BREAKING BARRIERS TO THE FUTURE: EXPLORING USE OF BURGEONING COMMERCIAL SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY TO ENABLE COAST GUARD OPERATIONS IN THE RESOURCE-RICH ARCTIC
Forster, John M.
Lied, Brian S.
Crook, Matthew R.
Mortlock, Robert F.
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Over the last 10 years the melt of the polar ice caps has opened access to a region of the earth full of untapped resources. This has provided new economic opportunities for polar nations such as Canada, Russia, the United States, and Norway. Additionally, world powers such as China look to leverage more readily available shipping routes to reduce costs and further aid their economic expansion. The United States Coast Guard is charged with upholding peace and facilitating safe navigation in the region, but has been significantly hampered by a lack of capable assets. The service currently has one operational heavy icebreaker built in the 1960s and a medium icebreaker. A recent contract was awarded to VT Halter Marine to build up to six new icebreakers to aid the service in its polar missions. The current satellite communications being leveraged by major assets in the Coast Guard will not facilitate optimal operations in the Arctic, given the service's dependence on geosynchronous satellite constellations for internet connectivity. Emerging technologies can be leveraged to bridge this gap and ensure continued success in this frontier. This paper will provide a model to assist the Coast Guard in making future source-selection analyses of commercial communications satellite systems capable of providing service in the polar regions. This model was developed using techniques designed for multi-objective decision-making (MODM) and can be tailored to future organizational needs.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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