023/04/22
Last Modified: 2023/04/22

Techniques Addressed by Countermeasure

ID Name Description
EX-0017 Kinetic Physical Attack Kinetic physical attacks attempt to damage or destroy space- or land-based space assets. They typically are organized into three categories: direct-ascent, co-orbital, and ground station attacks [beyond the focus of SPARTA at this time]. The nature of these attacks makes them easier to attribute and allow for better confirmation of success on the part of the attacker.* *https://aerospace.csis.org/aerospace101/counterspace-weapons-101
.01 Direct Ascent ASAT A direct-ascent ASAT is often the most commonly thought of threat to space assets. It typically involves a medium- or long-range missile launching from the Earth to damage or destroy a satellite in orbit. This form of attack is often easily attributed due to the missile launch which can be easily detected. Due to the physical nature of the attacks, they are irreversible and provide the attacker with near real-time confirmation of success. Direct-ascent ASATs create orbital debris which can be harmful to other objects in orbit. Lower altitudes allow for more debris to burn up in the atmosphere, while attacks at higher altitudes result in more debris remaining in orbit, potentially damaging other spacecraft in orbit.* *https://aerospace.csis.org/aerospace101/counterspace-weapons-101
.02 Co-Orbital ASAT Co-orbital ASAT attacks are when another satellite in orbit is used to attack. The attacking satellite is first placed into orbit, then later maneuvered into an intercepting orbit. This form of attack requires a sophisticated on-board guidance system to successfully steer into the path of another satellite. A co-orbital attack can be a simple space mine with a small explosive that follows the orbital path of the targeted satellite and detonates when within range. Another co-orbital attack strategy is using a kinetic-kill vehicle (KKV), which is any object that can be collided into a target satellite.* *https://aerospace.csis.org/aerospace101/counterspace-weapons-101

Space Threats Addressed by Countermeasure

ID Description
SV-AC-5 Proximity operations (i.e., grappling satellite)  
SV-MA-8 Payload (or other component) is told to constantly sense or emit or run whatever mission it had to the point that it drained the battery constantly / operated in a loop at maximum power until the battery is depleted.  
SV-AV-6 Complete compromise or corruption of running state  
SV-MA-5 Not being able to recover from cyberattack  
SV-AV-1 Communications system jamming resulting in denial of service and loss of availability and data integrity  
SV-AV-7 The TT&C is the lead contributor to satellite failure over the first 10 years on-orbit, around 20% of the time. The failures due to gyro are around 12% between year one and 6 on-orbit and then ramp up starting around year six and overtake the contributions of the TT&C subsystem to satellite failure. Need to ensure equipment is not counterfeit and the supply chain is sound.  
SV-MA-1 Space debris colliding with the spacecraft  
SV-MA-6 Not planning for security on SV or designing in security from the beginning  
SV-SP-5 Hardware failure (i.e., tainted hardware) {ASIC and FPGA focused}