RECONNAISSANCE

Satellites

Articles

1999

Amato, Ivan. "God's Eyes for Sale." Technology Review, Mar-Apr. 1999, 36-41.

The focus is on John Hoffman and his company, Aerial Images.

Behling, Thomas, and Kenneth McGruther. "Planning Satellite Reconnaissance to Support Military Operations." Studies in Intelligence, Winter 1998-1999, 113-121.

Given the "design and development lead-times" required for satellites, "by the time the military determines intelligence requirements to support its new doctrine [Joint Vision 2010], it may be too late to influence decisions about the very intelligence support systems upon which the doctrine depends."

Bender, Bryan. "Space Mission Aims To Fill Critical DoD Mapping Shortfalls." Jane's Defence Weekly, 8 Sep. 1999.

The upcoming Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor "aims to create a topographical database which the Department of Defense (DoD) believes is critical for carrying out US military operations successfully." The mission is a joint DoD-NASA effort. "It will develop a 'mosaic' of 80% of the Earth's land surface -- between 60 north and 56 south latitude -- at a resolution of 30m."

Bone, James. "Spy Satellite Resolves to Put Us All in the Picture." Times (London), 18 Sep. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

If all goes well with the launch of Space Imaging's Ikonos II commercial imaging satellite "anyone with a laptop will [soon] be able to download from the Internet one-metre resolution satellite pictures of any co-ordinate on Earth." Philip Howard, "Nowhere Left to Hide," Times (London), 18 Sep. 1999, discusses the privacy and civil rights implications of the Ikonos II capabilities.

Day, Dwayne A. "Listening from Above: The First Signals Intelligence Satellite." Spaceflight 41, no. 8 (Aug. 1999): 339-346.

Diamond, John. "U.S. Verifies Arms Reduction with Espionage Photos: Old Pictures Help Locate Secure Sites for Storage of Nuclear Warheads." Detroit News, 17 Feb. 1999. [http://detnews.com]

Report on a symposium about the declassified photographs from CIA's Corona program, held 16 February 1999 at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace. The report errs in stating that Corona "was developed by rocket scientists pressing to find a replacement for U-2 spy planes after the downing of Francis Gary Powers' U-2 in 1960"; the program was well advanced by May 1960.

Hackett, James. "Radar Satellites Required." Washington Times, 14 Sep. 1999.

The Discoverer 2 spy satellite is a joint project of DARPA and the NRO. Its goal "is to see if a radar satellite can spot and track troop and vehicle movements on the ground in all kinds of weather.... It is estimated that 18 to 24 satellites in orbit could provide continuous unobscured observation of anything that moves or goes under cover.... The House Appropriations Committee zeroed funding for [the project],... citing technical risk, concern it may cost more than expected and lack of a formal ... requirement.... Defense Secretary William Cohen reportedly is sending a letter to Congress asking the appropriations conference to approve the requested $108 million" for fiscal year 2000.

Loeb, Vernon. "Hobbyists Track Spies in the Sky." Washington Post, 20 Feb. 1999, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"As Operation Desert Fox unfolded in December and the Pentagon released reconnaissance photographs taken from space of destroyed Iraqi targets, retired CIA scientist Allen Thomson sat at his home computer in El Paso and produced a schedule of classified U.S. satellite overpasses of Baghdad from the hour the bombing began. Thomson was not trying to alert Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, but to underscore a point he has been making for years about supersecret U.S. spy satellites: They aren't so secret anymore."

Loeb, Vernon, and Walter Pincus. "New Spy Satellites at Risk Because Funding Is Uncertain, Pentagon Told." Washington Post, 12 Nov. 1999, A7. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Congress has put the Pentagon on notice that a new generation of spy satellites ... will be scaled back next year unless money can be found for computers and communications equipment needed to process the vast stream of data from space. The new satellites, estimated to cost at least $4.5 billion over the next 10 years, are designed to produce high-resolution photographs and targeting information with fewer gaps in coverage than the current generation has."

Sparaco, Pierre. "French Satellite Details Air Strike Damage." Aviation Week & Space Technology, 12 Apr. 1999, 26-27.

"The French Helios 1 imaging reconnaissance satellite and two air force Mirage IVPs are making a significant contribution in providing detailed assessment of NATO air strikes against military targets in Yugoslavia."

Trimble, Paula Shaki. "DARPA Investigates Satellite Pit Stops." Defense News, 25 Oct. 1999, 1.

According to David Whelan, director of the tactical technology office at DARPA, the "Pentagon research agency has taken preliminary steps toward the design and deployment of small robotic spacecraft to service and refuel U.S. spy satellites. The goal of the project, called Orbital Express, is to make national security satellites more maneuverable, more difficult to track and to enhance their effectiveness."

Wall, Robert, "Intelligence Lacking on Satellite Threats." Aviation Week & Space Technology, 1 Mar. 1999, 54.

USAF Gen. Richard B. Myers, chief of U.S. Space Command, said at the Air Force Association's Air Warfare Symposium that "the intelligence community does not have sufficient capability to track the growing threat to U.S. satellites."

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