The US Space Force is gearing up for a significant shift in its cybersecurity capabilities with the upcoming launch of its Digital Bloodhound program. This initiative focuses on enhancing the detection of cyber threats targeted explicitly toward ground facilities such as satellite command-and-control stations. 

Under the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), this Space Force initiative is a part of the Defense Cyber Operations–Space (DCO-S) program.

Digital Bloodhound uses advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to analyze data from various sources, such as radar and optical sensors, to identify and track objects in space. The tool is designed to help the Space Force manage increasing space debris and reduce the risk of collisions with satellites and other objects.

With a contract award expected later this year, Space Force is seeking a substantial $76 million in its fiscal 2024 budget request for the program, an increase from the previous $28 million budget in FY23,  highlighting the critical importance of guarding networks associated with space operations. 

Space Force’s focus on cybersecurity around space operations is evident, having asked for an additional $43 million in its FY24 “unfunded priorities” list. 

During a recent House defense appropriations hearing, Chief of Space Operations, General Chance Saltzman, explained Space Force’s request for a $30B budget, underscoring the importance of guarding networks associated with space operations to ensure the country’s national security. 

 “This budget request is designed to deliver the forces, personnel, and partnerships the Space Force  requires to preserve U.S. advantages in space … But only if the Congress passes timely appropriations.”

A Closer Look at Digital Bloodhound

Digital Bloodhound is a new initiative under the Space Force’s DCO-S program.

Under Space Force’s DCO-S program, Digital Bloodhound primarily focuses on cyber attacks against ground facilities such as satellite command-and-control stations.