APPENDIX H

Satellite-Based Challenges and Solutions

Satellite-based monitoring is discussed in Chapter 2. Major advances in satellite sensors to detect nuclear explosions in the atmosphere or space have been made over the past decade. These advances are summarized in Table H-1 in the format of major technical challenges identified a decade ago and the technology solutions subsequently accomplished. They primarily result from investments by DOE/NNSA made at the national laboratories, responding to potentially new nuclear threats from transnational terrorists or nascent Nuclear Weapon States. Uncertainties regarding the actual employment of these new monitoring technologies on future satellite platforms are discussed in Chapter 2 and Appendix G.



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APPENDIX H Satellite-Based Challenges and Solutions Satellite-based monitoring is discussed in Chapter 2. Major advances in satellite sensors to detect nuclear explosions in the atmosphere or space have been made over the past decade. These advances are summarized in Table H-1 in the format of major technical challenges identified a decade ago and the technology solutions subsequently accomplished. They primarily result from investments by DOE/NNSA made at the national laboratories, responding to potentially new nuclear threats from transnational terrorists or nascent Nuclear Weapon States. Uncertainties regarding the actual employment of these new monitoring technologies on future satellite platforms are discussed in Chapter 2 and Appendix G. 185

OCR for page 185
186 The CTBT- Technical Issues for the U.S. TABLE H-1: Satellite-Based Monitoring Program Challenges and Technology Solutions. Challenges Technology Solutions Program Element: Integration of New Assets Incorporate vastly increased data flows from Additional downlink capacity through either new optical and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) more ground sites or more storage and sensors into existing system architecture. bandwidth Sophisticated on-board triggering algorithms Algorithms for ground processing Improved methods of processing/identifying non-nuclear events Program Element: Advanced Event Characterization Increase the absolute sensitivity of sensors for Focal-plane-array active-pixel technology detecting & locating atmospheric nuclear (thousands of individual optical sensors detonations implemented in a space not appreciably larger than that required for today’s single optical sensor) New sensor technologies as integrated circuit technology improves Provide multi-phenomenology sensing Autonomous EMP sensors and associated capabilities to increase confidence of techniques to distinguish RF generated by identification and improve existing capabilities nuclear explosions from natural phenomena for characterizing nuclear detonations from Neutron and gamma-ray sensors on new space satellite platforms Program Element: Next-Generation Monitoring Systems Reduce detection thresholds for satellite Array-based optical sensors systems while maintaining low false-event Wide-band RF systems alarms Sophisticated real-time triggering algorithms Reduce size, weight, and power required for Advanced electronics and field-programmable monitoring systems gate arrays Multi-function sensors Advanced packaging technologies to allow more electronics integration SOURCE: U.S. DOE, 2004