via InformationWeek Government
The National Reconnaissance Office is building a next-generation network called Ardent Gunslinger and carrying out a space network architecture project called Puppet Master, according to a redacted version of the secretive spy satellite agency’s fiscal 2011 budget request that was recently published by the Federation of American Scientists, a government transparency group.
The budget document details numerous projects, though many of them have a majority of their project descriptions redacted. For example, almost all of the six pages on space communications are blacked out, save for a few innocuous sections that say things like “conduct analysis of vulnerabilities and capabilities of future communications tor both space and terrestrial applications.” The NRO similarly reveals few numbers in its redacted budget, and almost none dealing with IT.
Networking plays a central role in the NRO’s non-redacted IT projects. Ardent Gunslinger is described as a “three-tiered replacement next-generation CORE backbone” that will replace the agency’s existing ATM network with standards based-IP tech. Puppet Master is described as a replacement for another effort, Future Architecture for Command and Telemetry Services or FACTS, which had aimed to re-architect the systems that transmit command and telemetry data for spacecraft and their launch vehicles.
Another effort, Common Services Layer-Global, will “upgrade network infrastructure utilizing emerging telecommunications standards and next-generation network processors” and “provide the capability to rapidly establish secure connectivity between new systems and services at varying classification levels across a centrally managed shared infrastructure.”