Securing Security for Civil LaunchFlight

Joint Orbital Traffic Control: For this to work, the Great Powers (superpower nations possessing combined launch, orbital, satellite and nuclear strike capabilities) must have confidence that there will be joint security against rogue states and actors; and joint benefit to protect our civilization against Earth-threatening debris and Asteroids.

To that end, it seems likely that Great Powers will require treaty-defined orbital traffic “master control” centres [here, called Quadrant HQs (“QHQs”)] in each of their Nations or in mutually-agreeable 3rd-party Nations. managing civilian launch-to-orbit traffic, routed by Orbital Triangulation Centres scattered around the globe].

QHQ’s will manage the operational hand-off from Civilian-National Launch to International-Orbital routes, routed by Orbital Triangulation Centres. They will have economic impact, so all centres must be located with more than technical reasons in mind.  QHQs must be located in internationally-friendly cities who understand that their regions become part of a global network of centres for regional and global communications’ commerce.

Supporters will understand that the presence of orbital traffic control facilities make their communities inspirational cities for every succeeding spacefaring generation.

QHQ’s will administratively report to Global HQ, but their operational sites and communications arrays will be trained and staffed by military personnel.  Here are suggestions.

1. Northwest Quadrant: Malmstrom QHQ
City: Great Falls, MT, USA
Facility Build: On-site
Site rationale: Technical, Geographic, 3rd-Party agreeable (US, UK, France)?


2. Northeast Quadrant: Baikonur QHQ
City: Baikonur, Kazahkstan
Facility Build: On-site
Site rationale: Technical, Geographic, 3rd-Party agreeable (Russia, India, China)?


3. Southwest Quadrant: El Alto QHQ
City: La Paz, Bolivia
Facility Build: Bolivian Altplano
Site rationale: Technical, Geographic, 3rd-Party agreeable?


4. Southeast Quadrant: Drakensberg QHQ
Supported by South Africa
City: Rome, Lesotho
Facility Build: Drakensberg Mountains
Site rationale: Technical, Geographic, 3rd-Party agreeable?

By David Huer  :  19 Oct 2017


Altiplano de La Paz Bolivia
By Skykid 123ve (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

ISS Mission Control during Expedition 47
By NASA/Lauren Harnett [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Parabolic antenna at Baikonur, Kazakhstan,_Kazakhstan.jpg
By NASA/Bill Ingalls (; ID: JSC2006-E-11942) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana – 2009
By United States Air Force [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By user:Hajor (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GPL (], via Wikimedia Commons

View of Roma Village; Lesotho
By Martin Schärli (Own work) Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Merged Map Image (D.Huer)

Antarctica (orthographic projection)
This vector image was created with Inkscape. By Heraldry [GFDL (, GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Orthographic projection centred on the North Pole, Derived from File:Worldmap northern.svg
By Rob984 (Derived from File:Worldmap northern.svg) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Managing Civil LaunchFlight

Many governments err on the side of caution; not wanting to be the first to take the first step, if there is worry that national security could be put at risk.

We are lucky with civil aviation. Nations already took those steps through treaty: establishing international flight frameworks, standards, rules, communications, locationing systems, and flight management tasking through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO – Montréal, Canada).

Extending ICAO to the edge of space

Could ICAO prototype the rules, procedures, tasks, systems, and technologies to extend today’s rules to launch and spaceflight?

Ultimately creating an orbital traffic agency?

Here is the concept:

Autorité de coordination internationale de lancement de vol
International Launch/Flight Coordinating Authority (ACILV-ILFCA)

A. Organize global orbitalspace
: into Quadrants, clockwise from Prime Meridian.


B. Organize Global Headquarters and its oversight functions (1-site). In this scenario, ICAO’s task group is also at Montréal.

Extend ICAO’s terrestrial authority over international flight rules from launchsites’ hand-off to international territory controllers.

C. Organize the framework:

a. Quadrant Headquarters (international territory controllers  : 4-sites): Quadrant HQ’s (QHQ) organize and coordinate flight rule agreements, and manage planetary-wide launch-to-orbit flights from national to orbital space.

b. Orbital Triangulation Centres: Groundstations managing communications and telemetry data scattered across the globe.

D. Initiate sweeps of Kessler Gyres* (orbital debris fields) that block safe operation of suborbital and orbital traffic.

*Named here after (i) knowledge-developer – NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler and (ii) ocean gyres : “large systems of circular ocean currents formed by global wind patterns and forces created by Earth’s rotation” (cf. National Geographic). Ocean gyres collect plastic debris that, similarly spawn cascading breakdowns of large debris into pieces small enough to be consumed by plankton = very nearly the same challenge we have in orbit.

E. Prepare for an Orbital Traffic Centre:

By David Huer  :  15 Oct 2017


Antarctica (orthographic projection)
This vector image was created with Inkscape. By Heraldry [GFDL (, GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

ICAO – Montreal Headquarters signage
Public Domain

Orthographic projection centred on the North Pole, Derived from File:Worldmap northern.svg
By Rob984 (Derived from File:Worldmap northern.svg) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Seriousness of the Kessler Syndrome – A computer simulation made by the Institute for Air and Spacesystems at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, shows the distribution and movement of space debris at present and in future.
Image: AP / TU Braunschweig

Orbital Image – merged by D.Huer
a. USAF Pope Field Air Traffic Control Tower
U.S. Air Force illustration/Tech. Sgt. Peter R. Miller. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
b. ISS-32 HTV-3 berthing 4
By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Gov.Gen Payette’s Space Visor

A global first – the first coat-of-arms with an astronaut’s helmet? This is the new Canadian Governor-General’s incredibly neat personal Arms. An explanation of the heraldic meanings is here.

The usual helmet is that of a medieval knight. But GG Payette is a former astronaut, serving on the International Space Station.

Now go listen to the music emblazoned above the helmet: A. Marcello’s – Oboe Concerto in d minor – the oboe incredibly uplifting – capturing perfectly the spirit of flight.

As we look at the earth, one world without borders.

Can we get there, as a species, one day?


By David Huer  :  02 Oct 2017

New coordinate terms for orbital bodies?

How will surveys recognize tidally-locked coordinates?

New tasks, new terms. In the very last image of the Treaty video, people are sitting around a campfire, with an impossibly big Earthrise spanning the horizon.






An observer on the tidally-locked moon would see something quite different:



Tidally-locked orbital pairs are not uncommon.

Creating the need for a new set of quadrilateral orientation pairs for Tidal-Locked Bodies . Here are 4 ideas derived from whitewater kayaking: easy to understand terms for daily use:

David at Lynn Canyon put-in poolIn whitewater kayaking, we orient ourselves to river flow direction.

The left bank looking downstream is “River Left” and the right bank is “River Right”. In the picture here, River Left is to the right.


We’ll need the same sort of popular terms to orient ourselves.

Sunpole: Sunside centrepoint

Darkpole: Darkside centrepoint

Alphapole: equatorial centrepoint at Prime Meridian crossing

Betapole: Alphapole’s farside crossing equivalent

A Practical Application? Efficient Line-of-Sight Telecommunications from Earth to Sunpole (ie. Sunside’s centrepoint) – with the need to know exactly where to find it.


By David Huer  :  30 Sep 2017


(a) Apollo 10 Earthrise: NASA
(b) Paddler: D.Huer (personal collection)
(c) Mobile User Objective System (Satellite Ground Station): – By US Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John W. Ciccarelli Jr. ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Merged Images:

(d) Transparent sphere: By Geek3 (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
(e) Graphic additions: D.Huer, 2017.


every gram







Me: Single male
Where: North America
Picture: Packaging consumed
What: ~70% of intake (the packaged part)
Duration: ~One (1) week(/p)

Ecological impact? Every gram counts
Launch mass = less efficient fuel use
On Luna = highest utility with least waste

We live on a Spaceship
On Earth = does every gram count?

David Huer 24Sep2017

"`" = approximate

By David Huer  :  24 Sep 2017