Note that the effective resolution might be increased with interferometry (, @horatio - you'd need an array of satellites for that, which are capable of being 100% location-synchronized. Was there ever any actual Spaceballs merchandise? Do I have to include my pronouns in a course outline? Like what someone looks like (or at least what the top of their head looks like, assuming the view is from the top), or the security code on a piece of paper, etc? In April, a satellite will be launched with 16-inch resolution. Why do we use approximate in the present and estimated in the past? To achieve this ‘big picture’ view, NOAA’s satellites are built to see things like storm clouds over vast ocean waters, dust storms over thousands of miles, and changes in ice, surface temperature, vegetation and sea level. In addition, commercial reconnaissance satellites are finding many military uses, enabling countries that cannot afford their own satellites to buy photos of their adversaries. However, keep in mind the field of view of such satellites is narrow. How to find out if a preprint has been already published. It's also possible the image has been digitally altered meaning the real resolution could be worse than 10 cm. By default, satellites are only shown if they reach a maximum brightness of 4th magnitude. Day); now saved at http://www.c4i.org/spysats.html, (Dwayne Day is a space policy analyst and historian who lives in Northern Virginia. http://www.dodbuzz.com/2009/04/07/president-approves-new-satellite-system/. And while they cannot hover over an area and provide real-time images, other “assets” such as unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, can do that. I decided since no one was around to relieve myself... two minutes later a helicopter flies over and says over a loud speaker "that we were being monitored by a satellite and that it was illegal to urinate in public"... they laughed and then flew away... Was there really a satellite on us? Ground resolution for pictures taken from this satellite would be a remarkable 9.75 inches. Some satellites may be using infrared or ultraviolet wavelengths that let them see through clouds. I think they can pretty much see a hair on your ***. We've all been there: you're discussing the recent launch of a rocket carrying a satellite to orbit, or what have you, and suddenly someone pops in and makes a comment like. Los Angeles Times. The flight patterns of spy satellites are well know to most nation states. Around the world, military operations are increasingly using commercial satellites to accomplish their missions. And smoke, haze, smog or clouds would all reduce the quality of the resolution, as would the distance required to see the license plate from an angle. While it might be able to take images at high resolution, it can only see a very, very, very small portion of the Earth at a time. They can monitor areas in real time if there's a satellite overhead, and the cloud cover/weather permits it. The best ones are supposed to be Keyhole-class KH-7 (2.5") followed by KH-11 (4-6"). You must assume that all movement is tracked as well as all digital data transactions over networks. The military is capable to utilize military satellite as a means of communicating long distances, even to restricted places. To show pre-dawn passes, select the day before and then scroll down to the bottom of that night's passes. site design / logo © 2021 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. Though in proper conspiratorial bent I'd have to "not put it past" the US spy industry to take that picture from a helicopter and claim it was from a Soviet satellite to get a better budget. It is probably the most current book on wide area persistent surveillance (WAPS). Are MAVs (micro air vehicles) a legitimate future possibility? Is it possible for planetary rings to be perpendicular (or near perpendicular) to the planet's orbit around the host star? I was just wondering exactly how close can modern U.S. military spy satellites photograph? The military’s reliance on satellites makes them a liability. In-The-Sky.org. The Royal Navy's Project Moonraker could see spy military spy satellites launched into space from Cornwall. While satellites cannot read license plates, they can tell if a car has one. By 2011, that is expected to narrow to nearly 10 inches. Favorite Answer. America Online: Path: Spy Satellites. Connecting a compact subset by a simple curve, What Constellation Is This? While the K-11 was first launched in 1976, USA 224 was launched in 2011 as probably a Block IV representing the best the US has to offer. On February 28, 1959, the first satellite, Discoverer-1 was launched. The first formal military satellite projects were made and launched in the US in the 1950s. long enough to touch the ground. Certainly satellites can monitor things on the planet from space, because they do. What are the odds of an upcoming cival war? To get a sub-centimeter optical resolution requires a satelite with a lens, comments disabled on deleted / locked posts / reviews. I'm not certain that is feasible with current technology. Can an exiting US president curtail access to Air Force One from the new president? @Martin the story is oft told but entirely false. In Houston, this hobby is best pursued when it’s cold outside. So if you're up to something, you might want to stay indoors. The black and white images are used by the military and civilian communities. There are many kinds of satellites available; communication satellite is maybe the most significant space capability for armed forces, letting for true time command and control of militarie… They intern sell or give the data way to several other countries. if they couldn't see the ground what use would they have? Though it is more likely to be based on a newer version ( sometimes called the KH-13) the KH-11 was the last numbered satellite before they started naming them randomly, so that the actual names are most likely still classified. There have been several projects in the US including Corona, Canyon… You don't need satellites to have a drone over a city which can pretty much see everything at once. They are known in the spy trade as “Keyhole-class” satellites. Satellites can shoot with infrared and other cameras that operate in other parts of the light spectrum. I presume that these resolutions imply a stationary object? The initial satellites to be launched were named Discoverer and were used to observe the Earth and take pictures. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/JeannelleLouis.shtml, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077885/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/spy-satellites-enter-new-dimension/, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_interferometer, Universe Today: Thanks to Trump, We’ve Got a Better Idea of the Capabilities of US Surveillance Satellites, Scott Manley: What A Tweet Tells Us About US Spy Satellites, http://www.iipl.fudan.edu.cn/~zhangjp/publications/ICME2009.pdf. Is it my fitness level or my single-speed bicycle? Sorry. [. Satellites can determine long-term patterns of rainfall, vegetation cover, and emissions of greenhouse gases. Spy Satellites: Still a Few Steps Ahead. Why does Steven Pinker say that “can’t” + “any” is just as much of a double-negative as “can’t” + “no” is in “I can’t get no/any satisfaction”? As with the secretive X-37B spaceplane program—and most other military programs for that matter—very little is known about the KH-11 series of reconnaissance satellites. Could you be more specific in your question? Data: According to an estimate by the private Federation of American Scientists (FAS), three satellites operated by the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) have resolutions as sharp as 10 centimeters (3.93 inches) -- in other words, the satellites can discern a softball-sized object from several hundred miles away. Who would win in a war between the state of Georgia and the country of Georgia. The US has 123 military satellites. So we can probably assume that the actual state of the art is better than the KH-11. While they cannot tell a mullah by the length of his beard, they can help analysts figure out how many people are chanting along with him at a street demonstration. The Vexcel images are clearer than that. Are Germans buying anti-rape “safety shorts”? Can an electron and a proton be artificially or naturally merged to form a neutron? Two other satellites are radar-imaging, built by Lockheed Martin in Watertown, Colo. Their resolution is about 3 feet. Source: Massive New Top Secret Spy-Satellite Program to Cost up to $25 Billion. Are most people in the US air force pilots? A world map of the positions of satellites above the Earth's surface, and a planetarium view showing where they appear in the night sky. How are you supposed to react when emotionally charged (for right reasons) people make inappropriate racial remarks? And on what scale? Yes, there are limitations to what U.S. spy satellites can see. The resolution has been estimated to be at least 10 cm (about 4 inches), possibly better since the image is a photo of the satellite image. ARIANESPACE, WITH RUSSIAN SOYUZ, LAUNCHES CSO-2 FRENCH MILITARY SATELLITE - The 114th and final orbital launch of 2020 saw a Soyuz ST-A rocket loft the CSO-2 Earth observation satellite for the French Ministry of Defence. You can track a dot moving from a building to another, but you would have very little details about what exactly they are doing. Satellite has been utilized during the war period to assist with tracking the whereabouts of the enemies and actions while also keeping in touch with the superiors and soldiers. fly wheels)? The can read cigarette packs. Unless you've been specifically targeted, they are not "probably watching you, even as we speak" with satellites. Are nano diamond batteries a breakthrough in battery technology? Then consider that the military has stuff about 10 times better. The US military uses a system which is noted on wikipedia called the NIIRS. ", From http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077885/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/spy-satellites-enter-new-dimension/. It seems to be based on the Lockheed KH-11 which was manufactured between 1976-1990. Source: Silber, Kenneth. The best resolution of an American spy satellite, achieved by an older series no longer in use, was reputed to be about 2 1/2 inches. Is it possible COVID-19 is actually a weapon used for biological warfare? When you say "at least 10 cm" does that mean "no smaller than 10 cm", or "at least as good as 10 cm" i.e. Some military satellites can still see even smaller things. Join Yahoo Answers and get 100 points today. Are 1 to 4 tons of coal required to create only one solar panel? Even if a satellite had the right angle on the license plate, it wouldn't be able to make out the letters and numbers. I am a beginner to commuting by bike and I find it very tiring. I'd be a bit suprised if our best optics of today had that capability, let alone soviet technology of that era. Source: Satellites System Overview Articles. Langbroek was asked about what foreign military satellites might have observed the firing of that missile. But they probably regularly change the schedule. Tighter resolutions let analysts see details that allow them to accurately identify missiles and other targets. Many of the details about this class of satellites remain classified, but it is known that there are several of these overhead at any given time. Just to add to what DVK said, the latest 'supposedly' advanced image satellite was launched in January 2011, dubbed USA-224. Astronomers have determined it likely came from USA 224, a K-11 spy satellite. no. Get your answers by asking now. How do you think about the answers? The bulk of the article talks about cancellation of Boeing's Future Imagery Architecture (FIA) program. I wonder could one leak a time schedule so when a satellite will pass over an area people could stay is side so as not be photographed without their consent. Are low-spec computer parts just faulty high-spec computer parts? Aerial surveillance of cities is now possible that tracks thousands of objects simultaneously and stores data so that one can go forward and backwards in time to trace such things as vehicle routes. Military satellites -- mostly for reconnaissance, ... "If the satellite can see less than 0.3 meters, the satellite will be deemed illegal or only usable by the defense industry. If the building is deep enough underground, then even the most powerful spy sat. (Resolution of a Spy Satellite, The Physics Factbook™; Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students). Also to note that image enhancement is getting better. The satellites make those crimes and other criminal activities more difficult. ;), @Martin Scharrer: the basic physics of optics are well-known. how long are a rabbits legs? (Photo Included). What makes you think this is all about imagery? A large satellite traveling in low earth orbit is easy to kill when a war begins, so you may want a smaller and less eye-catching one. For most applications we need to see larger areas, which requires other satellites that observe at a different scale. Using publicly available information, the best resolution we can see is around this level: You can see individual cars, so you can track cars, but people are basically dots with very little distinguishing features. You don't need satellites to have a drone over a city which can pretty much see everything at once. They can monitor areas in real time if there's a satellite overhead, and the cloud cover/weather permits it. "This can be … 7 June 2001. 25.7 kubriks per square gram? Could the US military legally refuse to follow a legal, but unethical order? Data: Approximately 6 inches on current satellites. By BRYAN BENDER . @GeoffreyBrent It could have better than 10cm resolution. It only takes a minute to sign up. The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally Navstar GPS (stylized in capital letters in its logo), is a satellite-based radionavigation system owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Space Force. What are the earliest inventions to store and release energy (e.g. The real answer you're looking for is classified. And they have a resolution of 5 to 6 inches, meaning they can distinguish an object that small, but no smaller, on the ground. This means that the smallest visible object would be the size of a baseball, not the thin letters and numbers on a license plate. It can also be used to find the location of suspected smugglers. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22046019/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/us-plans-next-gen-spy-satellite-program/. But given Hubble as an upper limit for the lenses we can put in orbit, getting the resolution to read a book from orbit is way beyond us. They have an imaging resolution of 5-6 inches, which means they can see something 5 inches or larger on the ground. Yeah, it's amazing and scary how powerful spy technology has become. In the Navy, what will engineering and a second language get me? Would you please provide the latest world nuclear targets map? But do such statements have some truth in them? Just another example that privacy is dead. Are blue light filters, not blue lights, on phones and computer screens harmful to sleep? ... — A leading industry advocate organization outlined the changes it would like to see for contractors in a final defense bill. You won't have to necessarily read a license plate number as you can literally watch a car pull out of a driveway and trace it as it goes across town. Just another example that privacy is dead. Are military spy satellites as advanced as people think they are? I don't think it too far fetched to say that image resolution technology and optics have come a long way since the 80's, though there are undoubtedly physical and other constraints, I would think if they are not currently able to reading license plates size lettering they are pretty damn close. Please note that in addition to classified proprietary tech, the modern movenet is towards using commercial capabilities. If the satellites were compromised, military capabilities would be, too. You can sign in to vote the answer. Keep in mind the field of view of such satellites is narrow that in,. 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