How Military Satellites Differ from Regular Ones

Working in the military is one of the most prestigious and widely praised jobs that there is. Soldiers dedicate their lives to protect or fight for their country, they offer up their lives to defend democracy and help America to maintain its superpower status. The US has one of the largest militaries with over a million active soldiers on duty worldwide. The US takes pride in the strength of its military, their military expenses are at around $1.6 trillion per year, this is as expensive as the next 7 biggest military budgets combined.

Working in the military is a different experience from any other job, there are lots of codes that soldiers need to learn, they even refer to the time difference, if you don’t know military time then 2100 military time converted is 9 pm, to figure it out you simply have to subtract 12 hours. It’s difficult to qualify for a role in the US military as there are many requirements, you must be fit enough to pass a military boot camp, run 5 miles in less than 40 minutes, hike 16 miles carrying 65 pounds, and swim 15 meters in full gear. As the US spends so much on their military they have some of the highest quality equipment, one vital thing that the military has and makes use of is their satellites. These are completely different from regular satellites, keep reading to find out the differences.

Regular Satellites

Sputnik was the first satellite created by The USSR back in 1957 and since then satellite technology has come a long way. Regular satellites are now used for many things in everyday life that you probably won’t even realize you’re using them. Satellites are used for things like your television, without satellites you wouldn’t have cable tv, they send signals directly to every home that has cable tv and they send signals from a central station which allows for live news broadcasts at the scene of any events.

Satellites are also used for telephones, they’re an important part of how in-flight phone communications work and in more rural areas they’re important for keeping phone lines up and running if there are issues with damages to phone lines in these areas. Another thing that people use a lot but don’t realize that it uses satellites is navigation systems, GPS is a satellite-based system and is an amazing piece of technology. GPS allows any user with a handheld device that can connect to find their specific location, usually correct to within a few meters.

This is one of the most useful developments of satellites as it’s used for car sat navs and gives accurate directions to the driver, this has replaced the old stressful way of traveling with paper maps. Finally, satellites also give us the ability to monitor the weather and to monitor climate change to try and make plans for our future. Being able to monitor the weather allows for people to follow the effects post-event of things like hurricanes and volcanic eruptions which could help to put systems in place to reduce some of the damage when events like this occur in the future. It’s also used to monitor the temperature of the oceans, to see if sea levels have risen, and monitor how much glaciers have shrunk.

Military Satellites

Military satellites are used for massively different purposes to regular satellites but equally as useful.  Surveillance and reconnaissance are one of the biggest uses of military satellites, the first-ever military surveillance satellites were created by the US in the 1950s, it was designed with a program called Corona and the purpose of it was to take high-quality photographs of the earth and send them back to earth.

This program was only partially successful but many more successful programs followed including Canyon, Orion, Magnum, and Trumpet. Current satellites are much more developed and have the technology to take photos of a target for over a minute and they can identify targets as small as a tennis ball from hundreds of miles away. Another major use of military satellites is signal intelligence, these satellites operate in low Earth orbit and are used to gather the signals from phones, walkie-talkies, radio, and radar.

This information that they gather is sent back to the ground and processed and deciphered there, during past wars this has been a great way to gather intelligence. The final thing that military satellites are commonly used for is communication, trying to communicate out at sea can be difficult especially in submarines, so submarines are now equipped with small antennas allowing communication. As the satellite can communicate with this small antenna it also helps ships that are lost at sea with navigation to bring them safely home.

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