AAC Alaskan Air Command. The AAC's responsibilities include surveillance and early warning, air defense, refueling, and rescue. Its principal bases are Eielson AFB, Elmendorf AFB, and Shemya AFB.
AAM Air to Air Missile
AAW Anti-Air Warfare.
ABM Anti-Ballistic Missile
ABRES Advanced Ballistic Reentry System - penaids program now known as ASMS
Absentee Ratio The relative number of space-based weapons or sensors that are unable to participate in the engagement because they are on the wrong side of the planet.
ACM Advanced Cruise Missile
Acquisition The process of searching for and detecting targets.
Active Discrimination Discrimination of real targets from decoys using active sensors (such as radar or ladar that produce an active signal that is modified when it reaches the target or decoy, with targets producing different changes in the signal than are produced by decoys. For example, some types of decoys will produce a much weaker reflection of a radar beam than is produced by a warhead. (see "Passive Discrimination" and "Active Discrimination").
Active Sensor A sensor such as radar or ladar that emits a signal that is modified when it reaches the target or decoy. (see "Passive Sensor").
ACS Attitude Control System
AD Air Defense
AD Armament Division, Eglin AFB, FL. (Air Force)
ADCOM Air Defense Command
ADI Air Defense Initiative - an air defense companion program to the SDI.
ADOP Advanced Distributed Onboard Processor
AEDC Arnold Engineering Development Center, Arnold AFS, Tennessee.
AEW Airborne Early Warning
ASD Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright- Patterson AFB, OH.
AFFTC Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, CA.
AFGL Air Force Geophysics Laboratory, Hanscom AFB, MA.
AFLC Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.
AFOSR Office of Scientific Research.
AFPRO AF Plant Representative Officer
AFSARC Air Force Systems Acquisition Review Council, the principal Air Force committee assigned to review and approve the development and acquisition of Air Force weapons systems (see DSARC, JRMB).
AFSC Air Force Systems Command, Andrews AFB, outside Washington, D.C.
SCF Air Force Satellite Control Facility, Sunnyvale, CA.
SD Air Force Space Division, Los Angeles, California.
STC Air Force Space Technology Center, Kirtland AFB, NM.
AFWL Air Force Weapons Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM.
AI Artificial Intelligence.
AIDS Active Imaging Discrimination Satellite
Air Breather A weapon delivery system such as a bomber or a cruise missile which flies through the atmosphere, using the oxygen in the air to burn its propellant.
ALCM Air Launched Cruise Missile
Algorithm Rules and procedures for solving problems.
ALMV Air Launched Miniature Vehicle. The homing device for the F-15 launched ASAT which destroys its target by impact.
ALPHA A project developing chemical laser technologies for a space-based laser.
ALPHA Advanced Low-outage, Plug-in Hybrid Array, a Honeywell IR sensor innovation
AMOS ARPA Mid-course Optical Observatory Station, located on Maui Island, HI., makes optical measurements on U.S. ICBMs during midcourse flight.
ANTIGONE A space based laser guided charged particle beam project in which a laser beam, fired ahead of a particle beam, creates an ionized channel and thus prevents the particle beam from scattering.
Anti-simulation An offensive countermeasure in which actual targets are made to resemble decoys. A typical technique would involve placing warheads inside balloon decoys. (see "simulation").
AOA Airborne Optical Adjunct (see AOS).
AOS Airborne Optical System, an airborne missile tracking system mounted on a modified Boeing 767 and using laser and infrared sensors.
AOS Airborne Optical Sensor, another term for AOA/AOS
AOSP Advanced Onboard Signal Processor, a very high speed computer that can be used in space-based radars and communications satellites.
ARC Advanced Research Center, formerly Advanced Technology Center, part of the Army Strategic Defense Command.
Architecture In SDI parlance, the design or theoretical description of the elements of system required for a given level of defense.
ARDEC Army Research, Development, and Engineering Center, Dover, N.J.
ARO Army Research Office.
ARPA Advanced Research Projects Agency.
As Chemical symbol for Arsenic, frequently compounded with Gallium for radiation-hardened electrical components.
ASARS Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System.
ASAT Anti-Satellite weapon. The F-15 launched ASAT currently being developed and tested by the U.S. incorporates many technologies applicable to the SDI.
ASIP All Source Image Processing.
ASM Air to Surface Missile.
ASMS Advanced Strategic Missile System, the U.S. program for the development of missile penetration aids.
ASP Airborne Surveillance Platform, designation for the operational version of AOA/AOS (see).
Astrodome A ballistic missile defense that would intercept essentially all warheads launched by an opponent. (See Damage Denial)
ASW Anti-Submarine Warfare
ATA Advanced Test Accelerator, a DARPA facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for free-electron laser experiments.
ATB Advanced Technology Bomber. The Stealth bomber, an airplane with greatly reduced IR and radar signatures.
ATBM Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile.
ATM Anti-Tactical Missile - generally used to cover defense against both ballistic and cruise missiles.
ATS Accelerator Test Stand - facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for neutral particle beam experiments.
ATSU Accelerator Test Stand Upgrade
ATP Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing. Preceded by constant sensor surveillance of an area where targets may pass, Acquisition occurs when a target is detected. After detection, a target is Tracked or followed by sensors. Weapons are then Pointed at the target. The ATP program replaced Talon Gold.
ATP-FC Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Fire Control.
Aurora A krypton fluoride ultraviolet laser at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab.
AWAA Attack Warning and Attack Assessment
AWACS Airborne Warning and Control System
AWS Advanced Warning System, a follow-on to DSP and a predecessor program to BSTS.
BAMBI Ballistic Missile Boost-phase Intercept - A satellite-based NNK boost-phase interceptor studied in the early 1960s.
Battle Management The process of performing computations to direct target selection and fire control, perform kill assessments, provide communications, command and control, and provide information to decision-makers on the status of the engagement.
BEACON Basic Experiment to Advance Confidence.
BIC Braduskill Intercept Concept.
BICPOP BIC Proof of Principle.
BIM Ballistic Intercept Missile - a very long range SAM.
Black-out An effect of a nuclear detonation reduces the effectiveness of radar sensors by producing a high altitude cloud of electrons that reflects that radar beam, preventing the detection or tracking of targets obscured by the electron cloud. (see "red out").
Bleaching An effect of the absorption of X-Rays by the atmosphere. Intense X-rays close to the source of a nuclear detonation can penetrate at a lower altitude than can less intense X-Rays at a greater distance. Thus an XRL at an altitude of (for example) 80 kilometers could attack a target at an altitude of 150 kilometers, while an XRL at an altitude of 150 kilometers could not attack a target at an altitude of 80 kilometers.
BM Battle Management, the process of selecting targets, assigning weapons to attack targets, making kill assessments, and reselecting and retargeting. The term usually includes C3.
BM/C3 Battle Management and Command, Control, and Communications
BMD Ballistic Missile Defense, synonymous with ABM.
BMD Ballistic Missile Defense, ie defense of ballistic missile silos (see point defense).
BMDATC Ballistic Missile Defense Advanced Technology Center, Huntsville, AL. Part of Army Strategic Defense Command.
BMO Ballistic Missiles Office, Norton AFB, CA.
BMDPM BMD Program Manager.
BMDSCOM Ballistic Missile Defense Systems Command, (renamed the Strategic Defense Command) Huntsville, AL.
BMEWS Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, a series of radars in the Northern latitudes providing early warning of ballistic missile attack.
Boost Phase The first phase of ballistic missile flight during which it is powered by its engines to an altitude of over 200 KM. and lasting 3-5 minutes for an ICBM. At the end of this phase, powered flight ends and the missile's bus releases its RVs, decoys, and other penaids.
Booster The part of the rocket which provides the thrust to lift the payload into space.
Brassboard A research configuration of a system, suitable for field testing, that replicates both the function and configuration of the operational systems with the exception of non-essential aspects such as packaging. A brassboard is more advanced in development than a breadboard.
Breadboard A research configuration of a system, generally not suitable for field testing, that replicates both the function but not the actual configuration of the operational system and has major differences in actual physical layout. A breadboard is less advanced in development that a brassboard.
Break-out The sudden deployment of an extensive BMD system in violation of the ABM Treaty. (see Creep Out).
Brightness Brightness is the measure of the source intensity of, for example, a Directed Energy Weapon.
Brittle A system that is liable to complete collapse when stressed, particularly a defense that will fail catastrophically in the face of easily mounted countermeasures. (see Robust).
BSTS Boost Surveillance and Tracking System, a satellite system using infrared sensors to detect and track ballistic missiles during the boost phase.
Bus See PBV.
C2 Command and Control
C3 Command, Control, and Communication
C3I Command, Control, and Communications / Intelligence
C4 Command, Control, Communications, and Computers
Casaba A hypervelocity particle NDEW concept developed in the 1960.
Cat House Soviet ABM battle management radars.
CBD Commerce Business Daily
CBO Congressional Budget Office
Cd Chemical symbol for Cadmium, an element frequently compounded with Mercury and Tellurium for IR sensors.
CD Civil Defense
CD Concept Definition
Chaff Pieces of metal ejected from a target in order to confuse the attacker's radar.
Chair Heritage A Navy program, initiated in 1974, that studied the possible use of particle beams for ship defense.
Chemical Laser A laser using chemical reactions to produce energy.
CINC Commander in Chief
CIRRIS Cryogenic InfraRed Radiance Instrument for the Shuttle. An IR telescope, carried aboard the shuttle, designed to gather atmospheric data that will help improve the accuracy early warning satellites.
COBRA DANE A phased array radar on Shemya Island, AL., that monitors Soviet missile tests on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
COBRA EYE See OAMP
COBRA JUDY An X-band radar on a US surveillance ship used to gather data on Soviet missiles.
Compulsator Compensated Pulsed Alternator.
CONAD Continental Air Defense
Con Def Concept Definition
CONUS Continental United States
Cottage The name of a test of a nuclear-pumped x-ray laser at the Nevada Test Site devised by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on March 23, 1985.
CPB Charged Particle Beam.
Credible Decoy A decoy that cannot be discriminated from a real target and thus must be intercepted. (see "anti-simulation," "simulation" and "traffic decoy").
Creep-out The gradual development and deployment of an extensive BMD system beyond the limits of ABM Treaty, conducted while professing adherence to the terms of the Treaty. (see Break Out).
CTA Common Technology and Architecture, a former Project within the SDI's Surveillance Program Element supporting the development of various sensors.
CW Continuous Wave
CY Current Year
CY Calendar Year
Damage Denial The ability to prevent the strategic forces of an opponent from inflicting damage on ones own society. (see Astrodome).
Damage Limitation The ability to limit damage caused to ones own society by the strategic forces of an opponent. (see Intermediate Defense)
DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
DCA Defense Communications Agency
DCAA Defense Contract Audit Agency
DCCS Distributed Command and Control System.
Decoy An object that resembles a real target. (see "anti-simulation," "credible decoy", "simulation" and "traffic decoy").
Deep Terminal The phase of a reentry vehicle's flight that extends from 30 kilometers altitude to the Earth's surface. (see "Low Endo"). A defense designed to intercept targets in this phase of flight. (see "Point Defense").
Defender The DARPA program of research on advanced BMD concepts; name changed to Strategic Technology in 1971.
DEW Directed Energy Weapon, a weapon using lasers or particle beams. The DEW Program is one of the five technology areas of the SDI.
DEW Distant Early Warning.
DF Deuterium Fluoride, two gases that are used as reactants in infrared chemical lasers (see MIRACL)
DIPS Dynamic Isotope Power Source - a nuclear power source that uses the spontaneous fission of a radioactive element such as plutonium to drive a dynamic power conversion system such as a turbine generator.
Discrimination The process of differentiating between real targets and decoys or countermeasures.
DMSP Defense Meteorological Satellite Program.
DNA Defense Nuclear Agency.
DoD Department of Defense.
DoE Department of Energy.
Dog House Soviet ABM battle management radars.
DOT Designating Optical Tracker, a pop-up infrared sensor for target acquisition.
DRB Defense Resources Board
DSARC Defense Systems Acquisition Review Council, the principal DoD committee assigned to review and approve the development and acquisition of weapons systems (now replaced by JRMB).
DSP Defense Support Program, a series of early warning satellites (and their associated ground stations) using IR sensors to detect Soviet and Chinese ICBM and SLBM launches. (see SEWS).
DST Defense Suppression Threat.
DSV Defense Suppression Vehicle.
DTL Drift Tube Linac
DTS Defensive Technology Study aka the Fletcher Study.
DTST Defensive Technology Study Team produced the Defensive Technology Study (DTS) and concluded that various new technologies justified renewed investigations on the feasibility of BMD.
ECCM Electronic Counter Countermeasure
ECM Electronic CounterMeasure
EDI European Defense Initiative
ELF Extremely Low Frequency
ELINT Electronic Intelligence
ELV Expendable Launch Vehicle
EMG Electromagnetic Gun
EML Electromagnetic Launcher, a weapon able to accelerate projectiles to hypervelocities (25 km/sec., for example), usually refers to either rail guns or coaxial accelerators.
EMP Electromagnetic Pulse, a strong pulse that occurs when a nuclear weapon explodes and that can damage electronic components.
EMRLD Excimer Moderate-power Raman-shifted Laser Device.
Endoatmospheric Within the atmosphere, from the earth's surface to about 100 kilometers altitude. Subcategories are High and Low endoatmospheric altitudes, above 30 kilometers and below 15 kilometers feet, respectively.
Engagement Time The amount of time necessary to negate a target.
EPROM Electrically Programmable Read-Only Memory.
ER-HIT Extended Range Homing Intercept Technology.
ERIS Exoatmospheric Reentry Vehicle Interception System, a ground-based, optically guided rocket for midcourse nonnuclear hit-to kill RV interception.
ESD Electronic Systems Division, Hanscom AFB, MA.
ESM Electronic Support Measure
ET Emerging Technology.
EW Electronic Warfare
Excalibur An x-ray laser driven by a nuclear explosion.
Excimer A short-wavelength laser device using Excited Dimers; a noble gas such as Krypton and Fluorine that are excited into reacting by an electric discharge.
Exoatmospheric Outside the atmosphere, in outer space.
FALCON Fission Assisted Laser Concept.
FAR Federal Acquisition Regulation.
Fault Tolerant A system, usually a computer or particularly its software, that continues functioning despite faults in the program, or problems with input data or disruption of the network or system.
Fast Burn Booster A high-acceleration booster that completes its boost-phase while in the atmosphere, where it cannot be attacked by many types of space-based weapons.
FBB Fast Burn Booster
FCRC Federal Contract Research Center (see FFRDC)
FEL Free Electron Laser, a short-wavelength laser which tunes its wavelength by passing its beam through wiggler magnets.
FFRDC Federally Funded Research & Development Center.
Fighting Mirror The space-based mirror that directs a laser beam from a ground based laser onto a target (see mission mirror, GBL, relay mirror).
FLAG Flexible Lightweight Agile Guided, the former SRHIT program.
FLAGE FLAG Experiment.
FLAT TWIN A Soviet missile target tracking radar that is part of the ABM-X-3 system deployed around Moscow.
FLIR Forward Looking Infrared
FLOPS Floating Point Operations per second - a measure of the speed of a computer, particularly when doing tasks such as imaging processing.
Fluence The amount of energy per unit area on a target.
FPA Focal Plane Array.
FSD Full Scale Development
FSED Full Scale Engineering Development
FSSS Future Strategic Strategy Study team, studied the potential role of BMD for the US and its allies.
FS3 Future Strategic Strategy Study.
FY Fiscal Year
G Gravity, an acceleration equal to the acceleration caused by the Earths mass at the surface of the Earth, equivalent to 9.8 meters/sec/sec.
Ga Chemical symbol for Gallium, and element frequently compounded with Arsenic to produce radiation-hardened microelectronics.
GaAs Gallium Arsenide, a material being developed for use in high speed radiation hardened computers.
Galosh A Soviet nuclear-armed exoatmospheric ABM interceptor (see SH-04).
Gamma Ray A form of electromagnetic radiation.
GAO General Accounting Office
Gazelle Soviet SA-X-12 Anti-aircraft and ATBM missile.
GB Ground Based
GBEML Ground Based Electro-Magnetic Launcher
GBHRG Ground-Based Hypervelocity Rail Gun
GBL Ground Based Laser.
GEDI Guided Electromagnetic Defense Interceptor - A system in which projectiles, fired from a hypervelocity launcher, are further propelled and guided by laser ablation.
GEO Geosynchronous Earth Orbit
GEODDS Ground based Electro-Optical Space Surveillance System
Geosynchronous An orbit in which a satellite's speed matches Orbit that of the rotation of the earth and the satellite remains stationary over a single earth location.
GHz Gigahertz - one billion cycles per second
GigaFLOPS Billions of FLOPS.
GPS Global Positioning System - the NAVSTAR navigation satellite and its associated ground support equipment.
GPSS Guided Projectile Seeker/Sensor, the GBSS technologies program will develop guidance technologies for both low-G and high-G KEW projectiles.
Graser Gamma-ray laser.
GREMLIN G-Resistant Electromagnetically Launched Interceptor.
GW Gigawatt, one billion watts.
HALO High Altitude, Large Optics, a former DARPA IR sensor project.
Hardening Measures to make a system more resistant to attack.
HASC House Armed Services Committee
Have Sting An EM gun project.
HCA Head of Contracting Agency.
HEDI High Endoatmospheric Defense Interceptor, a ground-based NNK interceptor for terminal defense.
HEDS High Endoatmospheric Defense System (see HEDI).
HEL High Energy Laser.
HELSTF HEL Systems Test Facility.
Hen House A Soviet phased array early warning radar.
HF Hydrogen Fluoride
HIAD High Altitude Defense system.
HIBEX High Booster Acceleration - a very high acceleration (greater than 1000 G's) point defense interceptor tested by DARPA in the early 1960's.
HIBREL High-Brightness Relay Experiment, a space-based mirror that will be used with the GB-FEL at White Sands to conduct atmospheric propagation and target destruction tests.
High Endo The phase of a reentry vehicle's flight that extends from 100 to about 30 kilometers altitude. A defense designed to intercept targets in this phase of flight.
HIGPRO High G Projectile
HILAT High Latitude satellite
HIP Hot Isostatically Pressed
HLV See HLLV
HLLV Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle - a space booster that would be able to place in orbit a payload several times greater than the 30 MT payload of the Shuttle.
HOE Homing Overlay Experiment, a series of KEW related experiments demonstrating the feasibility of exoatmospheric RV interception.
Howitzer An X-Ray laser NDEW concept examined in the 1960's.
HPG Homopolar Generator, a generator capable of delivering large amounts of electricity in bursts for projectile propulsion in EM weapons.
HPM High Power Microwave
HVL Hypervelocity Launcher (see EML).
Hypervelocity A speed of more that 5 kilometers per second.
IACRO InterAgency Cost Reimbursable Order, an accounting device for transferring budget funds between Departments of the U.S. Government.
ICBM Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, a land-based missile with a range of 5500 or greater kilometers.
IDA Institute for Defense Analysis
IEG Independent Evaluation Group.
IL Imaging Laser, an optical sensor that uses a laser beam as a radar uses microwaves.
Imaging The process of identification of an object by obtaining an image of it.
INF Intermediate Nuclear Forces
IOC Initial Operational Capability
Interactive Discrimination of real targets from decoys by Discrimination using sensors(such as a neutral particle beam generator of an X-Ray Laser) that interact with a target or decoy, with targets changing in a fashion that is observably different from the changes in the decoy. For example, a neutral particle beam will penetrate through several centimeters of aluminum before it interacts with aluminum atoms to produce secondary radiation. The NPB will thus produce observable secondary radiation when it strikes a warhead which is much thicker than this depth, but it will pass through the very thin skin of a balloon decoy without interacting and producing observable secondary radiation. (see "Passive Discrimination" and "Active Discrimination").
Interception The act of destroying a target.
Intermediate A ballistic missile defense that would
Defense intercept many but not all of the warheads launched by an opponent. (See Damage Limitation)
IR Infrared, an infrared sensor detects thermal radiation.
IR Imaging Radar
IRBM Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, a land-based missile with a range less than 5500 KM but greater than a short or medium range ballistic missile.
IR&D Independent Research and Development
IRST Infrared Sensor Technology
IRST Infrared Search and Track
ISAR Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar, a radar is which the motion of the target provides the interval over which the effective aperture of the radar is synthesized, in contrast to a SAR, in which this interval is provided by the motion of the radar (see SAR).
IST Innovative Science and Technology, the IST office within the SDIO manages contracting activity primarily with small businesses and universities.
ITD Integration Test and Demonstration.
JCS Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joule A unit of energy
JRMB Joint Requirements and Management Board, replaced DSARC (see).
JSTARS Joint Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance Systems
KAO Kuiper Airborne Observatory, a NASA Lockheed C141 Starlifter equipped with an infrared telescope.
KEW Kinetic Energy Weapon, weapons using projectiles or other objects. The KEW Program is one of the five technology areas of the SDI.
Kinetic Energy The energy from the momentum of an object.
Kinetic Energy A weapon that uses a non-explosive projectile Weapon moving at very high speed to destroy a target on impact.
KITE Kuiper Infrared Technology.
KKV Kinetic Kill Vehicle.
KMR Kwajalein Missile Range a missile test range in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific operated by the Army's Strategic Defense Command.
LADAR Laser Detecting and Ranging, a laser radar. (see IL and LADAR).
LAMP LODE Advanced Mirror Program.
LANL Los Alamos National Laboratory
LASER Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation, a laser creates an intense, in phase and single-wavelength beam of light.
LASL Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory
Late Mid-course That Portion of the mid-course phase that is within the reach of ground-based interceptors.
Layered Defense A defense that
Leakage Leakage occurs when attacking warheads survive defensive efforts.
LEDI Low Endoatmospheric Defense Interceptor.
LEO Low Earth Orbit - generally with an altitude of less than 2000 kilometers.
Lethality Refers to the amount of effort required to negate a target.
LGP Laser Guided Projectile.
LIDAR Light Detecting and Ranging, a laser radar. (see IL and LADAR).
LINAC Linear Accelerator.
LIPS Logical Inferences Per Second - a measure of the speed at which a computer executes an artificial intelligence program.
LLNL Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
LoADS Low Altitude Defense System, a program, now canceled, for terminal defense of the MX missile.
Low Endo The phase of a reentry vehicle's flight that extends from 30 kilometers altitude to the Earth's surface. (see "Deep Terminal"). A defense designed to intercept targets in this phase of flight.
LODE Large Optics Demonstration Experiment, developing space-based mirrors for laser beam steering and control.
LODTM Large Optics Diamond Turning Machine
LORAINE Long Range Intercept Experiment. Formerly BIM, Ballistic Intercept Missile.
LPAR Large Phased Array Radar
LRINF Long-Range Intermediate Nuclear Forces.
LSI Large Scale Integration
LTH Lethality and Target Hardening, a Project within the SDI to determine damaging effects of various weapons and the vulnerability of a variety of targets.
LWIR Long-Wavelength Infrared
MARV Maneuvering Reentry Vehicle
MCC Military Coordinating Committee
MCM Multicolor Module, an IR sensor program in support of SSTS and BSTS.
MCT Mercury Cadmium Telluride - an IR sensor detector material
MEECN Minimum Essential Emergency Communication Network.
Megaline See MLOC
MLOC Millions of Lines of Code - 1,000,000 lines of computer software.
MEGO My Eyes Glaze Over - an expression frequently uttered when attempting to learn and remember all of the acronyms related to the SDI.
MegaFLOPS Millions of FLOPS
MGP Miniature Guided Projectile
MHV Miniature Homing Vehicle. The MHV, about one foot in diameter and one foot long, guides the U.S. F-15 launched ASAT weapon and carries a small warhead.
MIDAS Missile Defense Alarm System, an early program to place IR sensors on satellites to detect Soviet missile launches, since replaced by DSP (see).
Mid-course Phase The phase after a ballistic missile has released its RVs, decoys, and other penaids (changing from a single object to a swarm) and those objects travel through space. (see late midcourse).
MIPR Military Interdepartmental Procurement Request, an accounting device for transferring budget funds between Services and Agencies within the Defense Department.
MIPS Millions of Instructions per Second - a measure of the speed of a computer.
MIRACL Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser, a DF laser initially developed by the navy which destroyed a Titan booster that was fixed on nearby ground on September 6, 1985.
MIRV Multiple Independently Targeted Reentry Vehicle.
Mission Mirror The space-based mirror that directs a laser beam from a ground based laser onto a target (see fighting mirror, GBL, relay mirror).
Misty Rain A Defense Nuclear Agency project assessing the impact of nuclear explosions and radiation on satellites.
MKV Miniature Kill Vehicle, a guided projectile for KEWs.
MMW Millimeter Wave, a radio or radar operating with a wavelength 1 to 10 millimeters and a frequency of between 30 and 300 GHz.
MOU Memorandum of Understanding.
MSR Missile Site Radar, a shorter range radar that would provide target track and missile guidance functions for the Spartan and Sprint interceptor missiles of the Sentinel and Safeguard ABM systems.
MT Metric Ton
MWIR Mid-Wavelength Infrared
NADS North American Defense System.
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
NASP National Aerospace Plane, Also named the Orient Express (see) and the Transatmospheric Vehicle (TAV).
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
NCA National Command Authority
NCC Non-Cancelable Commitments
NDEW Nuclear-driven Directed Energy Weapon, an example is the Excalibur x-ray laser.
Near Real Time Refers to battle management systems that monitor and respond to events with only a slight delay from the time that they actually occur (see "Real Time").
Neutral Particle An energetic beam of atoms that do not have an electric charge.
Nike-X A two layer late-midcourse and terminal. A terminal ABM defense system using the nuclear-armed Spartan and Sprint missiles, studied and partially tested in the mid-1960s.
Nike-Zeus A single layer late-midcourse and terminal ABM defense system using the nuclear-armed Zeus missile, studied and tested in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
NNK Nonnuclear Kill.
Non-Nuclear Kill The destruction of a target that does not involve a nuclear detonation.
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
NORAD North American Air Defense.
NPB Neutral Particle Beam.
NSA National Security Agency.
NSDD National Security Decision Directive - a basic policy document signed by the President.
NSSD National Security Study Directive - a document signed by the President calling for a policy study that may lead to a NSDD.
NTB National Test-Bed
NTF National Test Facility
NTM National Technical Means of verification
Nuclear DEW See NDEW
OAMP Optical Aircraft Measurement Program, a converted C-135 that carries IR sensors to collect signature data on Soviet RVs as they are tested on the Kamchatka peninsula (see COBRA EYE).
OASD/EA Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, External Affairs.
OASD/ISP Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, International Security Policy.
OD Optical Discrimination.
OJCS Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Orient Express A popular name for an airplane that is supposed to travel at very high speeds just within the atmosphere, able to go from New York to Tokyo in 2-3 hours. Also named the National Aerospace Plane and the Transatmospheric Vehicle (TAV).
OTH-B Over-the-Horizon Backscatter - a type of radar that is able to see targets that are over the horizon by bouncing radar pulses off the ionosphere.
PAR Phased Array Radar, a type of radar that can electronically point its beam (rather than moving a dish) and simultaneously track many targets.
PAR Perimeter Acquisition Radar, a phased array radar system that performed the initial target track and discrimination function in the Safeguard ABM system.
PARCS Perimeter Acquisition Radar Characterization System, a phased array radar system in North Dakota originally installed as part of the Safeguard ABM system.
Particle Beam A weapon that relies on the technology of particle accelerators.
Passive Discrimination of real targets from decoys by Discrimination using passive sensors (such as IR detectors) that can detect differences between targets and decoy. For example, during mid-course, light balloon decoys will cool off much more rapidly that heavy warheads, and this temperature difference can be detected unless the offense takes countermeasures such as placing small heaters in the empty balloons. (see "Interactive Discrimination" and "Active Discrimination").
Passive Sensor A sensor that only picks up energy emitted from a source. An active sensor sends out energy and reads what returns. A heat sensor is passive, a radar is active.
PATHS Precursor Above The Horizon System, an IR sensor program in support of SSTS and BSTS.
PAVE PAWS Phased Array Warning System - Radars on the East and West coats of the U.S. providing SLBM attack early warning.
PAWN SHOP A Soviet missile guidance radar that is part of the ABM-X-3 system deployed around Moscow.
PBV Post-boost Vehicle, PBV sits atop a ballistic missile and carries and releases the Rvs and decoys.
PCM Pyrotechnic Countermeasures.
PDM Program Decision Memorandum
PE Program Element, work for the SDI (and all DoD efforts) is grouped into Program Elements. The six PEs that directly support the SDI are PE63220C, Surveillance; PE63221C, Directed Energy Weapons; PE63222C, Kinetic Energy Weapons; PE63223C, Systems Architecure and BM/C3; PE63224C, Support Projects; and PE63225C, SDIO Management HQ. PEs are further broken into Projects and Tasks.
Pechora The class name for a new series of Soviet LPARs including the Krasnoyarsk radar.
Penaids Penetration Aids, consist of decoys such as balloons, chaff, and other devices or objects carried on ballistic missiles to confuse ABM defenses and improve the chances of reaching target.
PIIN Procurement Instrument Identification Number, otherwise known as a contract number.
Point Defense A deep terminal defense of hardened military targets using short range interceptor missiles to intercept targets in the low-endo atmospheric phase of flight. Should not be confused with terminal defense, which can also include the defense of soft urban targets. (antonym is area defense).
Pointing & Tracking See ATP.
POM Program Objective Memorandum.
POP Proof of Principle.
Pop-up A mode of deployment for a weapon or sensor system that is based on the ground or on ships at sea and is launched or popped-up into space where it operates when needed. Frequently used in reference to the Excalibur X-ray laser that would be launched from submarines.
Post-Boost Phase The phase after the boost-phase during which a ballistic missile has released its RVs, decoys, and other penaids (changing from a single object to a swarm) and those objects travel through space.
PPBS Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System.
Pre-Boost Phase Intercepting missiles before they are launched, ie a preemptive counterforce attack.
Pushkino A very large LPAR in Moscow that is part of the ABM-X-3 anti-missile system.
QUEEN MATCH A program for surveillance of Soviet missiles using IR sensors launched by sounding rockets using hardware originally developed in the DOT program.
Radar Radio Detection and Ranging, a radar sends out microwaves and uses their reflections to detect and track objects.
RADC The Rome Air Development Center, Griffiss AFB, NY.
Rail Gun An electromagnetic launcher firing high-speed projectiles propelled by an electric current in two parallel rails.
RD Radar Discrimination.
R&D Research and Development.
RDT&E Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.
Real Time Refers to battle management systems that monitor and respond to events as they occur (see "Near-real Time").
Red-out An effect of a nuclear detonation that reduces the effectiveness of IR sensors by greatly increasing the temperature of the background against which targets must be detected. (see "black out").
Relay Mirror The space-based mirror that directs a laser beam from a ground based laser to a mission mirror (see mission mirror, fighting mirror, GBL).
Responsive Threat A threat (enemy weapons system) which has been altered to increase survivability in response to weapons built to defeat that threat.
RFL Radio Frequency LINAC.
RFP Request for Proposal. RFPs describe required work and standards and are issued when a contracting activity solicits bids from contractors.
RFQ Radio Frequency Quadrapole
Robust A system that will not collapse when stressed, particularly a defense that will continue to function even in the face quite effective countermeasures. ( see Brittle)
RPL Rocket Propulsion Lab, Edwards AFB, California.
RTG Radio-isotope Thermionic Generator - a nuclear power source that uses the heat from the spontaneous fission of a radio-active element such as plutonium to produce electric power.
RV Reentry Vehicle, that part of a ballistic missile that reenters the atmosphere and carries the nuclear warhead to its target.
SA Systems Architecture.
SA/BM Systems Architecture/Battle Management
Safeguard An ABM defense system using nuclear-armed Spartan and Sprint missiles. Deployed for ICBM defense at Grand Forks, ND in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it has since been deactivated.
SAGE Semi-automatic Ground Environment, a computer system designed in the 1950s to link missiles and aircraft with information from warning radars.
Sagittar A feasibility experiment for space-based hypervelocity guns and for exoatmospheric projectile guidance and control.
SAL Strategic Arms Limitation
SALT Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
Salvage Fusing An technique whereby a nuclear warhead is fuzed to detonate if it is intercepted. This could be done by a fuse that would detonate the weapon on sensing the impact of a kinetic kill vehicle. Since the warhead could detonate before it was destroyed, this technique would be effective against kinetic energy weapons. The detonation could disrupt the defense's sensors. But the near-instantaneous effects of directed energy weapons such as particle beams would render a salvage fuse ineffective.
SAM Surface-to-Air Missile, a surface-launched missile for use against aircraft.
SAR Synthetic Aperture Radar.
SASC Senate Armed Services Committee.
SATCOM Satellite Communication.
SATKA Surveillance, Acquisition, Tracking, and Kill Assessment. The SATKA Program is one of the five technology areas of the SDI. For surveillance, acquisition and tracking, see ATP. Kill assessment determines whether a target has been negated and is important in preventing resources from being expended on redundant target negation.
SBHRG Space-based Hypervelocity Railgun.
SB-HVL Space-based Hypervelocity Launcher
SBID Space-based Imaging Discrimination
SBIR Small Business Innovative Research, a program designed to give small business's contracts to do pioneering research.
SB-KKV Space-based Kinetic Kill Vehicle
SBL Space-Based Laser.
SBNPB Space-Based Neutral Particle Beam
SBPB Space-Based Particle Beam
SBSS Space-Based Surveillance System, now SSTS
SCF Satellite Control Facility
SCI Strategic Computing Initiative.
SCP Strategic Computing Program
Scramjet Supersonic Combustion Ramjet
SDA 2000 Strategic Defense Architecture - A program to develop a coordinated system of strategic defenses, including SDI, ADI CD and ASW.
SDC Strategic Defense Command (Army), Huntsville, AL.
SDI The Strategic Defense Initiative. Announced by President Reagan in a March 1983 speech, this program is designed to demonstrate the feasibility of defending the U.S. and its allies against nuclear missiles. The SDI is also known as "Star Wars."
SDII SDI Institute
SDIO Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, an organization created within the DoD to manage the SDIO. Many SDI applicable programs started before the inception of the SDIO have been incorporated within the SDIO.
SDIP SDI Program
SDS Satellite Defense System.
SDV See SDLV
SDLV Shuttle Derived Launch Vehicle
SEER Sensor Experimental Evaluation and Review, an IR sensor program using extrinsic silicon in support of SSTS and BSTS.
Sentinel Reconfigured as the Safeguard system in the late 1960s, Sentinel was originally justified as a light defense against Chinese nuclear attack.
Sentry A follow-up to LoADS, this system using nuclear-armed interceptors for low-altitude defense of ICBMs was studied in the late 1970s and early 1980s. With the SDI, it was reformulated and is now the Terminal Defense Program.
SETA Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance
SETAC Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance Contractor
SEWS Satellite Early Warning Systems - another name for DSP.
SGEMP System Generated Electromagnetic Pulse
SICBM Small Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, aka. `Midgetman.'
SIG Senior Inter-agency Group, a cabinet or subcabinet level inter-departmental coordinating group.
SIG-DP Senior Interagency Group / Defense Policy.
SIG-SPACE Senior Interagency Group / Space.
Signature Observable characteristics of a target, such as its temperature.
Simulation An offensive countermeasure in which decoys are made to resemble real targets. A typical technique would involve making balloon decoys that would have signatures that are similar to real warheads. (see "anti-simulation").
Skywalker An air-based KEW or DEW concept for SLBM boost-phase intercept.
SLBM Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile.
SLCM Sea-Launched Cruise Missile.
SLCSAT Strategic Laser Communication Satellite.
SLKT Survivability, Lethality, and Key Technologies Program, one of the five technology areas of the SDI.
SOTA State of the Art.
SP-100 A joint SDI/NASA/DOE task to develop a 100 kilowatt class (actually 300 kW) nuclear reactor to generate power for space systems. This task will develop technologies leading to more powerful reactors.
SPIRE Space Infrared Experiment.
SR-HIT Small Radar Homing Intercept Technology.
SSTO Single Stage to Orbit - a launch vehicle that can place a payload in orbit without having to use multiple stages, unlike current launch vehicles which have several stages.
STS Space Transportation System, the Space Shuttle and its associated support infrastructure.
SSTS Space Surveillance and Tracking System, a midcourse sensor system.
STA Science & Technology Agent
STA Significant Technical Achievement
STAR Significant Technical Achievement/Advances in Research
Star Wars Another name for the SDI.
START Strategic Arms Reduction Talks.
STS Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle)
Surveillance Includes tactical, strategic, and meteorological assessments by any type of information gathering system.
Survivability The degree to which a system can withstand attack whether through hardening, deception, and/or fighting back.
SWIR Short Wavelength InfraRed
SWL Short Wavelength Laser.
Talon Gold A space-based acquisition, pointing, and tracking and pointing experiment. The Talon Gold program has been replaced by the ATP program, part of the DARPA Triad.
TASP Technology for Advanced Space Power, a project to develop space nuclear power.
TAV Transatmospheric Vehicle, see Orient Express.
TBM Tactical Ballistic Missile
TBM Theater Ballistic Missile
TDI Tactical Defense Initiative
Teal Ruby A DARPA project to validate the technology base for space-based IR atmospheric surveillance systems that could track bombers and cruise missiles.
TEMS Technical Engineering Management Support
TeraFLOPS Trillions of FLOPS
Terminal Defense Defense that intercepts targets after they have reentered the atmosphere. May be either an area defense of urban targets or a point defense of hardened military targets.
Terminal Phase The phase when RVs reenter the atmosphere at an altitude of around 100 km. Reentry lasts 30-100 seconds. (synonym is "Endo-atmospheric," also see "deep terminal").
Thermionic A nuclear energy conversion process that converts the heat produced by a reactor or RTG directly into electricity without the need for other conversion equipment such as turbines.
THOR Thermionic Operational Reactor - a contractor for a multi-megawatt thermionic reactor.
TIE Technology Integration Experiment.
TIR Terminal Imaging Radar, in concept, a ground-based, high power, wide bandwidth, phased array radar for terminal defense.
TOC Task Ordering Contract
Traffic Decoy A decoy that can be discriminated from a real target, but that is deployed in such numbers that it degrades or overwhelms the sensor or battle management system. (see "anti-simulation," "simulation" and "credible decoy").
Transition The period following the initial introduction of defenses but prior to the time that the defenses achieve their full intended capability; the period between IOC and FOC. (see Tricky).
Triad The Triad consists of three DARPA projects, ALPHA, LODE, and Talon Gold, designed to demonstrate the feasibility of using laser weapons in space.
Tricky Catch phrase for the difficulties of the transition (see).
Try Add Soviet ABM engagement radars.
TTI Terminal Technology Integration.
TVE Technology Verification Experiment
UHF Ultrahigh Frequency
ULSI Ultra Large Scale Integration
VHSIC Very High Speed Integrated Circuit.
VLSI Very Large Scale Integration.
Vulnerability Refers to the degree to which a system can be successfully attacked.
White Horse A neutral particle beam technology program.
Window A range of wavelengths and frequencies at which the atmosphere is transparent to radiation, such as radar waves and ultraviolet light.
WPD Work Package Directive
WSMR White Sands Missile Range, NM.
X-Ray A form of electromagnetic radiation.
XRL X-Ray Laser.
Implemented by Christina Lindborg, 1997 Scoville Fellow
Maintained by Webmaster
Updated Sunday, March 09, 1997