Although our airborne assets, such as JSTARS, U-2s and UAVs, are expected to do a superb job, we require additional capabilities as a complement to
these airborne platforms to ensure U.S. forces attain the dominant battlefield awareness envisioned in Joint Vision 2020.
Essentially, that means providing:
* assured, reconnaissance of areas of interest - - worldwide;
* on-demand near-continuous reconnaissance and surveillance of selected ground and maritime objectives;
* coverage of blind spots, or "shadowed" areas, obscured from view of stand-off airborne platforms;
* rapid acquisition and tracking of mobile, time-critical targets throughout the depth of the theater;
* precise geolocation of objects to support targeting; and
* high-quality terrain mapping.
To that end, Discoverer II's objectives are to demonstrate the feasibility of:
* day/night, all-weather, space-based GMTI search/track, and high-resolution imagery;
* theater dynamic tasking of space-based, or "overhead," GMTI and imagery collection;
* near-real-time, direct downlink to theater; and
* collection of precision digital terrain elevation data (DTED).
Now that Discoverer II is de-commissioned, I wonder what they are working on now? Hmmm...