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Satellite imagery- detection of underground nuclear tests

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    Satellite imagery- detection of underground nuclear tests

    Satellite imagery detects thermal uplift signal of underground nuclear tests


    nuclear test underwater lg


    A new analysis of satellite data from the late 1990s documents for the first time the "uplift" of ground above a site of underground nuclear testing, providing researchers a potential new tool for analyzing the strength of detonation.

    The study has just been published in Geophysical Research Letters.

    Lead author Paul Vincent, a geophysicist at Oregon State University, cautions that the findings won't lead to dramatic new ability to detect secret nuclear explosions because of the time lag between the test and the uplift signature, as well as geophysical requirements of the underlying terrain. However, he said, it does "provide another forensic tool for evaluation, especially for the potential explosive yield estimates."

    "In the past, satellites have been used to look at surface subsidence as a signal for nuclear testing," said Vincent, an associate professor in OSU's College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

    "This is the first time uplift of the ground has correlated to a nuclear test site. The conditions have to be just right and this won't work in every location.

    "But it is rather interesting," he added. "It took four years for the source of the uplift signal - a thermal groundwater plume - to reach the surface."

    The focus of the study was Lop Nor, a nuclear testing site in China where three tests were conducted - May 21, 1992; May 15, 1995; and Aug. 17, 1995. Vincent and his colleagues analyzed interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) images from 1996-99 and detected a change in the surface beginning four years after the tests.

    Though the uplift was less than two inches, it corresponds to known surface locations above past tests within the Lop Nor test site.

    From past studies, the researchers knew that heat from underground detonation of nuclear devices propagates slowly toward the surface. At most sites - including the Nevada National Security Site - that heat signal dissipates laterally when it reaches the water table, which is usually deep beneath the surface.

    At Lop Nor, however, the water table is only about three meters below the surface, and the heated groundwater plume took four years to reach that high, lifting the ground above the detonation site slightly - but enough to be detected through InSAR images.

    Lop Nor also is characterized by a hard granite subsurface, which helps pipe the heated water vertically and prevents the subsidence frequently found at other testing sites.

    A past study by Vincent, published in 2003, first shed light on how subsidence can manifest itself in different ways - from the force of the explosion creating a crater, to more subtle effects of "chimneying," in which the blast opens up a chimney of sorts and draws material downward, creating a dimple at the ground surface.

    Before joining the OSU faculty in 2007, Vincent spent several years as a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

    Vincent said the analysis of nuclear explosions has become a specialized field. Seismology technology can provide an initial estimate of the energy of the explosion, but that data is only good if the seismic waves accurately reflect coupling to the connecting ground in a natural way, he explained. Efforts are sometimes made to "decouple" the explosive device from the ground by creating specializing testing chambers that can give off a false signal, potentially masking the true power of a test.

    "Subsidence data combined with seismic data have helped narrow the margin of error in estimating the explosive yield," Vincent noted, "and now there is the potential to use test-related thermal expansion as another forensic tool."

    Co-authors on the paper with Vincent include Sean Buckley of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dochul Yang, the University of Texas-Austin, and Steve Carle, of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.


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    US Satellite Detection Of Portable Nuclear Weapons

    US Satellite Detection Of Portable Nuclear Weapons


    "If an internal nuclear attack ever occurs in this country without a
    major failure of our satellite assets...perhaps we should rethink just who the
    enemy really is..."

    From Robert (name protected)
    11-7-1

    As you have probably heard from the major news networks, there is some concern about the so-called portable nuclear devices developed by the old USSR. Their former head of the KGB has confirmed the existence of 150 portable devices: 100 of which are presently unaccounted for.

    First of all, portable refers to a low yield device with casing that would require an 18 wheeler to transport! "Suitcase device" is a misnomer. Second, none of these devices are missing; We know exactly where these devices are located at any given point in time.

    This is how we know: During the 1980's I worked as a Senior Systems Engineer for several DOD companies in San Diego (Advanced Digital Systems and SAIC). While in this position I was tasked with developing a "Fleet Satellite Catastrophic Restoral Plan" for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. My group was to develop a method for satellite intelligence restoral in the event of a space born nuclear strike by the Soviet Union. In the course of this study, we had to review all satellite capabilities and characteristics: both current and projected through the early ninety's.

    A series of satellites planned to begin deployment in 1989 (temporarily delayed by the Shuttle explosion) are now aloft (2nd phase of the MILSTAR Program) They carry special sensor devices (Developed by SAIC) that can detect high-velocity spin-off particles from enriched uranium (necessary for nuclear devices). Due to the small size and velocity of these particles, no amount of shielding can block them: not lead, not earth (sub-terrainian). Radiation hazards from these particles are minimal due to limited quantity. Our satellites are fool-proof in detecting and pin-pointing the locations of enriched uranium throughout the world.

    The nuclear verification process employed in monitoring Iraq and other nations via NATO and the United Nations uses these satellite joint detection systems (the NSA controls and tracks the data). Many articles concerning these satellites have already been written in specialty magazines (Defense Science and Electronics-for one). Any attempt to bring a nuclear device into our country would be instantly detected (not to mention the track of its mobile transport).

    Once again, the major US media resorts to half-truths for the benefit of ratings: "Stay tuned for more on our impending annihilation!" their unspoken headlines read,

    If an internal nuclear attack ever occurs in this country without a major failure of our satellite assets...perhaps we should rethink just who the enemy really is...

    While at SAIC, I worked special projects for Dick Egger (heir-apparent to Bob Beyster). As SAIC is now the top think tank for DOD, Admiral Poindexter (I worked for him as an NSO officer) has replaced Egger. The "Black Ops" for SAIC are under Poindexter's control and include PSYOPS developed in the San Diego area. Former pres. Bush Senior is STILL IN CHARGE of the old CIA ops group Poindexter represents. Just as in IRAN/CONTRA, the funding is private! I believe our capabilities to detect nukes is "With Intent" being hushed by the special interest group from the Bush Presidency (there really is a World Order crowd!) - now operating through Bush Jr.

    I am known to these people (I worked within their organization for almost 10 years...til' I woke up). You can verify with Oliver North. He will not admit, but say to him: "The meeting at Pacer Systems in 1982 was taped and remains with the other documents bearing Bush Senior's signature - you only retrieved what I set aside for retrieval"...you can gauge his reaction for yourself...

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    Important development. Thanks for sharing!
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    [SIZE="2"]Spock: If Romulans are an offshoot of my Vulcan blood, then attack becomes even more imperative.

    McCoy: War is never imperative.

    Spock: It is for them, Doctor. Vulcan, like Earth, had its aggressive colonizing period, savage even by Earth standards. If Romulans retain this martial philosophy, then we dare not show weakness.[/SIZE]

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    New way to detect underground nuclear tests | Homeland Security News Wire

    New way to detect underground nuclear tests

    A new analysis of satellite data from the late 1990s documents for the first time the “uplift” of ground above a site of underground nuclear testing, providing researchers a new tool for analyzing the strength of underground nuclear detonation
    A new analysis of satellite data from the late 1990s documents for the first time the “uplift” of ground above a site of underground nuclear testing, providing researchers a potential new tool for analyzing the strength of detonation.
    The study has just been published in Geophysical Research Letters.
    Lead author Paul Vincent, a geophysicist at Oregon State University, cautions that the findings will not lead to dramatic new ability to detect secret nuclear explosions because of the time lag between the test and the uplift signature, as well as geophysical requirements of the underlying terrain. However, he said, it does “provide another forensic tool for evaluation, especially for the potential explosive yield estimates.”
    “In the past, satellites have been used to look at surface subsidence as a signal for nuclear testing,” said Vincent, an associate professor in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. “This is the first time uplift of the ground has correlated to a nuclear test site. The conditions have to be just right and this won’t work in every location.
    “But it is rather interesting,” he added. “It took four years for the source of the uplift signal — a thermal groundwater plume — to reach the surface.”
    An Oregon State University release reports that the focus of the study was Lop Nor, a nuclear testing site in China where three tests were conducted – 21 May 1992; 15 May 1995; and 17 August 1995. Vincent and his colleagues analyzed interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) images from 1996-99 and detected a change in the surface beginning four years after the tests.
    Though the uplift was less than two inches, it corresponds to known surface locations above past tests within the Lop Nor test site.
    From past studies, the researchers knew that heat from underground detonation of nuclear devices propagates slowly toward the surface. At most sites — including the Nevada National Security Site — that heat signal dissipates laterally when it reaches the water table, which is usually deep beneath the surface.
    At Lop Nor, however, the water table is only about three meters below the surface, and the heated groundwater plume took four years to reach that high, lifting the ground above the detonation site slightly — but enough to be detected through InSAR images.
    Lop Nor also is characterized by a hard granite subsurface, which helps pipe the heated water vertically and prevents the subsidence frequently found at other testing sites.
    The release notes that a past study by Vincent, published in 2003, first shed light on how subsidence can manifest itself in different ways — from the force of the explosion creating a crater, to more subtle effects of “chimneying,” in which the blast opens up a chimney of sorts and draws material downward, creating a dimple at the ground surface.
    Before joining the OSU faculty in 2007, Vincent spent several years as a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
    Vincent said the analysis of nuclear explosions has become a specialized field. Seismology technology can provide an initial estimate of the energy of the explosion, but that data is only good if the seismic waves accurately reflect coupling to the connecting ground in a natural way, he explained. Efforts are sometimes made to “decouple” the explosive device from the ground by creating specializing testing chambers that can give off a false signal, potentially masking the true power of a test.
    “Subsidence data combined with seismic data have helped narrow the margin of error in estimating the explosive yield,” Vincent noted, “and now there is the potential to use test-related thermal expansion as another forensic tool.”
    — Read more in P. Vincent et al., “Anomalous transient uplift observed at the Lop Nor, China nuclear test site using satellite radar interferometry time-series analysis” OSU Scholars Archive (14 December 2011)

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    http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xm...pdf?sequence=1

    China nuclear test site using satellite radar interferometry time-series analysis

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    The Pentagon's Role in Nuclear Test Monitoring | Project for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

    The Pentagon's Role in Nuclear Test Monitoring

    The U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System (USAEDS), a sensor system established in 1947, is capable of detecting “nuclear explosions that occur under land or sea, in the atmosphere or in space”, according to a July 12, 2011 Department of Defense news report. This detection system monitors three important nuclear treaties, the Limited Test Ban Treaty (1963), the Threshold Ban Treaty (1974), and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty (1976), and is based out of the U.S. Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC).

    The news report states that USAEDS is comprised of sensors aboard over 20 satellites that are a part of the Global Positioning System and the Defense Support Program. This Defense Support Program has infrared-sensing satellites that are used to detect launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles and are equipped with sensors that “look for phenomenology from a nuclear explosion that occurs in space or in the atmosphere, whether it’s nuclear radiation or the flash from the fireball”, according to AFTAC chief scientist David O’Brien.

    For underwater nuclear explosions, the USAEDS network employs five hydroacoustic stations that use underwater microphones to detect explosions and triangulate their location. The USAEDS network also contains seismic sensors to detect underground nuclear explosions that generate seismic activity very similar to an earthquake. To monitor above-ground explosions, infrasound sensors in the USAEDS network measure “changes in the atmosphere generated by…waves that can come from above-ground nuclear explosions”. Aircraft equipped with air sampling sensors collect debris from atomic tests and explosions to identify where the radioactive debris will travel. These sensors also collect radioactive gases and elements as indicators to where nuclear explosions have occurred.

    The 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) contains a provision for the creation of an International Monitoring System (IMS) meant to identify treaty violations. The main obligation of the CTBT requires states parties to “not carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion, and to prohibit and prevent any such nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control”.

    The IMS is comprised of 337 facilities with seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound, and radionuclide stations. Unlike USAEDS, however, IMS does not have satellite sensors. The United States was an active participant in the development of the IMS, and the USAEDS contributes data from its own stations to the IMS. All data obtained by the IMS is available to signatories of the CTBT.

    According to AFTAC chief scientist O’Brien ,“both the IMS and ourselves are right at the state of the art of any technology that is practical for use in detecting nuclear explosions.”

    The USAEDS network is an integral aspect of world nuclear explosion monitoring and has served as a leader for the development and implementation of IMS. USAEDS has detected and confirmed the most recent nuclear tests by Pakistan, India, and North Korea - all non-signatories of the CTBT.

    Check out the Department of Defense news report here:

    Defense.gov News Article: Sensor Network Detects Nuclear Blasts Worldwide

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    chemeng.iisc.ernet.in/alumni/nuclear2.html


    Pokhran II : Why the US missed India's nuclear tests


    WASHINGTON, May 12 - Despite a $27 billion budget and a galaxy of spy satellites, U.S. Intelligence agencies failed to detect India's preparation for Monday's nuclear blast. Why? U.S. officials are blaming it on a leak to The New York Times. Senior Intelligence and military officials tell NBC News that India put its nuclear testing equipment underground in 1996 following a leak to The New York Times that U.S. spy satellites were monitoring that nation's nuclear test site.

    "There was a leak that we knew would have a reaction and it did," said one senior intelligence official. "We watched as they put it underground... We warned back then that India now had the capability to test very quickly and predicted that we wouldn't be able to tell."

    The Times report ran Dec. 14, 1995, and quoted unnamed government officials as saying satellites had recorded activity in western India that suggested a test might be imminent. No tests occurred and an Indian government spokesman said the Times report was "highly speculative." As a result, said officials, India was able to very "quickly and subtly" make preparations for the test of three nuclear devices Monday.

    In fact, National Security Advisor Sandy Berger told reporters the United States still had no confirmation of the test nearly 12 hours after the blast occurred. India calculated the orbits of spy satellites and then moved equipment at times when they believed nothing was overhead. India, several officials noted, has long had a space program and is capable of determining what satellites are in which orbit. "They were in our blind spot," said a senior military official. Moreover, intelligence officials note that the Indian nuclear weapons program is the "most secretive" of all Third World programs. "We know more about the North Korean program than we do about the Indian program."

    Satellite Imaging Capability

    The reasons, say officials in both Washington and New Delhi, are varied. India has its own satellite-imaging capability, which gives it an understanding of what can and can't be seen from space. It's nuclear program is kept separate from its military, which like many militaries is prone to boasting and leaking. And unlike many programs, India's is not as dependent on outside help. India has a large pool of trained nuclear scientists and electrical engineers and an industrial infrastructure capable of producing key equipment. Much U.S. intelligence on other nations' nuclear programs is derived from electronic eavesdropping on sales of equipment related to weapons development. India has prevented Western intelligence from recruiting spies in India by an aggressive program of counterintelligence that includes surveillance and even attempted recruitment of diplomats and suspected agents. "They are very, very good," said one official. "Remember, this is the same country that produced the scientists who designed the Pentium chips," added an official. "They don't need a lot of outside help. They can do it on their own."

    Televised Announcement

    CIA officials say the United States did not know anything about the tests until Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee announced the tests on television Monday morning, four hours after they had taken place. The announcement even preceded analysis of the seismic data on the tests. "A lot of people had their hair on fire," said one intelligence official. Intelligence officials say policy officials deserve some of the blame for the tests, noting that intelligence officials have repeatedly warned that India's Hindu Nationalist BJP party was serious about "going nuclear." Bill Richardson, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the Pakistani government last month that he was impressed with BJP "restraint" when he met with party officials prior to his visit to Islamabad. "The U.S. charge d'affaires got his butt chewed by the Pakistanis last night," an official noted, saying that the United States should have known of the Indian plan and that the tests proved there was little restraint in New Delhi.

    Clinton Warned

    The Pakistani ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that his prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, had warned President Bill Clinton of India's intentions, if not its specific plans. "South Asia has been on the back burner in this administration," said another official. "They have taken Indian restraint for granted and didn't take the BJP threats seriously." As for why India tested the weapons now, the intelligence assessment is that the tests were driven more by domestic political concerns, rather than any action by Pakistan. "The BJP couldn't get budget through by the end of the month without something to help them. If the budget deal fell through, they would have had to call new elections," said a senior intelligence official. "It was done clearly for nationalistic and domestic political concerns."

    Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence officials say that in spite of Pakistani claims that it will match India's nuclear tests, there are no indications that Pakistan is preparing for such a test. The United States has moved its satellites and increased electronic surveillance to monitor Pakistan's nuclear test site in the Chagai Hills in the desert of western Pakistan. Officials note that Sharif is scheduled to return to Islamabad quickly from a trip to Kazakhstan. Once home, say officials, the United States expects some decisions. U.S. officials expect that if the Pakistanis don't detonate a nuclear device, they will probably again test the Ghauri missile, which is nuclear-capable. Pakistan first tested the missile, which it bought from North Korea, the first week of April.

    The detection of the test preparations by American satellites in 1995, had taught a lesson to the Indian scientists. It was decided that preparations for the May 1998 tests should be undertaken under a cloud of secrecy so that foreign powers could not detect the preparations and try to pressure the government. Extensive measures were taken in order to deceive intelligence agencies around the world. The decision to test was not disclosed even to senior cabinet ministers. The preparations were managed by a closed group of scientists, military officers and politicians.

    Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister, and Dr. R. Chidambaram, the head of the Department of Atomic Energy, were the chief coordinators for the operation. They were assisted by the 58th Regiment of the Army Engineering Corps in preparing the test site. Scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) were involved in assembling the weapons, moving them to Pokhran, placing them into shafts in the ground and laying a network of sensors to gather data during the explosions.

    The Regiment 58 Engineers had learned much since the aborted 1995 test preparations about avoiding detection by American satellites. Much work was done at night, and heavy equipment was always returned to the same parking spot at dawn so that satellite image analysts would conclude that the equipment was never moved. Piles of dug-out sand were shaped to mimic the wind shaped dune forms in the desert area. The shafts were dug under camouflage netting. When cables for sensors were laid they were carefully covered with sand, and native vegetation was replaced to conceal the digging.

    The scientists involved in the operation took care to ensure that even their close friends and colleagues would not detect the work being undertaken at Pokhran. All scientists involved in the operation did not depart for Pokhran simultaneously, but left in groups of two or three. One group would use the pretext of attending a seminar or a conference, and would tell their wives that they could not be contacted while they were away. Tickets were bought for a destination other than Pokhran (or cities nearby) under pseudonyms, and after arriving at their destination, the group would secretly leave for the military base in Jaisalmer from where they would be taken by the army to Pokhran. After finishing their work the group would return, retracing their path. Then another group would leave for the range employing similar means to do their work. In this way, information about the test was kept tightly under wraps. All technical staff at the range wore military fatigues, so that in satellite images they would appear to be military personnel maintaining the test range.

    On the diplomatic front, India adopted a policy of ambiguity about deciding to go nuclear. Statements by Indian politicians and diplomats gave an impression to the world that India was not yet decided about its nuclear status. Deliberate steps were taken to ensure that the world community would not take the BJP's campaign promises seriously. In separate meetings with American officials, then Foreign secretary K.Raghunath and Defence Minister George Fernandes stated that India had not yet decided about going nuclear and they also conveyed to the officials that the National Security Council would be meeting soon to discuss the matter and decide about the nuclear option. The council was to meet on the 26th of May. Both the Indian officials had categorically told the Americans that "there would be no surprise testings". All this led the Americans and the world community to believe that India was not going to pursue the nuclear option in the near future. They did not take the BJP's campaign promises seriously and hence did not expect an Indian nuclear test so soon.
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    https://www.cia.gov/library/center-f...1a01p_0001.htm

    Policing a Nuclear Test Ban

    The East-West conference on methods of detecting violations of any international agreement to suspend nuclear tests, held in Geneva from 1 July to 21 August 1958, was in effect, as might be expected, a USSR-West conference. The Western delegation, a single team with members from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada, faced four separate delegations from the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Romania; but the Satellite delegates only presented papers apparently prepared by the Soviets and made no substantive contribution to the discussions. The Soviets attempted to broaden the scope of the conference to include agreement to stop testing nuclear explosions, but the Western delegations succeeded in maintaining the position that the agenda was technical, not political, and that the decision on halting tests was not a matter for consideration. Nevertheless the technical discussions were colored throughout with political overtones, and several of the technical agreements reflect Soviet political concessions.

    The conference agreed first on technical methods which might be useful in a detection system and on the capabilities of each of these methods for identifying explosions under different types of conditions. Both sides agreed on the use of acoustic waves, radioactive debris, seismic waves, and electromagnetic (radio) signals to detect and identify surface, atmospheric, underground, and underwater explosions. For explosions at very high altitudes (30 to 50 kilometers and above) several additional methods of detection were discussed and considered promising, but none were specifically recommended for inclusion in the system, since experience with explosions at such heights is lacking.

    After reaching agreement on these basic methods the conferees agreed on the technical equipment which would be required to put them to effective use, and then consolidated them into a recommended worldwide control system for policing a nuclear test suspension, specifying in some detail its technical requirements and disposition. This recommended system includes a provision for inspection of locations in which the control network has detected possibly natural phenomena that it has not been able to distinguish from nuclear explosion effects.

    The Agreements

    Acoustic Waves. It was agreed that with a sufficient distribution of listening posts the acoustic wave method would be effective in measuring and locating one-kiloton explosions in the air up to an altitude of 30 or perhaps 50 kilometers. The acoustic method is not applicable to underground explosions, but under the oceans even small explosions can be detected by hydroacoustic methods to distances of 10,000 kilometers. The instruments which record these air or water pressure waves can be expected to improve in precision and sensitivity, but they will not always be able to distinguish between acoustic signals from nuclear explosions and those from some infrequent natural events such as meteor falls, volcanic eruptions, and submarine disturbances. Acoustic detection must therefore be supplemented by other methods, even to identify explosions which do not occur underground.

    Radioactive Debris. It was agreed that analysis of radioactive debris is effective in identifying and locating either fission or fusion explosions, and three methods of collecting samples were recommended. Control posts 2000 to 3000 kilometers apart on the ground would detect one-kiloton explosions in the air up to 10 kilometers high by sampling fallout 5 to 20 days afterwards, but would be subject to considerable error in determining the place of explosion and to some error in determining the time. If the approximate location of a suspected explosion is known, however, an aircraft can collect samples two to five days afterwards for a close determination of time and place. Shallow underground and underwater explosions are also susceptible of detection, with less reliability, by these means. Finally, inspection teams might collect samples from suspected sites of underground or underwater explosions, as well as surface tests, and examine them for radioactive debris.

    It was recommended that ground posts and existing aircraft flights over international waters be used for routine sampling, and that when other detection data indicated a need for air samples over the territory of any nation, that nation's aircraft should carry observers from other nations in the control organization in sampling flights over predetermined routes. The debris method would become increasingly effective with prolongation of a period free of nuclear explosions and with the perfection of sampling and analysis techniques.

    Seismic Waves. Seismic waves provide the only method for initial detection of nuclear explosions underground or under waters not linked hydroacoustically with the oceans; and seismic wave detection is less discriminating than other methods. It was agreed that, given a sufficient distribution of control posts and ordinary seismic stations, 90 percent or more of five-kiloton seismic disturbances would be identified and located within a radius of about five miles, but the identification of one-kiloton explosions would require unusually favorable conditions and unusually quiet seismic stations within a range of 1000 kilometers. It was noted that the range and discrimination of this method would probably be increased with improvements in apparatus and technique, but seismic disturbances not positively identified as natural earthquakes would probably still give rise to the greatest number of demands for regional inspections-perhaps as many as 100 per year, even if limited to magnitudes of five kilotons or greater.

    Radio Signals. The radio signal caused by gamma radiation from an explosion on or above the earth's surface provides a detection means of great range and accuracy, but there is difficulty at ranges greater than 1000 kilometers in distinguishing it from the electromagnetic emissions of lightning flashes. The conference made reference also to a possibility that the radio signal might be deliberately altered or eliminated through shielding the explosion against gamma emissions. It recommended further research to improve discrimination and develop automatic equipment for this purpose.

    High-Altitude Explosions. The detection of explosions at an altitude of 30 to 50 kilometers and above was discussed on a theoretical basis, but no recommendations were made. Three methods were considered. The registration by earth satellite instruments of gamma radiation and neutrons would detect nuclear explosions hundreds of thousands of kilometers from the earth, but there are difficulties in the possibility of shielding the explosion and in uncertainties about background cosmic radiation. Light from the explosion itself and the luminescence of affected upper layers of the atmosphere would be revealing, but would not be observable from the ground in cloudy weather. Such an explosion would also create a measurable increase in the ionization of the upper atmosphere, but an unknown number of natural phenomena might produce similar effects. The detection of explosions millions of kilometers from the earth was not discussed.

    The Control Network. The conference set up recommended specifications for acoustic, hydroacoustic, seismic, and electromagnetic detection equipment, and for apparatus to collect samples of radioactive debris both on the ground and in aircraft. It recommended that all ground posts of the control net be equipped for all methods of detection, except that hydroacoustic equipment would be needed only on islands and ocean shores and in ships. Ships could also collect debris samples and might use the radio and aeroacoustic methods with reduced effectiveness, but could not use the seismic method.

    The number of control posts required was determined largely on the basis of the needs of the seismic method, since the discrimination of underground explosions presents the greatest problems. 160 to 170 land-based posts were recommended, 60 of them on islands, along with about 10 ships. The posts should be as close together as 1000 kilometers in seismic areas, but could be diffused to distances of about 1700 kilometers in aseismic continental areas and of 2000 to 3500 kilometers in aseismic ocean areas. It was suggested that each post might require a personnel complement of about 30 specialists plus supporting staff.

    It was agreed that this system would effectively discourage violations of a nuclear test suspension: it would provide good probability of detecting and identifying all explosions down to one kiloton except those set off underground. It would detect underground one-kiloton explosions but would be able to distinguish only a small percentage of them from earthquakes. Without on-site inspection, in fact, it would be impossible to positively identify deep underground nuclear explosions even of high yields, since they could always be claimed to have been earthquakes. If, however, the ten percent or less of five-kiloton disturbances not identified as earthquakes and a number of lesser events taken at random were subject to site inspection, a violator could not feel secure against exposure no mattter what precautions he took.

    The identification by inspection of deep underground nuclear explosions would still be very difficult. All the radioactive debris would remain confined in a small volume deep underground, and surface evidence might be very difficult to obtain. An inspection team would have to survey the suspect area indicated by the seismic signals for signs betraying the conduct of a test - recently used mine shafts or tunnels, excavations, logistic support for tests, or instrumentation. This task would of course be easier in completely deserted areas than in inhabited ones where signs of human activity would not be so suspicious. Finally, when suspicion of a concealed explosion was very high and the location closely determined, it might be necessary to drill many hundred feet for a sample of the radioactive material in order to prove a violation.

    The Soviet Attitude

    These agreements were not achieved in smooth harmony, in spite of an increasingly evident Soviet desire to avoid split conclusions. Just before the opening of the conference there was question whether the Soviets would even attend; but when the seriousness of the Western delegation was evidenced by the arrival of its members at Geneva, the Soviets also came and the conference began as scheduled. Then the first two days were spent in political maneuvers, with the Soviets attempting to force the Western side to agree in advance that if the conference were a success nuclear testing should cease. The USSR's strong propaganda position resulting from its unilateral announcement of test suspension while the United States was engaged in an extensive series of tests made it difficult to keep the Western insistence on a purely technical conference from appearing too negative: Soviet propaganda could have exploited a breakdown of the conference in the initial stages and its published proceedings to considerable advantage. Finally, in the face of Western firmness, the Soviets requested a day's delay, obviously to obtain instructions, and then acceded to the Western position. Thereafter the discussions were almost entirely technical in nature, though shaped in some respects to take account of political factors.

    In general, the Soviets attempted to make detection appear easy, while the Western delegates pointed out the practical difficulties in detecting and identifying nuclear explosions. Discrimination of natural events from possible explosions was usually simplified by the Eastern group. The U.S. representatives generally relied on the statistical use of experimental data, while the Soviets drew upon simplified theories. On one occasion, Semenov, a Soviet Nobel prize winner, amused the Western scientists by saying that the experimental evidence must have been faulty since it conflicted with his theories.

    Specific evidence of Soviet desire for agreement developed toward the end of the discussion of the first of the methods for detecting nuclear explosions, that using acoustic waves. The Soviets had presented theoretical data optimizing the ranges at which explosions could be detected by this method and had proposed draft conclusions citing these ranges. Overnight three Western scientists prepared a statistical analysis, using data from more than 200 experimental observations of nuclear tests, which demonstrated that under practical conditions the ranges would be very much shorter than those given by the Soviets. The West proposed conclusions citing these short ranges. After considerable discussion of the validity of the analyses and their conclusions, the Soviets accepted the Western draft with only minor modifications. This accommodation was the first real indication that they were prepared to accept scientific facts at variance with their position in order to reach agreed conclusions.

    A Major Concession

    A more important demonstration of Soviet desire for agreement occurred in the discussions which followed on the use of radioactive debris for detecting and identifying nuclear explosions. Outstanding success in collecting good early debris samples by aircraft and difficulties experienced in obtaining reliable samples by ground collection techniques had led the West to propose the use of aircraft in addition to ground sampling. The Eastern delegations, on the other hand, strongly held that ground sampling was adequate and reliable, and that the use of aircraft was unnecessary, unduly complicated, and expensive. This position was obviously based on Soviet political sensitivity to the use of aircraft for intelligence purposes. Discussion on the relative merits of the two methods was protracted. Although the Western delegation pressed for data to support the reliability of the ground detection system, the Soviets never succeeded in substantiating their unsound technical position. Private attempts were made to reassure them that our emphasis on aircraft was not based on desire for unrestricted overflight but rather on sound technical grounds, but they remained extremely chary of the inclusion of any mention of aircraft as an important element of the system.

    The Soviets delayed agreement to any conclusions on this subject for several weeks, apparently awaiting instructions from home, and the conference proceeded to other subjects. Finally, however, they again acceded, agreeing to the inclusion of aircraft sampling as a basic element of the system and even to the provision that overflight of national territory might occasionally be required. Such overflights, to be sure, would be made by the aircraft of the nation involved, but they would have observers from other nations on board. This first major political concession was strong proof that if the Western delegation presented a sound technical position and held to it, the desire for agreement would lead the Soviets to give way.

    In the discussions on the use of seismic waves for detecting explosions, the Soviets again tended to theorize and to simplify the problem, particularly with respect to discriminating between the seismic signals from explosions and those from earthquakes. In this case, the Soviet attitude may have been due largely to lack of scientific experience in such discrimination. The presentation of the U.S. data on the Ranier underground test in September 1957 was convincing to them and won their gradual recognition of the difficulties involved. After the differences in scientific views had been ironed out, agreement was reached on the seismic method without the raising of any major political problems. The Eastern delegations accepted the Western conclusions which stipulated that, in order to identify 90 percent of the earthquakes and eliminate them as possible nuclear explosions, at least five stations should be so disposed with respect to any seismic disturbance as to obtain a strong signal capable of determining the direction of the first motion. This agreement later became a major factor in the discussions on the over-all detection system and the number of control posts required.

    Next came discussions on the electromagnetic method, where the problem of discrimination between radio signals from explosions and those from lightning flashes was a dominant factor. The Soviets presented strong theoretical arguments for reliable discrimination with the use of machine methods, but no specific data to support their theory. In this discussion, however, they appeared to be in a stronger technical position relative to the West than in any of the others.

    Technical Disagreements

    A major difference of opinion developed at this time, and continued almost to the end of the conference, on the possibility of shielding out gamma radiation and thereby eliminating the electromagnetic signal from nuclear explosions. In the course of the discussion one of the U.S. scientists referred to success in shielding out the electromagnetic signals in a shallow underground explosion. When quizzed by the Soviets on how much earth was above the explosion the scientist had to admit the explosion occurred 75 feet underground. This amused the Soviets to no end; and although later experimental data were presented to demonstrate that even explosions on a tower could be shielded, they never fully accepted the feasibility of shielding, and tended to ridicule the Western position. Unfortunately the final record of the conference does not completely clarify the technical facts on this subject. This was a good example of how care must be used in selecting evidence to present at a meeting of this sort.

    Since neither side gave any indication of experience in detecting tests at altitudes greater than 30 kilometers - this was before the U.S. ORANGE and TEAK shots at Johnson Island - high-altitude detection was discussed largely on a theoretical basis. Both sides presented material on the possibility of using gamma and neutron radiation, ionization phenomena, and optical methods. The Soviets pressed very strongly for the use of sputniks equipped with gamma and neutron detectors, while the Western delegation urged equal consideration of the use of ionization phenomena.

    The most violent session of the entire conference occurred during an informal meeting arranged to iron out the final wording of the conclusions on these methods. This meeting, which had been intended to last for only a few minutes, started at ten o'clock on a Saturday morning, broke up for lunch at four PM, and finally continued until after eight in the evening, with both sides refusing to make any concessions. The Soviets exhibited great sensitivity to the Western proposal to use radio techniques, either passive radiotelescopes or active systems, probably out of fear of their intelligence potential. No agreement was reached that day, and over the weekend the Western delegation decided not to press further for its views. Instead it agreed that the conclusions would give some preference to satellite detection over ionospheric phenomena, but would specifically recommend neither for the detection system because of the lack of experimental data. When the chairman of the Western delegation made this concession at the opening of the following session, Fedorov, chairman of the Soviet delegation, was taken aback. He said plaintively that the Soviets had spent all day Sunday preparing technical papers to refute the Western position. He was almost unhappy that the West had conceded since it prevented his delegation from presenting these studies. Furthermore, in consequence of their wasted effort, the Soviets were unprepared to proceed to the next item on the agenda.

    Discussions on the equipment to be used by the detection system were almost entirely technical in nature and involved no serious disagreements. The Soviets now for the first time raised the possibility of using ships as platforms for detection stations in ocean areas where suitable land masses were not available. The usefulness of ships for acoustic and electromagnetic detection was seriously questioned by the West, and in an informal session it was agreed that use of these methods on shipboard would not be included in the conference conclusions. When these conclusions were taken up for ratification, Fedorov apparently had not been briefed that this item had been eliminated from the text, and the conclusions were ratified without further discussion. Later, just after Fedorov had unjustly chastised the Western delegation for not adhering to previously agreed conclusions on some other matter, the subject of shipboard detection again arose and Fedorov referred to these methods as an essential ingredient of the system. When it was called to his attention that he had just previously agreed to their elimination, he was considerably embarrassed.

    The final text of the conclusions restored a qualified mention of the aeroacoustic and electromagnetic methods on shipboard. On land, it was agreed, all four basic systems - acoustic, seismic, electromagnetic and radioactive debris collection - would be used at every station. This collocation, found difficult by the West, was strongly endorsed by the Soviets and is very likely their practice.

    More Political Concessions

    The major problem of the conference was the integration of these various methods into a worldwide system capable of detecting tests under all possible conditions. At Soviet insistence, the discussion on all the basic methods had been keyed to small-yield test explosions, down to one kiloton, despite Western desires to include consideration of systems reliable only for higher yields. In designing the over-all system, therefore, the conference initially used the one-kiloton yield as a basic parameter.

    The detection and identification of underground explosions was the dominant factor in determining the number and disposition of the control posts. The initial Western attempt at designing a system came up with about 650 stations for one-kiloton worldwide control, as against 100 proposed by the Soviets. The Soviet proposal was obviously inadequate for discriminating between one-kiloton underground explosions and earthquakes of equivalent energy, since five of the 100 stations would never obtain clear signals of first motions from such an event. The Eastern delegation then proposed the use of existing seismic stations as a supplement to the detection system, but the ease with which seismic records could be falsified and the signals from an explosion made to resemble those of an earthquake rendered this solution impractical.

    At this point, the Western delegation suggested that a system be designed with capabilities of good discrimination for yields of five kilotons and greater, and the Eastern delegations accepted this approach. By Western criteria such a system required 160 to 170 stations, while in the Soviet design it would have 130. Not unexpectedly, the Soviets agreed to the Western figures just prior to the conclusion of the conference. This acceptance of a system which would involve between 15 and 20 control posts in the USSR, each manned by 30 or more persons, constituted a second major Soviet political concession at the conference.

    Since at present it is not always technically possible to identify a nuclear explosion by seismic means alone, inspection of the site of an unidentified event suspected of being a nuclear explosion is necessary in order to prove or disprove the occurrence of a concealed nuclear test. The 160-170 control post system would leave unidentified some 20 to 100 events per year of energies equivalent to five-kiloton yields or greater, and it is clear that inspection would be required in such cases. Furthermore, if the system is to have any capability for yields of less than five kilotons, inspection of suspected sites of lower-yield tests on a random basis would be required as a deterrent to violations at this level. The Soviets early in the conference referred to the need for inspecting sites of suspected nuclear explosions but consistently deferred the inclusion of statements to this effect in any of the agreed conclusions. Finally, however, in the conclusions on the control system, they agreed to such inspection. This acceptance of the principle of inspection was the third and perhaps most important political concession made by the Soviets in order to achieve an agreed report.

    Soviet Intentions

    Before the conference, many members of the U.S. delegation believed that the Soviets were attempting to establish a situation in which they could continue weapons development by means of concealed tests and at the same time inhibit nuclear testing in the West. The conference yielded no evidence to support this thesis; in fact it had led all Western representatives with whom the subject was discussed to change their views. The Soviets fought strenuously on many points and attempted to minimize the difficulties inherent in establishing an adequate test detection system, but these efforts appeared aimed entirely at avoiding politically sensitive arrangements such as large numbers of observers, overflight, and free access to locations within the Soviet Union. On all of these points, they ended up by making major concessions.

    Furthermore, the Soviets strongly pressed for a high-sensitivity system, one capable of reliably detecting explosions as low as one kiloton. Had their objective been to design a system susceptible of evasion, they would have given much readier acceptance to the Western proposal to consider higher-yield systems. In view of all these considerations, I believe that the USSR has no present intention of carrying out a concealed nuclear test in the event of a moratorium, and that it would openly abrogate such an agreement before risking being caught in a violation. Moreover, if the principle of inspection is adequately safeguarded in political discussions and in the terms of a suspension treaty, the system as designed is adequate to deter any nation from conducting a concealed nuclear test, at least with a yield greater than one kiloton. Without on-site inspections such a system would not be capable of preventing deep underground nuclear tests of even moderate yields.

  9. #9
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    Activity detected at N. Korea nuclear test site: report | Reuters


    Activity detected at N. Korea nuclear test site


    (Reuters) - A U.S. satellite has detected increased activity at a North Korean nuclear weapons test site, suggesting it could be preparing for a third test, a South Korean government source was quoted as saying on Thursday.

    The report comes after satellite images taken last month also showed heightened activity at the North's main Yongbyon nuclear complex, indicating Pyongyang was pushing ahead with its nuclear plans in defiance of international pressure.

    Defense and foreign ministry officials could not confirm the report in the Chosun Ilbo daily about activity at the test site. The U.S. State Department declined to comment on what it called an intelligence matter, but warned Pyongyang not to engage in any provocative behavior.

    North Korea says its wants to rejoin international nuclear disarmament talks after a two-year boycott, which analysts said was an indication it was hurting badly under harsh U.N. sanctions imposed last year in response to its second nuclear test.

    Experts worry the North's young leader-in-waiting, Kim Jong-un, appointed to senior military and political posts last month by his ailing father Kim Jong-il, might now try to burnish a hardline image by carrying out an act of brinkmanship.

    Previous nuclear tests, trumpeted at home, have been used by incumbent leader Kim Jong-il to boost his stature with his country's powerful armed forces and rally the masses around his guiding military-first rule.

    North Korea, scrutinized by U.S. spy satellites, can easily signal it is preparing for a test by moving equipment but that does not mean a blast is imminent.

    In April, Washington dismissed a similar report that the secretive North was readying for a third test.

    The State Department said on Thursday it could not comment in detail on intelligence matters and indicated it had no information to back up the specific report. But it also took the opportunity to caution Pyongyang.

    "Our message to North Korea has been clear and consistent: It needs to cease its provocative actions. And I can think of nothing more provocative than the possibility of another nuclear test or another series of missile firings. It's the last thing that North Korea should consider at this point," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

    A third test would improve North Korea's ability to make nuclear weapons but also decrease its supply of fissile material, thought to be enough for six to eight nuclear bombs, experts say.

    TEST NOT IMMINENT

    The Chosen Ilbo daily quoted an unnamed source as saying the reconnaissance satellite had recently detected "brisk movement" of vehicles and people in Punggye-ri, the location of the North's past tests in 2006 and 2009.

    The source said there were also signs a tunnel that collapsed after the two earlier nuclear tests was being repaired.

    However, it seems unlikely the North will conduct a third test in the immediate future since current activities there suggest it will take "about three months" to prepare, the source added.

    North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Kil-yon told the U.N. General Assembly last month that Pyongyang would bolster its "nuclear deterrent" in response to the threat posed by the United States, but promised never to use its atomic arsenal to attack or threaten any nation.

    (Additional reporting by Danbee Moon, and Andrew Quinn in Washington; Editing by David Chance and Jerry Norton)

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    http://web.mit.edu/stgs/pdfs/white%2...%20Network.pdf


    A Constellation of Satellites for Shared Missile Launch Surveillance

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    http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-...vember2011.pdf

    South Africa’s Nuclear Test Shafts in the Kalahari Desert
    nrj likes this.

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    Nuclear Verification


    Nuclear tests and verification


    Pakistan Nuclear Tests - May 28-30, 1998.
    On May 26 the CIA reported that Pakistan had completed its preparations for a nuclear test following India's five tests conducted May 11-13 (two weeks previously). The Foreign Ministry in Islamabad insisted tests were not imminent. Despite intensive diplomatic efforts to prevent Pakistan from conducting tests since the Indian tests, Pakistan conducted is first nuclear tests on May 28.

    In a televised announcement the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced that Pakistan had "settled the score" with India by conducting five nuclear tests. The Prime Minister did not give any technical details. Unofficial reports suggested all five devices were fission devices (atom bombs). Three were sub-kiloton, the remaining two had yields of 25 kton and 12 kton. The sequence was similar to that conducted by India. The seismic data does not support the yields claimed by Pakistan (another similarity with the Indian tests).

    On May 30 Pakistan conducted an additional test. There are differing reports as to its yield. Follow this link to find out more about the tests and view the data.


    Indian Nuclear Tests - May 11-13, 1998.
    On May 11, 1998 the Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee shocked the world by announcing three nuclear tests, the first Indian tests since the 'peaceful test' of 1974. The tests hailed India's entrance into the nuclear club. While world leaders condemned the action in this era of nuclear restraint, the Indian population celebrated their national pride. In the U.S. there was shock that the tests were not detected in advance as during the December 1995 test preparations, which were then halted due to diplomatic pressure. As the U.S. and Japan considered whether to impose sanctions two further tests were conducted on May 13.

    What did the tests mean for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which was being considered for ratification at the time by the ~150 countries who had signed? Was there an intelligence failure? What does this mean for verification of the CTBT?

    Follow this link for an overview of the news reports, to see the seismic data from the tests, and for a list of links specific to this event.


    Alleged Russian test on Novaya Zemlya - August 1997.
    On August 28, 1997, a leak to the Washington Times alleged that Russia had conducted a nuclear test on August 16. The alleged test occurred at the Russian nuclear test site on the island of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Ocean. Such a test would be in violation of international law and signal the end to the Russian moratorium on nuclear tests.

    While U.S. officials continued to claim the Russians had conducted a test for several months, it only took a period of days for seismologists at the Prototype International Data Center (pIDC) and in the UK to independently locate the seismic event 100 km offshore, away from the test site. The false U.S. allegations were based on satellite observations of activity at the test site and the miss-location of the seismic event. This error occurred due to the use of only a limited seismic data set by U.S. authorities.

    In the paper The Perfect Earthquake - Again? by Richard Allen, the events of August 16 are first analyzed to demonstrate that the seismic event was a small earthquake offshore. The U.S. analysis is then reconstructed and recommendations made to prevent future miss-analysis. Finally the implications of the event for verification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty are considered. Click here to see the Executive Summary. This work is currently in press.

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    http://www.ipi.uni-hannover.de/uploa...tt_soergel.pdf

    MEASUREMENT OF SURFACE DISPLACEMENT CAUSED BY UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS

  14. #14
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    Very nice discovery thanks lethalforce for sharing these

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    comparison

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