قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / Science / Thanks to Trump, we have a better idea of ​​the capabilities of the US surveillance satellites

Thanks to Trump, we have a better idea of ​​the capabilities of the US surveillance satellites



The US President has done it again.

Just when one thinks things could no longer – "uncommonly" – in the White House, the President tweeted an American spy satellite image as part of a juvenile offensive against the Iranian leadership. After some back and forth, the astronomers were able to find out from which satellite he came: from a (formerly) top-secret satellite called the USA 224, an optical reconnaissance satellite.

Trump's Tweet unknowingly revealed some of the capabilities of American satellite imagery. The US 224 has been kept top secret for national security reasons, so the intelligence community is unlikely to be pleased. Why should you reveal to your opponents, including Iran itself, your ability to collect information? The combination of orientation and time can be used to determine which satellite and which details of the imaging system are being used. Good job of revealing NTM sources and methods.

̵

1; D. Stamos / Helodriver (@SpacecoastPix) August 30, 2019

Some people immediately criticized the president's tweet.

Iran and the US have a fragile relationship that goes back decades. The US accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons and promoting terrorism. Iran accuses the US of promoting terrorism by providing Israel with high-tech weapons worth billions of dollars.

The situation calmed down when Iran signed an agreement under Obama to limit its nuclear technologies in order to facilitate economic sanctions. In his election, Trump scrapped this deal. Since then, relations between the US and Iran have warmed up again.

Iran has been developing take-off capabilities for years. They tested rockets in their Imam Khomeini Spaceport in northern Iran. At the end of August, a start attempt on the pad failed. Unclassified satellite images showed a cloud of smoke rising from the system, and not much else.

A cloud of smoke rises from Imam Khomeini Spaceport. Photo credits: Copyright Planet Labs Inc.

But Trump loves to bring in his thrusts. Therefore, he tweeted the following:

It seems that Trump was educated with an imprint of this classified image and that he recorded it took a picture with his cell phone and tweeted it. You can see the camera flash in the middle of the picture. Immediately, people were worried that he had uncovered US surveillance capabilities.

"… I have no doubt that this is a picture taken by the USA 224."

The astronomer Marco Langbroek. The picture does not seem to reveal much on the surface. But it is problematic and for the following reason:

Astronomers are smart people. Much smarter and more resourceful than Trump can guess. A Dutch astronomer named Marco Langbroek worked on Trump's satellite image and revealed his results in his own tweets:

In an interview with NPR, Langbroek described the US 224 as a large telescope, "not unlike the Hubble Space Telescope. But instead of looking up at the stars, it looks at the earth's surface and takes very detailed pictures. "USA 224 is a high-performance, high-performance device that costs billions of dollars to build. It has a 2.4-meter mirror, which is the same size as the Hubble.

USA 224 is a so-called KH-11 satellite. It is the 15th satellite of this type. It is also referred to as the "Evolved Enhanced CRYSTAL System" and codenamed "Key Hole".

The special feature of USA 224 and similar satellites is that they are easy to track in the sky. In a blog post on SatTrackCom, Langroek explained how the shadows in the image were combined with their position to determine when the image was taken. Then this was compared to the familiar track of spy satellites to confirm that it was the US 224 who took the picture.

Then Cees Bassa got to work. Bassa is a professional astronomer at ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute of Radio Astronomy. He was able to determine the resolution of the image and the capabilities of USA 224 himself.

Very bright people were quick to find out which satellite took the picture in which Height it was recorded by and what resolution the satellite has.

The detail in the picture is surprising even for satellite imaging experts. In an interview with NPR, Melissa Hanham of the Open Nuclear Network in Vienna said: "I did not think that could come from a satellite." Hanham also said, "I imagine that opponents will look at this image and revise it to see how the sensor itself works and what post-processing techniques it uses. "

Usually, gathering and monitoring information is a bit sober. Nations want to keep their abilities secret, share them with allies only when needed, and disguise and deny their opponents. Details of US capability, mission, and orbit 224 are classified.

The USA 224 was launched in 2011 aboard a Delta IV Heavy. Image: From the US Air Force / Joe Davila – This is a retouched image, which means it has been digitally altered from its original version. Changes: tailored. Changes through GW simulations. The original can be found here: http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/110120-F-0000D-001.jpg., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org / w / index.php? curid = 12789416 [19659006[Nowadaysthenewestspy-pagingoptionsinEuropeunveilthetweetfunofopposingnations

The political dance to this will be predictable. Trump supporters apologize and opponents criticize his lack of judgment. But a few things stand out.

This image has a much higher resolution than anything the US has admitted in the past. Other nations have probably suspected that the US has developed satellite imaging, but now they do not have to guess anymore. This is important in the game of international intelligence and espionage.

Also, uncovering security secrets is a crime. In 1984, a intelligence analyst from the Naval Intelligence Support Center sent three classified images of the KH-11 spy satellite to the release of Jane's Fighting Ships. His name was Samuel Loring Morison and he was sentenced to two years in prison, although he was later pardoned.

Trump, however, is not charged. As President, he has the right to reveal such things. According to Trump himself, he has the "absolute right" to do so.

"We had a photo. I have published it, for which I have the unqualified right.

Donald Trump vs. White House Reporters.

Ideally, this absolute right would be exercised with caution and after consultation with intelligence services. Not in a tweet mocking a rival.

More:


Source link