Abbreviations and Acronyms

The following terms are common to the UAS / UUV industries, general literature, or conferences on UAS/UAV/Drone/UUV systems.


ABM               Anti-ballistic missile

A/C                 Aircraft (Piloted or unmanned) also A/C

ACOUSTIC    Detects drones by recognizing unique sounds produced by their motors.

A/D                 Attack / Defense Scenario Analysis

ADS                Air Defense System (USA) / Area Denial System

ADS-B            Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast systems

A/C FD           Aircraft flood denial

AFRL              Air Force Research Lab

A-GPS            Assisted GPS

AGL                Above ground level

AHI                 Anomalous Health Incidents

AI                    Artificial intelligence: “1. a branch of computer science dealing with the

simulation of intelligent behavior in computers, and 2: the capability of a machine

to imitate intelligent human behavior.” (Merriam-Webster, 2020)

AIS                 Automated Identification System for Collision Avoidance

AMS               Autonomous Mobile Sword (SCREAMER) uses sound to disrupt the brain before cutting the enemy to pieces.

AO                  Area of Operations

AOA               Angle of Arrival of signals to GPS receivers / Angle of Attack

APC                Armored personnel carrier

APDS              Armor-piercing discarding sabot projectile

APFSDS         Armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot projectile

AR                  Augmented reality

ARW               Anti-radiation weapons

ATC                Air Traffic Control / Air traffic Control Signals

ATSAW          Air Traffic Situational Awareness

AUV               Autonomous underwater vehicle


B&B                Branch & bound

Bandwidth is Defined as the Range within a band of wavelengths, frequencies, or energy.

Think of it as a range of radio frequencies occupied by a modulated carrier wave, assigned to a service over which a device can operate. Bandwidth is also a capacity for data transfer of electrical communications systems.

BC                   Ballistic Coefficient

BEAR             Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot

Black Swan     Black Swan Event- A black swan is an unpredictable event beyond what is.

Normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black

swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, severe impact, and the

widespread insistence they were obvious in hindsight.

(Black Swan Definition, 2020)

BLOS              Beyond line-of-sight

BPAUV           Battlespace Preparation Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

BSL-4             Biosafety Level #

BTWC             Biological & Toxin Weapons Convention

BVLOS           Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight operations

BVR                Beyond visual range

BW                  Biological weapons

BYOD            Bring your device

c                      Speed of light ~ (3 x 108 m/s) [186,000 miles per sec] in vacuum named after        Celeritas, the Latin word for speed or velocity.

C-CLAW        Combat Laser assault weapon

cs                     speed of sound (344 m/s) in air

C2 / C2W        Command and control / Command and Control Warfare

C3                   Command, control, communications

C3I                  Command, control, communications, and Intelligence

C4                   Command, control, communications, and computers

C4I                  Command, control, communications and computers, intelligence

C4ISR             Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance &  reconnaissance

C4ISTAR        Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, target

acquisition and reconnaissance

C5I                  Command, control, communications, computers, Collaboration & Intelligence

CA                  Collision Avoidance / Clear Acquisition (GPS) / Cyber Assault (aka CyA)

C/A                 Civilian acquisition code for GPS

CAA               Control Acquisition cyber attack

CAS                Close Air Support / Common situational awareness

CBRN             Chemical, Biological, Radiation & Nuclear critical infrastructure facilities

CBRNE          Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear & Explosives attacks critical infrastructure facilities or assets

CBRNECy      Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear, Explosives &  Cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure facilities or assets

CBW               Chemical, Biological Weapons

CC&D             Camouflage, Concealment, and Deception

CCTV             Closed Circuit Television

CD                  Charge diameters

Cd                   Drag coefficient

CDC                Center for Disease Control

CDMA            Code division multiple access

CD                  Collective detection maximum likelihood localization approach (Eichelberger, 2019)

CEA                Cyber-electromagnetic activities

CEP                 Circular error probable

CETC              Chinese Electronics Technology Group Corporation

CEW               Cyber electronic warfare / Communications electronic warfare

CGA               Coast Guard Administration – Singapore

CHAMP          Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project

CIA                 Confidentiality, Integrity & Availability ( standard INFOSEC paradigm)

CI / CyI           Critical Infrastructure / Cyber Infiltration

CIA                 Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability / Central Intelligence Agency

CIS                  Critical Infrastructure Sector

CJNG              Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación

CM / CyM       Countermeasure / Cyber Manipulation

CMADS          China’s Microwave Active Denial System

C/NA              Communication / Navigation Aid

CNA               Computer network attack

CND               Computer network deception

CNE                Computer network exploitation

CNO               Computer network operations

CNS                Central nervous system

COMINT        Communications intelligence

COMJAM       Communications Jamming

COMINT        Communications Intelligence

COMSEC       Communications Security

CONOP(S)      Concepts of Operations

CONV            Convergent Technology Dynamics

CONV-CBRN Convergent Technology Dynamics – Chemical, Biological, Radiation & Nuclear

COP                Common operating picture

COTS              Commercial off-the-shelf

CPS                 Cyber-physical systems

CR                   Conflict Resolution / Close range / Cyber Raid (aka CyR)

CSI                  Crime scene investigation

CT                   Counter-Terrorism / Counter-Terrorism Mission

CTN                Course time navigation

C-UAS            Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (defenses/countermeasures)

CUAV            Counter Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (defenses/countermeasures)

CUES              Code for unplanned encounters at sea

CW / CyW      Cyber Warfare

CWC               Chemical Weapons Convention

CWMD           Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Community

CYBER WEAPON – Malicious Software and IT systems that, through ICTS networks,

manipulate, deny, disrupt, degrade, or destroy targeted information systems or

networks. It may be deployed via computer, communications, networks, rogue

access points, USBs, acoustically, electronically, and airborne/underwater

unmanned systems & SWARMS. Alternatively, cyber weapons:

  1. A campaign that may combine multiple malicious programs for espionage, data theft, or sabotage.
  2. A stealth capability that enables undetected operation within the targeted system over an extended time.
  3. An attacker with apparent intimate knowledge of details for the workings of the targeted system.
  4. A special type of computer code to bypass protective cybersecurity technology.

Danger Close

Definition Nov 14, 2013 – 1) danger close is included in the “method-of-engagement” line of a call-for-fire request to indicate that friendly forces are close to the target. … Danger close is a term that is exclusive from risk estimate distance (RED) although the RED for 0.1 percent PI is used to define danger close for aircraft delivery.  Pi = Probability of incapacitation. 2) Definition of “danger close” (US DoD) In close air support, artillery, mortar, and naval gunfire support fires, it is the term included in the method of engagement segment of a call for fires which indicates that friendly forces are within close proximity of the target.

DARPA          Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Dazzle             Cause temporary blindness with Laser

DCPA             Distance between vessels approaching CPA

D&D               Denial & deception

DDD               Dull, dangerous, and dirty

D/D/D             Destruction, Disruption, Deception

DDOS             Distributed Denial of Service cyber attack

DEFCON        Defense condition

DEW               Directed energy weapons (also, DE)

DF                   Direction-finding

DPRK             Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

DTRA             Defense Threat Reduction Agency

DUST              Dual-use Science & Technology threat

EA                   Electronic Attack

EBO                Effects-based operations

ECCM / EP     Electronic counter-countermeasures / Electronic Protection

ECD               Dr. Manuel  Eichelberger’s advanced implementation of CD to detect & mitigate spoofing attacks on GPS or ADS-B signals (Eichelberger, 2019)

ECM               Electronic countermeasures

ELINT             Electronic Intelligence

EM                  Electromagnetic waves

EMC               Electromagnetic compatibility

EMD               Electromagnetic deception

EMF                Electromagnetic field

EMI                 Electromagnetic interference

EMP                Electromagnetic pulse –  electromagnetic energy.

EMR               Electromagnetic radiation

EMS                Electromagnetic spectrum

EO                   Electro-optical system

EW                  Electronic warfare[Legacy EW definitions: EW was classically divided into (Adamy D., EW 101 A First Course in Electronic Warfare, 2001):

  • ESM – Electromagnetic Support Measures – the receiving part of EW;
  • ECM – Electromagnetic Countermeasures – jamming, chaff, flares used to interfere with operations of radars, military communications, and heat-seeking weapons;
  • ECCM -Electronic Counter-Counter Measures – measures are taken to design or operate radars or communications systems to counter the effects of ECM.[1]

Not included in the EW definitions were Anti-radiation Weapons (ARW) and Directed Energy Weapons (DEW).

USA and NATO have updated these categories:

  • ES – Electronic warfare Support (old ESM) to monitor the R.F. environment;
  • EA – Electronic Attack – the old ECM includes ASW and D.E. weapons; to deny, disrupt, deceive, exploit, and destroy adversary electronic systems.
  • EP – Electronic Protection – (old ECCM) (Adamy D., EW 101 A First Course in Electronic Warfare, 2001) to guard friendly systems from hostile attacks.[2]

ES is different from Signal Intelligence (SIGINT). SIGINT comprises Communications Intelligence (COMINT) and Electronic Intelligence (ELINT). All these fields involve the receiving of enemy transmissions. (Adamy D., EW 101 A First Course in Electronic Warfare, 2001)

FAA                Federal Aviation Agency

FHSS              frequency-hopping spread spectrum

FIRES             definition (US DoD – JP 3-0) is the use of weapon systems to create a specific lethal or nonlethal effect on a target.

FPS                 Feet Per Second

GS                   Ground Station

GCS                Ground control station

GPS                 Global Positioning System (US) [3] (USGPO, 2021)

GNSS               Global Navigation Satellite System (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou & other regional systems)

GNU                GNU / Linux Operating system

GPS                 Global Positioning System / Geo-Fencing

GPS/INS         uses GPS satellite signals to correct or calibrate a solution from an inertial navigation system (INS). The method applies to any GNSS/INS system

GRU               Russian military intelligence branch

GSFD              Ground station flood denial

GSM               Global system for mobile communications

GTA                Ground-to-Air Defense

Hard damage   DEW complete vaporization of a target

HAPS              High Altitude Platforms (generally for wireless communications enhancements)

HCM               Hypersonic cruise missile

HGV               Hypersonic glide vehicle

HEAT             High-explosive anti-tank warhead

HEL                High energy Laser

HOW               Hand-over-word satellite data timestamp defined in (IS-GPS-200G, 2013)

HTV                Hypersonic test vehicle

HUMINT        Human Intelligence

HVM               Hostile vehicle mitigation

IAEA              International Atomic Energy Agency

IC                    Intelligence community ~ 17 different agencies

ICBM              Intercontinental ballistic missile

ICS                  Internet Connection Sharing / Industrial control systems

ICT                  Information & Communications Technology

ICTS               Information & Communications Technology Services

ID                    Information Dominance / Inspection and Identification /Identification

IDEX              International Defense Exhibition and Conference

IDS                 Intrusion detection system

IED                 Improvised Explosive Device

IFF                  Identify Friend or Foe

IIIM                International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism

IMU                Inertial Measurement Unit

IND                 Improvised nuclear device

INS                 Inertial navigation system

INFOSEC       Information Security

IO /I.O.           Information Operations

IoT                  Internet of things

IIoT                 Industrial Internet of things

IP                    Internet protocol

IR                    Infrared

IS                    Information security / Islamic State

ISIS                 Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)

ISR                  Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance UAS Platform

ISTAR            Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance

IT                    Information Technology

IT/OT              Information Technology/ Operational Technology

ITE                  Installation, Training, Expense

IW                   Information Warfare

JIM                  Joint Investigative Mechanism

JSR                  Jamming-to-signal ratio

KE                   Kinetic energy

KEW               Kinetic energy weapon

K’IHAP          Short Shout in Tae Kwon Do

LASER           “A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The term “laser” originated as an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” A laser differs from other light sources in that it emits light coherently, spatially, and temporally. Spatial coherence allows a laser to be focused on a tight spot, enabling laser cutting and lithography applications laser cutting and lithography. Spatial coherence also allows a laser beam to stay narrow over great distances (collimation), enabling applications such as laser pointers. Lasers can also have high temporal coherence, which allows them to emit light with a very narrow spectrum, i.e., they can emit a single color of light. Temporal coherence can produce pulses of light as short as a femtosecond. Used: for military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed.” (Wiki-L, 2018)

LaWS              Laser weapon system

LLTR              Low-level transit route

LM or L.M.     Loitering munitions

LMM               Lightweight Multi-role Missiles

LOS                Line of sight

LPI                  Low Probability of Intercept

LRAD            Long Range Acoustic Device  / Long-Range Area Denial [4]

Mach 1            Speed of sound, 761.2 mph

MAD               Mutually assured destruction

M-ATV           Mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle

MAME            Medium altitude medium endurance

MASER          Microwave Amplification Stimulated Emission of Radiation

MAST             Micro Autonomous Systems & Technology

MEDUSA       (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio)

MEMS            micro-electro-mechanical systems

MIM                Man-in-middle attack

MIRV             Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles

ML                  Machine learning

MLAT             Multilateration System

MND               Ministry of National Defense

MOA               Minute of angle in degrees

MOPP             Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) Gear

MRVs             Multiple Re-entry Vehicles

mTBI               mild Traumatic Brain Injury

MTI                 Moving target indicator

MUM-T           Manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T)

NAS                National Academy Of Sciences

NATO             North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NEB                New Economic Block soldier

NERC             North American Electric Reliability Corporation

NDM               Navigation data modification spoofing attack

NGO               Nongovernmental organization

NIEHS            National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

NKW              non-kinetic warfare

NV                  Neurological vulnerability

OODA            Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act decision loops

OPCW            Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

OPSEC           Operational Security

OSINT            Open-source intelligence

OTH                Over-the-horizon

PETMAN        Humanoid robot developed for US Army -Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin

Phigital            Digital and human characteristics & patterns overlap

PII                   Private identifying information and credentials

PLA                Peoples Liberation Army ( Chinese)

PLAN             Peoples Liberation Army & Navy (Chinese)

POV                Point of view

PRN                Pseudo-Random Noise

PSYOPS         Psychological warfare operations

RC                   Radio communications signals

RCS                Radar cross-section

RDD               Radiological dispersion device

RF                   Radio Frequency

RF-EMF          Radiofrequency – Electromagnetic field

RFID               Radio-frequency identification (tags)

RID                 Remote identification of ID

RIMPAC        Tim of the Pacific

RN                  Ryan-Nichols Qualitative Risk Assessment

RNRA             Ryan – Nichols Attack / Defense Scenario Risk Assessment for Cyber cases

ROA               Remotely operated aircraft

ROC                Republic of China

ROV/ROUV   Remote operating vehicle / Remotely operated underwater vehicle

RPA                Remotely piloted aircraft

RPAS              Remotely piloted system

RPV                Remotely piloted vehicle

RSS                 Received signal strength

RV                  Re-entry vehicle

SA                   Situational Awareness

SAA                Sense and Avoid

SAM               Surface to Air missile

SAR                Synthetic aperture radar

SATCOM       Satellite communications

SBLM             Submarine-launched ballistic missile

SCADA          Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems

SCS                 Shipboard control system (or station) / Stereo Camera System / South China Seas

SDR                Software-defined radio

SEAD             Suppression of enemy defenses

SECDEF         Secretary of Defense (USA)

SIC                  Successive Signal Interference Cancellation

SIGINT           Signals Intelligence

Signature         UAS detection by acoustic, optical, thermal, and radio /radar

SMART          Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

S/N                  S / N = is one pulse received signal to noise ratio, dB: Signal to Noise ratio at HAPS receiver (also, SNR)

Soft damage    DEW disruption to a UAS computer

SOCOM          U.S. Army Special Operations Command

SOLAS           Safety of Life at Sea (International Maritime Convention) [safety conventions]

Spoofing is A Cyber-weapon attack that generates false signals to replace valid ones. GPS Spoofing is an attack to provide false information to GPS receivers by broadcasting counterfeit signals similar to the original GPS signal or by recording the original GPS signal captured somewhere else at some other time and then retransmitting the signal. The Spoofing Attack causes GPS receivers to provide the wrong information about position

 and time. (T.E. Humphrees, 2008) (Tippenhauer &, 2011)

Spoofing         Alt Def: A Cyber-weapon attack generates false signals to replace valid ones.

SSBN              Strategic nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine

SSLT               Seamless satellite-lock takeover spoofing attack

sUAS              Small Unmanned Aircraft System

SWARM         High level, a dangerous collaboration of UAS, UUV, or unmanned boats

Taiwan ROC   Taiwan is officially the Republic of China

TCAS              Traffic collision avoidance system

ToF                 Time of flight

TTFF               Time to first fix (latency)

TDOA              time difference of arrival

TEAM (UAS) High-level, a dangerous collaboration of UAS, UUV, or unmanned boats; differs from SWARM in that it has a UAS Team Leader (TL) where SWARM does not. TL directs the UAS team and is the primary counter UAS target to disrupt.

TDOA             Time difference of arrival

TNT                 Trinitrotoluene

TO                   Theater of Operations

TOA                Time of arrival

TRANSEC      Transmission security

TTPs                Tactic, Technique, and Procedures

Tx                    Transmit signal

UA                  Unmanned Aircraft (non-cooperative and potential intruder)

UAM               Urban Air Mobile (vehicle)

UAS                Unmanned aircraft system

UAS-p             UAS pilot

UAV               Unmanned aerial vehicle / Unmanned autonomous vehicle.

UAV-p            UAV pilot

UCAR             Unmanned combat armed rotorcraft

UCARS          UAV common automated recovery system

UCWA / UA   Unintentional cyber warfare attack

UGCS             Unmanned Ground Control Station

UGS                Unmanned ground-based station

UGT                Unmanned ground transport

UGV               Unmanned ground vehicle

UHF                Ultra-high frequency

USV                Unmanned Surface Vessel

UUV               Unmanned underwater vehicle

VR                  Virtual reality

VLOS             visual line of sight

VTOL             Vertical take-off and landing

VX                  Deadly nerve agent

WFOV            Wide field of view

WFUL             Wake Forrest University Laboratory

WLAN            Wide Local area network

WMD              Weapons of Mass Destruction

WMDD          Mini-Weapons of Mass Destruction and Disruption



Special Definitions


Asymmetric warfare can describe a conflict in which the resources of two belligerents differ in essence and, in the struggle, interact and attempt to exploit each other’s characteristic weaknesses. Such struggles often involve strategies and tactics of unconventional warfare, the weaker combatants attempting to use strategy to offset deficiencies in quantity or quality of their forces and equipment. (Thomas, 2010) Such strategies may not necessarily be militarized. (Steponova, 2016)


This contrasts with symmetric warfare, where two powers have comparable military power and resources and rely on similar tactics, differing only in details and execution. (Thomas, 2010)


Definitions [5]

Acquisition – Acquisition is the process in a GPS receiver that finds the visible satellite signals and detects the delays of the PRN sequences and the Doppler shifts of the signals.

Circular Cross-Correlation (CCC) – In a GPS classical receiver, the circular cross-correlation is a similarity measure between two vectors of length N, circularly shifted by a given displacement d:


Cxcorr (a, b , d) = ∑    ai dot bI + d mod N


The two vectors are most similar at the displacement d, where the sum (CCC value) is maximum. The vector of CCC values with all N displacements can be efficiently computed by a fast Fourier transform (FFT) in Ớ ( N log N ) time.  [6](Eichelberger, 2019)

Coarse-Time Navigation (CTN) is a snapshot receiver localization technique measuring sub-millisecond satellite ranges from correlation peaks, like classical GPS receivers. (IS-GPS-200G, 2013) [See also expanded definition above.]

Collective Detection (CD) is a maximum likelihood snapshot receiver localization method, which does not determine the arrival time for each satellite, but rather combines all the available information and decides only at the end of the computation. This technique is critical to the (Eichelberger, 2019) invention to mitigate spoofing attacks on GPS or ADS-B.

Coordinate System – A coordinate system uses an ordered list of coordinates to uniquely describe the location of points in space. The meaning of the coordinates is defined concerning some anchor points. The point with all coordinates being zero is called the origin. [ Examples: terrestrial, Earth-centered, Earth-fixed, equator, meridian longitude, latitude, geodetic latitude, geocentric latitude, and geoid. [7]

DEW Energy SPREAD and Loss in Propagation – There are two types of energy losses in propagation: the spreading of energy such that it does not interact with the target and the wasting of energy in interactions with a physical medium, such as the atmosphere, through which it passes to destroy the target. Type one occurs whether the weapon or target is located on earth or in the vacuum of space. Type two occurs primarily when a weapon or target lies within the atmosphere. (Nielsen, 2012)

DEW Propagation loss – There is always some loss of energy during propagation. The DEW must deliver more energy than needed to damage the target to compensate for the loss along the way.  DE weapon design depends on the anticipated target, determining the energy required for damage. Second, the anticipated scenario (range, environment, time, etc.  This determines how much energy must be produced to ensure that adequate energy is delivered in the time available. (Nielsen, 2012)

Fluence is the energy per area or (Joules / cm2) necessary to damage a target. (Nielsen, 2012)

Intensity is the power per area (Watt / cm2) necessary to damage a target. (Nielsen, 2012)

Localization – Process of determining an object’s place concerning some reference, usually coordinate systems. [aka Positioning or Position Fix]

Microwave Weapon – A device that damages a target by emitting focused microwaves. The critical word in the definition is “damage.” (Monte, 2021)Navigation Data is the data transmitted from satellites, including orbit parameters to determine the satellite locations, timestamps of signal transmission, atmospheric delay estimations, and status information of the satellites and GPS, such as the accuracy and validity of the data. (IS-GPS-200G, 2013) [8]

Pseudo-Random Noise (PRN) sequences are pseudo-random bit strings. Each GPS satellite uses a unique PRN sequence with a length of 1023 bits for its signal transmissions. aka as Gold codes, they have a low cross-correlation with each other. (IS-GPS-200G, 2013)

Propagation – delivery of energy to a DEW target.

Snapshot GPS Receiver-  A snapshot receiver is a GPS receiver that captures one or a few milliseconds of raw GPS signal for a location fix. (Diggelen, 2009)

DEW Weapon – Weapons may be understood as devices that deposit energy on targets. The energy that must be deposited to achieve a given level of damage is relatively insensitive to the type of weapon employed. Nuclear weapons may be characterized by megatons, bullets in terms of muzzle velocity, and particle beams in terms of amperes of current. Still, when reduced to common units for the energy absorbed by the target, similar levels of damage are achieved at similar levels of energy deposited. (Nielsen, 2012)

Radiological Weapon – a radiological weapon means any device other than a manufactured nuclear explosive, specifically designed to employ radioactive material by disseminating it via crude explosion, aerosol, injection, dispersion, or aerial spraying to cause human destruction, damage, or injury, employing the emitted gamma or beta radiation over the years produced by the decay of such material.  (McCreight R., Convergent Technology and Future Strategic Threat, 2013) (McCreight M. S., 2020)

False Flag Operation – organized spreading of misinformation or disinformation.


Specific to Chapter 14, Satellite Killers


Classification of Satellites

Satellites are classified in terms of their purpose and are classified as follows:

Astronomical satellites – observation of distant planets and galaxies;

Biosatellites – carry living organisms to aid scientific experiments;

Communication satellites – communications satellites use geosynchronous or Low Earth orbits to communicate with each other and other systems;

Earth observation satellites are satellites intended for non-military uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, and producing maps;

Killer satellites are designed to destroy warheads, satellites, and space-based objects;

Navigational satellites use radio time signals transmitted to enable mobile receivers on the ground to determine their exact location. The relatively clear line of sight between the satellites and receivers on the ground allows satellite navigation systems to measure location to accuracies on the order of a few meters in real-time;

Reconnaissance satellites are communications satellites deployed for military or intelligence applications;

Recovery satellites provide a recovery of reconnaissance, biological, space-production, and other payloads from orbit to Earth;

Space stations are orbital structures designed for human beings to live in space. A space station is distinguished from other crewed spacecraft by its lack of major propulsion or landing facilities. Space stations are designed for medium-term living in orbit;

Tether satellites are connected to another satellite by a thin cable called a tether; and

Weather satellites are used to monitor Earth’s weather and climate.


Satellite Orbits

The most common type of orbit is a geocentric orbit, with over 3,000 active artificial satellites orbiting the Earth. Geocentric orbits may be further classified by their altitude, inclination, and eccentricity.

The commonly used altitude classifications of the geocentric orbit are Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO), and High Earth Orbit (HEO). Low Earth Orbit is any orbit below 2,000 km, Medium Earth Orbit is any orbit between 2,000 and 36,000 km, and High Earth Orbit is greater than 36,000 km (Figure 14.2).


Centric classifications

A galactocentric orbit is an orbit around the center of a galaxy.

A heliocentric orbit is an orbit around the Sun. In our Solar System, all planets, comets, and asteroids are in such orbits, as are many artificial satellites and pieces of space debris.

Geocentric orbit is an orbit around Earth, such as the Moon or artificial satellites. Currently, there are over 2,500 active artificial satellites orbiting the Earth.


Altitude classifications

Low Earth Orbit (LEO): Geocentric orbits ranging in altitude from 180 km – to 2,000 km;

Medium Earth Orbit (MEO): Geocentric orbits ranging in altitude from 2,000 km – to 20,000 km;

Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO): Geocentric circular orbit with an altitude of 36,000 km. The orbit period equals one sidereal day, which coincides with the Earth’s rotation period. The speed is 3,075 m/s (10,090 ft/s).

High Earth orbit (HEO): Geocentric orbits above the altitude of a geosynchronous orbit (GEO) > 36,000 km (~ 40,000 km).


SOURCES plus Bibliography below: (Nichols R. K., Unmanned Aircraft Systems In the Cyber Domain: Protecting USA’s Advanced Air Assets. 2nd Ed. Manhattan, KS: New Prairie Press., 2019) and (Nichols R. et al., Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technologies, and Operations, 2020) (Nichols & et al., 2020) (Nichols & et al., 2020) (Nichols & et al., 2020)

Austin, R, (2010) Unmanned Aircraft Systems: UAVS Design, Development, and Deployment, West Sussex, UK: Wiley, [Condensed with additions from eleven-page “Units and Abbreviations Table.” Pp. ix-xxix] Additional sources generated from / specific to Chapter development / discussion. A few definitions are taken from Wikipedia.

Cyber terminology from Nichols, R. K. (Sept. 5, 2008) Cyber Counterintelligence & Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) Needs – Talking Points & (Randall K. Nichols J. J., 2018) & (Nichols R. K., Hardening US Unmanned Systems Against Enemy Counter Measures, 2019) & (Randall K. Nichols D., Chapter 20 Acoustic CM & IFF Libraries V SWARMS Rev 1 05142019, 2018) & (Randall K. Nichols and Lekkas, 2002)& (NIST, September 2012)

Alford, L. D., Jr., USAF, Lt. Col. (2000) Cyber Warfare: Protecting Military Systems Acquisition Review Quarterly, spring 2000, V.7, No. 2, P, 105, (Nielsen, 2012)

Nichols, Randall K.; Mumm, Hans C.; Lonstein, Wayne D.; Ryan, Julie J.C.H.; Carter, Candice; and Hood, John-Paul, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Cyber Domain” (2019). NPP eBooks. 27.


Appendix 1: Standard Acoustic Principal Physical Properties (Entokey, 2019)

and (Gelfand, 2009)


A majority of the technical abbreviations come from (Nichols R. K. et al., Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Cyber Domain, 2019) and (Nichols R.   al., Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technologies, and Operations, 2020) (Nichols & et al., 2020) (Nichols al., Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in Cyber Domain: Protecting USA’s Advanced Air Assets, 2nd Edition, 2019) (Nichols R. K., Chapter 14: Maritime Cybersecurity, 2021) (Nichols & Sincavage, Disruptive Technologies with Applications in Airline, Marine, and Defense Industries, 2021) (Nichols & Ryan, Unmanned Vehicle Systems & Operations on Air, Sea & Land, 2020)


Other definitions from the following references:





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[1] ECCM was considered T.S. classified with most secret protocols and design algorithms. TS = Top Secret

[2] EW, E.S., E.P., E.A. definitions were adjusted via (Adamy D., EW 101 A First Course in Electronic Warfare, 2001)to align with our UAS weapons deployment theme.

[3] GPS consists of at least 24 satellites orbiting around the Earth at approximately 20,000 km above the surface, circling the Earth twice a day, continuously transmitting its location and time code. Localization is done in space and time. GPS provides location and time information to receivers anywhere on Earth where at least four satellite signals can be received. Line of sight (LOS) between receiver and satellite is advantageous. GPS signals take between 64 and 89 ms to reach Earth. GPS works poorly indoors, with reflections, close to thick obstructions, and below trees in canyons. Orbits are precisely determined by GCS, optimized for a high number of concurrently visible satellites above the horizon at any place on Earth.

[4] LRAD = Long Range Acoustic Device  (Chapter 13) / Long-Range Area Denial  (Chapter 11)

[5] All Definitions are taken from (Eichelberger 2019) unless otherwise noted.

[6] Ớ = Order of magnitude; dot = dot product for vectors

[7] All these systems are discussed in Chapter 2 of (Eichelberger, 2019)

[8] Each satellite has a unique 1023-bit PRN sequence, plus some current navigation data, D. Each bit is repeated 20 times for better robustness. The navigation data rate is limited to 50 bit / s. This also limits sending timestamps every 6 seconds and satellite orbit parameters (function of the satellite location over time) only every 30 seconds. As a result, the latency of the first location estimates after turning on a classic receiver, called the time to first fix(TTFF), can be high.