flash Intro Movie Down with murder inc Index News by country GOOGLE US DEFENSE


The orbiting Hubble Space telescope has been axed...WHY?
Oxygen 'found beyond Solar System'

A team of astronomers have identified oxygen and carbon in the atmosphere of a planet beyond the Solar System for the first time. The orbiting Hubble Space telescope detected the oxygen and carbon bleeding off a giant gas-planet orbiting a star 150 light years from Earth.

The astronomers, led by Alfred Vidal-Madjar from the Astrophysics Institute of Paris, found that the oxygen naturally exists and is not produced by plant life.

The finding demonstrates that the chemical composition of atmospheres on planets many light-years away can be measured. Scientists believe this could one day lead to the discovery of life on a planet in a distant star system.

The planet belongs to a class of gas planets called "hot Jupiters" because they are so close to their parent star. Nothing could live on such a gaseous hot world. But if signs of oxygen were detected on a rocky planet further away from its star, it would be strong evidence of life existing there.

The planet has been named "Osiris" after the Egyptian god that lost part of his body after being cut to pieces by his brother to prevent his return to life. The planet, in the constellation of Pegasus, was also the first extrasolar planet discovered transiting its sun, the first with an atmosphere, the first observed to have an evaporating hydrogen atmosphere and now the first to have an atmosphere containing oxygen and carbon.

http://www.ananova.com/ via The Black vault

If they can detect oxygen and carbon from 150 light years away...
Doesn't this beg the question, Why can they not detect potential WMD emissions from Earth via Satellite?

The answer is: They can!

What is remote sensing?
If you have heard the term "remote sensing" before you may have asked, "what does it mean?" It's a rather simple, familiar activity that we all do as a matter of daily life, but that gets complicated when we increase the scale. As you view the screen of your computer monitor, you are actively engaged in remote sensing.

A physical quantity (light) emanates from that screen, which is a source of radiation. The radiated light passes over a distance, and thus is "remote" to some extent, until it encounters and is captured by a sensor (your eyes).

Each eye sends a signal to a processor (your brain) which records the data and interprets this into information. Several of the human senses gather their awareness of the external world almost entirely by perceiving a variety of signals, either emitted or reflected, actively or passively, from objects that transmit this information in waves or pulses.

Thus, one hears disturbances in the atmosphere carried as sound waves, experiences sensations such as heat (either through direct contact or as radiant energy), reacts to chemical signals from food through taste and smell, is cognizant of certain material properties such as roughness through touch, and recognizes shapes, colors, and relative positions of exterior objects and classes of materials by means of seeing visible light issuing from them. In the previous sentence, all sensations that are not received through direct contact are remotely sensed. - Remote sensing tutorial - NASA

Satellite remote sensing

Satellites can provide nearly global coverage of the Earth with spatial resolutions and repetition rates that vary from one platform to another. Remote sensing research in the branch includes the use of satellite-measured radiances for estimating geophysical quantities such as atmospheric water vapor, trace gases, aerosol particles, clouds, and precipitation. In addition, satellite data are used to study the radiative and dynamical processes that affect the climate of the Earth.

In addition to activities with previous generation of satellite sensors (AVHRR, TOMS, SSM/I), branch scientists are working with a number of new state-of-the-art satellite instruments launched on recent Earth Observing System (EOS) platforms, including the MOderate Resolultion Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flown on NASA Terra and Aqua, and Landsat 7. In addition, branch members have project and deputy project scientist roles with SORCE and Aqua platforms, respectively. Branch scientists are also participating in the design of future satellite instruments and projects.

Specific satellite remote sensing activites in the branch include:

Operational MODIS cloud and aerosol products, and related research activities.

Satellite observations are used to study the distribution of ozone and water vapor. These trace gases have a significant greenhouse effect. Ozone affects the intensity of the UV radiation on the Earth's surface. Ozone measurements from the TOMS ultraviolet radiometer on NASA's Nimbus 7 satellite are being collected and compared with ozone measurements from the TOVS infrared radiometer on NOAA's weather satellites, and the ground-based Dobson ozone spectrometer network. - remote sensing Jupiter via satellite

Remote sensing tutorial

detailed description of Remote sensing

The 'failure' in intelligence. It was no Failure, it was a LIE!

"As we work with policy makers to define USCENTCOM's approach in the AOR, we address our objectives and goals in light of the political-military dynamics of the region. "

"The Central Region is of vital interest to the United States. Sixty-eight percent of the world's proven oil reserves are found in the Gulf Region and 43 percent of the world's petroleum exports pass through the Strait of Hormuz. The developing energy sector of the Central Asian States, with the potential for discovery of additional oil reserves, further emphasizes the importance of the Central Region to America and the world. "
Tommy franks...

Clintons / Gore Administration Record of Progress

CIA report 1998

Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology
Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction
and Advanced Conventional Munitions,

Rep. Porter Goss, R-Florida

House Intelligence Committee chairman
Former CIA clandestine services officer
Elected to Congress in 1988
Serving his second term as intelligence committee chairman

New Head of CIA

Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 80

Document 38: Letter, George J. Tenet to Honorable Porter J. Goss, October 1, 2003. Unclassified.


In this letter to Porter Goss, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet disputes the contents of the September 25 letter Tenet received from Goss and Committee Vice Chairman Jane Harman. He also criticizes the Committee's distribution of the letter to the press "before providing the Intelligence Community any reasonable opportunity to respond."

Tenet argues that the HPSCI was not in a position to fully assess the Intelligence Community's performance on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs or its ties to al-Qaeda. The Committee, Tenet charged, had reached its conclusions without having heard from David Kay, special advisor to the Iraq Survey Group - which had been charged with searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction.

Further, Tenet charged that the Committee's assertion that the Intelligence Community did not challenge longstanding judgments and assessments was "simply wrong." He also accused the Committee of having failed to try to understand the scope of U.S. collection activities targeted against Iraqi WMD programs.

message received Friday, August 29, 2003 03:21:11;

I suggest you look into the United States Defense Department's Central MASINT Organization and it's role in collecting and analyzing weapons intelligence in Iraq.

On February 9, 1993 Department of Defense Directive 5105.58 created an intelligence office for the purpose of locating, characterizing and tracking Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Smart Weapons and Conventional Weapons and associated facilities in Iraq and throughout the world through the use of spaceborn and airborne MASINT ( Measurement and Signature Intelligence) remote sensing technologies. This office is now known as the Central MASINT Oragnization.

In 1994 the CMO published a book with the provocative title "CENTRAL MASINT ORGANIZATION BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WARFARE INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION STRATEGIES BRIEFING" yet it has never been mentioned in any news media coverage of such weapons intelligence collection in Iraq. Why not? It certainly seems relevant.

In 1996 the House Intelligence Committee designated the CMO as the primary source of, and supreme authority on, Weapons of Mass Destruction intelligence.

It was also considered to be the agency most critical to the survival of the United States of America as a nation in the 21st century.

In 1996 the CMO created the Covered Lantern real time hyperspectral remote weapons detection system that can be deployed on unmanned aircraft.

In Febuary of 2001 FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested in the most catastrophic espionage case in American history. What made Hanssen's spying so damaging was that he sold secret CMO documents to the Russians. At the time the news media widely reported that the CMO could detect and track nuclear, biological and chemical weapons anywhere in the world.

Yet two years later, as we prepared for war with Iraq, the same news organizations apparently developed selective amnesia and completely forgot about the CMO and it's amazing remote weapons detection technologies.

In all the months we have been hearding endless debates about the claims that Iraq possessed and deployed weapons of mass destruction the news media, including journalists who reported the Robert Hanssen story, have never asked the Bush administration if the CMO confirmed, or ruled out, to a scientific certainty that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The Bush administration itself, in all it's endless talk about weapons of mass destruction, has never once mentioned the existence of the CMO even though it plans to spend one hundred and forty-four billion dollars over the next four years for new tactical remote sensing technologies to enable the CMO and the Air Force's National Air Intelligence Center to conduct real time detection , analysis and tracking of individual weapons anywhere on the face of the earth as part of Rumsfeld's "military transformation" program that includes the Department of Defense HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGE EXPLOITATION initiative.

Is it possible that President Bush and Tony Blair deliberately ignored exculpatory CMO data that inconveniently proved that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction? Did Iraq actually destroy it's old, and militarily useless, WMD stockpile as they claimed?

After all we never saId WE did not have proof they did, just that THEY did not provide documentation. MASINT would easily detect a weapons incinerator and it's 1500 degree plus temperatures anywhere in Iraq and could easily analyze the smoke to see exactly was was burned there and how much. The no fly zones place all of Iraq within easy reach of MASINT sensors on US remote sensing aircraft, not to mention the CMO's Covered Lantern unmanned aircraft designed to locate concealed and camoflaged weapons .

Why else would the Bush adminstration suppress the CMO's remote sensor "weapons inspections" intelligence?

Why was CMO intelligence never made available to United Nations Weapons Inspectors who distracted the news media on the ground in Iraq for years?

Does the news media censor all references to the CMO or are they just ignorant of it?

Why does the news media think the CIA and NSA are the ultimate source of "WMD intelligence" when the CMO reports to Donald Rumsfeld, not George Tenet or Condolezza Rice?

> Both CIA and NSA have no MASINT capability of their own.

Why has the CMO been excluded from all discussions about Iraq and why is it virtually unknown to the public when it ought to be at the very center of the discussion on weapons of mass destruction and pre-emptive warfare?

With increasing violence in Iraq and no traces of WMDs yet found don't the people of America and Great Britain have a right to know the plain truth about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or lack thereof?

The CMO is, according to the Congress of the United States, the ultimate authority on weapons of mass destruction intelligence. The budget for CMO technology over the past ten years has been vastly larger than the budget of the United Nations Weapons Inspections in Iraq.

Yet not one journalist has ever asked the obvious question.

What does the CMO know about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction?

XXX X Pasadena, CA USA


4.11.3 1982-1983

"The Navy TENCAP budget broke the $1.0 million dollar threshold for the first time and the office began to initiate research and development efforts. The first independent Navy TENCAP efforts were influenced by two studies:

The Chief of Naval Operations sponsored an Integrated Tactical Surveillance System (ITSS) study (see Section 4.7.1) which provided funds to several of the largest Department of Defense contractors for assessments of state-of-the-art capabilities that might be used for wide area surveillance against Soviet forces.

As noted earlier, the ITSS studies recommended a "system-of-systems" approach to wide area surveillance, with heavy reliance on satellites and over-the-horizon-radar.

At the same time, Mr. Leo Brubaker, a maverick, mid-level analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, conducted an assessment--under the study name Sudden Dawn-of unusual phenomena uncovered during Measurement and Signatures Intelligence (MASINT) efforts using reconnaissance satellites.

In 1982, Navy TENCAP began detailed research into the tactical support potential of the Air Force's Defense Support Program (DSP) strategic infrared warning satellites, under the project name SLOW WALKER. This effort was based in part on ITSS suggestions that infrared sensors should be part of the wide area surveillance mix and hints in the Sudden Dawn results that unexploited capabilities of the DSP satellites might have tactical applications.

The Naval Space Command was established on 1 October 1983 and Navy TENCAP was directed to send two of its six billets to Dahlgren, Virginia, to form a TENCAP detachment. This arrangement (four TENCAP billets on the CNO staff and two at Naval Space Command) remains current today. The Dahlgren TENCAP detachment receives its funding and priorities from the Washington office. Naval Space Command also assumed responsibility for the Navy SLOW WALKER detachments at the DSP ground stations."

chapter 4 of... From the sea to the stars

03.02.2004 14:41

Intelligence Issues for Congress
Updated August 5, 2003
Richard A. Best, Jr.
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

"...some observers believe that intelligence agencies may be in for a period of transition and adaptation exceeding the one that followed immediately upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact.

In particular, it is argued that the three major "INTs," the major intelligence disciplines
signals intelligence (sigint), imagery intelligence (imint), and human intelligence (humint) will have to be fundamentally reinvented and this process will have major technical and organizational ramifications.

There will have to evolve, it is further argued, a coherent community-wide managerial structure that will respect the varied and changing needs of military and civilian intelligence consumers while keeping costs within bounds and avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort. Making some of these changes may not savemoney, and may even require budgetary growth. However, according to this argument, a failure to confront changed realities may result in substantial waste of the $27+ billion now invested in intelligence and intelligence-related activities.

The events of September 11, 2001, persuaded many observers that theremay a need for a wide-ranging review of the organizational structure of the Intelligence Community. Media reports in early November 2001 indicated that a review of the Intelligence Community by an Administration panel, headed by former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, would recommend transferring three major intelligence agencies to the direct control of the DCI and the separation of the DCI from day-to-daymanagement of the CIA."

"A fourth INT, measurement and signatures analysismasinthas received greater emphasis in recent years. A highly technical discipline, masint involves the application of more complicated analytical refinements to information collected by sigint and imint sensors. It also includes spectral imaging by which the identities and characteristics of objects can be identified on the basis of their reflection and absorption of light. A key problem has been retaining personnel with expertise in masint systems who are offered more remunerative positions in private industry."

Intell issues for congress 2003 pdf file




Scientific and technical intelligence information obtained by quantitative and qualitative analysis of data
(metric, angle, spatial, wavelength, time dependence, modulation, plasma, and hydromagnetic)
derived from specific technical sensors for the purpose of identifying any distinctive features associated with the source, emitter, or sender and to facilitate subsequent identification and/or measurement of the same.

MASINT includes: Radar Intelligence (RADINT),

Acoustic Intelligence (ACOUSTINT),

Nuclear Intelligence (NUCINT),

Radio Frequency/Electromagnetic Pulse Intelligence (RF/EMPINT),

Electro-optical Intelligence (ELECTRO-OPTINT),

Laser Intelligence (LASINT), Materials Intelligence,

Unintentional Radiation Intelligence (RINT),

Chemical and Biological Intelligence (CBINT),

Directed Energy Weapons Intelligence (DEWINT),

Effluent/Debris Collection, Spectroscopic Intelligence, and Infrared Intelligence (IRINT).

Masint description

- MASINT can provide specific weapon system identifications, chemical compositions and material content and a potential adversary's ability to employ these weapons.

- The Central MASINT Office (CMO) has the requisite legal authorities to carry out its responsibilities. However, it is not staffed commensurate with those responsibilities, and a fractured organizational structure limits its overall management abilities.

- MASINT, as a specific and unique discipline, is not well understood by both the IC and user communities. Therefore, the potential of its future contributions may be limited.

- MASINT is both a true, unique collection/analysis discipline and a highly refined analytical technique of the traditional disciplines. - MASINT straddles strict disciplinary definitions. It may use collection techniques of, but does not fit neatly into any one or all of the more recognized "traditional" disciplines of IMINT, SIGINT, HUMINT, etc.

- MASINT is the least understood of the disciplines and is perceived as a "strategic" capability with limited "tactical" support capabilities. However, MASINT has a potential ability to provide real-time situation awareness and targeting not necessarily available from the more classic disciplines.

IC21: The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century: VII. MASINT: Measurement and Signatures Intelligence

IC21: The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century: IX clandestine services




Defining MASINT. Have you been MASINTed?

Additional MASINT Information


Perhaps the greatest challenge for Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) is understanding just what it is. The term ‘MASINT’ gained wide acceptance in the early 1980s as the catchall for several ‘boutique’ intelligence disciplines (RINT, ACINT, IRINT, LASINT, RFINT, NUCINT,…) under a single identifier to facilitate management and budgeting. This consolidation didn’t make it any easier to understand; as represented by one of the current “book” definitions for MASINT:

Measurement and Signal Intelligence (MASINT) provides technically derived intelligence to detect, locate, track, identify, and describe the specific characteristics of fixed and dynamic target objects and sources. Numerous scientific disciplines and advanced technologies are applied in dedicated MASINT systems. There are also advanced MASINT processing and exploitation techniques, which broaden the usefulness of data collected by IMINT and SIGINT systems. MASINT collection systems include, but are not limited to, radar spectroradiomentric, electro-optical, acoustic, radio frequency, nuclear detection, and seismic sensors, as well as techniques for gathering chemical, biological, nuclear, and other material samples.

This definition illustrates that MASINT is complex to define, especially when attempting to cover all of the possible things that it can do. MASINT is all over the map. It includes space-borne, airborne, surface (sea and ground-based), and sub-surface sensors operating across the electromagnetic spectrum – from acoustic signals through optical wavelengths to gamma rays, and, materials themselves.


MASINT is not conducted in one overarching intelligence agency, but is performed by military personnel and civilians in separate organizations with little to no linkage. At one end, MASINT requires detailed laboratory equipment and analysis taking weeks to reach conclusions that are subsequently documented in lengthy technical reports. At the other end, MASINT applies unsophisticated sensors with on-board processing that provide immediate indication of an activity of interest. MASINT is conducted using dedicated collection systems specifically designed to acquire the detailed measurements and signatures required for a particular mission area. MASINT is also conducted through specialized processing of the output – somewhere in the data stream – of sensors on operational or commercial systems. MASINT also includes the specialized processing of sensor data from other intelligence disciplines.

This complexity makes it difficult for potential users to understand and embrace MASINT as a contributor to their information needs, for policy and budget personnel to guide and invest in MASINT, and for any organization to adequately manage MASINT as an enterprise the way in which the other intelligence disciplines (SIGINT, IMINT, HUMINT) are managed. This article attempts to provide context to develop a better definition – and ultimately understanding – of the MASINT discipline. Creating this understanding is crucial to developing future organizational and procedural construct for MASINT. It is widely acknowledged that MASINT is a key contributor to the future US intelligence community. Understanding what MASINT is all about should help decision-makers create the most effective future for MASINT.

Toward a Better Definition

1. It would be easy to seek out a cute slogan or catchphrase to define MASINT:

MASINT is the “C.S.I.” of the intelligence community.

This definition does allude to the detailed scientific analysis behind much of MASINT and might be okay for the ‘farmer in the field’, but it is inadequate and inappropriate for real use. [Note that the ‘farmer’ using hyperspectral sensing, GIS databases, and chemical analysis to put down the exact amount of fertilizer in his field – a new practice called “precision farming” – would likely understand and appreciate many MASINT applications]

2. It might be possible to describe MASINT in context of another scientific discipline:

MASINT is like Astronomy except for the direction of view.

Astronomers use remote sensing, also across much of the electromagnetic spectrum, to discern the universe. They use certain wavelengths to peer through dust and gas surrounding objects of interest. They use other wavelengths to determine the composition of matter in a particular scene. They use still other wavelengths to try to understand things they theorize to be true but can’t directly measure. In the end, they produce “false color” pictures from the 1s and 0s pouring out of their instruments. These images give them, and the rest of us, the context for what they observe. But the underlying data – whether spectral wavelength, radiometric data, or energy intensity – are the keys to understanding the phenomena they see.

Credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center

As a final comparison, just like MASINT, Astronomy now has its materials sub-discipline. Astronomers have sent probes to gather particles from the solar wind and comets and will soon send probes to Mars for sample–return missions. However, while MASINT can be compared to a scientific discipline like astronomy, it is probably not the best way to characterize an intelligence discipline.

3. So, how about defining MASINT by its component parts?:

MASINT is best described by its six sub-disciplines: Radar, RF, Geophysical, Nuclear Radiation, Materials and Electro-Optical

MASINT has often been characterized by its six sub-disciplines shown in the illustration below. These sub-disciplines are carryovers from the consolidation of diverse activities into MASINT and are useful to technologists and phenomonologists who have to match sensing technologies to observable phenomena associated with a particular target or activity.

These sub-disciplines might be useful to the technologists and phenomonologists, but they are problematic for the rest of us. That’s because everything else we organize MASINT by in the real world (budget, systems, operations, TPED) doesn’t neatly fit with these six sub-disciplines. If we look at a particular sub-discipline, electro-optical

(EO) for example, we find a range of systems from handheld to space-based; active and passive; funded, operated and maintained by several different organizations; exploiting different phenomenologies, using different algorithms for different objectives. From this it should be recognized that it is impossible to manage EO – or any MASINT sub-discipline – as a distinct business line of MASINT. Therefore, this is probably not the best way to define MASINT either.

4. Rather it might be better to describe MASINT as a collection of capabilities:

MASINT is loose collection of several Family-of-System (FoS) capabilities having the common objective of discerning an adversary’s capabilities and actions through collection and exploitation of metric and signature information.

Now we divide MASINT into understandable, functional portfolios. In doing so, we use the following criteria: a MASINT FoS or portfolio should encompass a set of capabilities, dedicated or otherwise, which have more than one of the following in common:

  • Predominantly respond to a specific set of intelligence needs or requirements
  • Predominantly funded in one budget aggregation (or one for acquisition and a separate one for operation and sustainment)
  • Predominantly operated and sustained by one organization or echelon (or one for the sensors and one for the operations)
  • Predominantly supports one major mission area (or supports all mission areas indiscriminately)
  • Predominantly uses the same tasking, processing, exploitation and dissemination (TPED) chain
  • Predominantly handled in the same classification arena
  • Predominantly falling within one sub-discipline

There are several advantages to defining MASINT as a set of FoS’s vice the six sub-disciplines:

  • MASINT practitioners typically are knowledgeable across the range of capabilities within a particular FoS
  • MASINT consumers are typically most interested in a set of products from a particular FoS – irrespective of the sub-discipline
  • Planners and programmers responsible for investment decisions have an easier time understanding the capabilities and limitations of a particular FoS and should therefore make more-informed decisions
  • It is much easier to develop useful architectures, roadmaps, operational concepts and policies for an individual FoS than it is for a MASINT sub-discipline.

By way of example, two potential MASINT FoS capabilities are Imagery-Derived MASINT (IDM) and close-in MASINT.

IDM takes output of conventional imagery systems and processes the data in a different way to extract the non-literal information content. For example, rather than producing a multi-colored literal image from a multi-spectral sensor, a MASINT processing and exploitation application would try to discern the precise materials in the field of view through spectral matching. Each pixel in the field of view is a data set – corresponding to a particular material or set of materials. The real power comes when the MASINT signature information is referenced spatially in the image providing both content and context to the analyst. Referenced to a precise geographic registration system this integrated product provides information-rich intelligence to the consumer.

Close-in MASINT refers to sensors that are emplaced in close proximity to a target with the purpose of gathering signature information to discern activity of interest. These sensors may fall into any one of the six sub-discipline or be multi-discipline. The sophistication, longevity, and mode of employment varies by application. The key to close-in MASINT is the signatures. DIA’s National Signature Program initiative is essential to catalog, assess, and make available the signatures necessary to do the close-in MASINT mission as well as provide the same signatures to weapon system developers.

The factors that make these good candidates for MASINT FoS is evident. Examining the remainder of the MASINT capability-universe would yield a total of 6-8 FoS’s. Defining MASINT by these FoS portfolios would create significant understanding of the “business” of MASINT. Organizing and managing MASINT by these 6-8 portfolios would be logical, simplifying, and productive. One drawback – the list of reasonable MASINT FoS’s is probably classified.

Perhaps we need to examine the past to come up with a definition for the future.

Historical Context for Defining MASINT

MASINT was first formalized as a subcommittee under the DCI SIGINT Committee. In 1986 the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) declared MASINT a separate, formal intelligence discipline and established the MASINT Committee. In 1993 DCID 2/11 and DoD Instruction 5105.58 created the Central MASINT Office (CMO) under the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), largely funded through DIA’s General Defense Intelligence Program (GDIP). In 1998 the DCI further strengthened the management of MASINT by recasting CMO as the Central MASINT Organization (still “CMO”). The new CMO had greater responsibility, as evidenced by the DCI’s Strategic Objectives for MASINT, but was still embedded in DIA without the requisite budget oversight and authority necessary to truly manage an intelligence discipline. In 2003 the Director, DIA merged CMO and other elements of DIA into a new Directorate of MASINT and Technical Collection.

Historically, the MASINT discipline has gone through three eras:
  • Strategic Era – prior to the end of the Cold War
  • Support to Military Operations (SMO) Era – early 1990s to the Millennium
  • Asymmetric Era – Current phase

Strategic Era

During the Strategic Era, the emphasis was on the strategic threat – mostly aimed at the former Soviet Union (FSU). This was Scientific and Technical Intelligence (S&TI). We needed to know the lethality of their nuclear forces and conventional systems. Major investments were made in the 60s, 70s and 80s to build highly sophisticated “capital” MASINT systems (even though they weren’t called MASINT in those days) to collect the metric and signature information necessary to understand the Soviet threat (primarily) and help our weapons designers build appropriate weapons and countermeasures. We studied the phenomenologies and developed sensors to exploit the photons and electrons and materials we could access. These activities were largely independent (decentralized), being managed wherever the intelligence capability was initially envisioned. MASINT was not one big stovepipe – it was a whole pile of pipes.

The Central MASINTOffice was created about the time the Strategic Era ended and the SMO era began.


At the end of the Cold War the newly formed MAISNT Community was charged with examining it’s old strategic capabilities and figuring out how they could be applied to the new mission of SMO. There was residual interest in continuing to monitor the FSU for ‘treaty compliance’ as well as an extension of the strategic S&TI to the Rest-of-the-World (RoW) and proliferation. But, the real push was on SMO. “Operationalize MASINT” was the mantra. Support the warfighter was the cry! Of course MASINT practitioners had spent the previous 3+ decades supporting the “strategic” warfighter, but that wasn’t the same. By the end of the SMO Era (late 90s) CMO (Office or Organization), together with the Services and other agencies, could say they largely succeeded in refocusing the Cold War capabilities to support SMO. They had “operationalized” MASINT. Four things made this possible: desire, computer processing speed, communications bandwidth, and people.

Desire: CMO, agencies and the Services worked to “operationalize” MASINT. CMO established the MASLO’s at the Commands. Everyone shifted scare resources to focus on SMO capabilities. MASINT practitioners developed new techniques, procedures and algorithms. We got close to the operator – to understand their real needs, figure out how they operated, and work to get them the answers they needed, tailored in the way they were needed, in the timeframe they needed them.

Computer Speed/Communications Bandwidth: Operators needed answers fast. The MASINT Community’s S&TI systems worked at PhD thesis speed. It took a lot of number crunching to get an answer. The MASINT data sets were huge and up until now there hadn’t been a need (nor the real capability) to communicate these data sets from one side of the world to the other in anything approaching near-real-time. As desktops achieved capabilities of older mainframes and high-end workstations and communications went from 9.6 kbaud to T-1 speeds and beyond – and the right algorithms were put into place – it finally became possible to put timely, relevant MASINT answers in the hands of operators.

People: Getting MASINT to the warfighter required an increased number of practitioners. As MASINT demonstrated its value in some of the closing conflicts of the 90s, the “success catastrophe” led to greater and greater demand for product. The Army’s National-to-Theater initiative is a very successful example of growing the cadre of MASINT practitioners.

During the SMO Era CMO was the central figure for the MASINT Community. This era of centralized management for MASINT was probably critical to the refocusing of the S&TI capability to SMO (while retaining the capability to do much of the strategic and RoW mission). It is interesting to note that during this era, there was almost no investment in any major new capability. What funding was available in the base and slightly augmented R&D programs throughout the community was reprogrammed or redirected to accomplish what was done. It was arguably not accomplished fast enough, or robust enough, or consistently enough. MASINT is even today not as interoperable or accessible as users desire. But it ultimately did happen, in large part due to the heroic efforts of a small number of people.

Asymmetric Era

9/11 changed the playing field. The intelligence community had started to worry the asymmetric threat prior to 9/11 – terrorists, cyber warriors, rouge states, weapons of mass destruction – but 9/11 brought it home. The MASINT Community’s newly-honed SMO capabilities were highly tasked and remarkably successful during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom – and continue so today. Since 9/11 there has been a significant investment in the operational MASINT capabilities – largely to capitalize on our SMO successes. There has also been a significant increase in the number of MASINT practitioners.


Customer understanding, application of MASINT to both SMO and difficult intelligence problems are exponentially increasing. With the continued pursuit of advanced technology, the efforts to mainstream MASINT as a normalized intelligence capability, and the focus on net-centric, horizontally integrated solutions, the general understanding of MASINT will evolve and greatly improve.


find more by googling US defense sites


MASINT not useful in Iraq!!! But very useful in North Korea - How strange!!!

U.S. spy plane detects radioactive gas over N. Korea

March 10, 2005 - The United States has picked up signs of a radioactive gas emitted during the extraction of plutonium from spent fuel rods in atmospheric samples collected near North Korean airspace, a Japanese newspaper reported on March 3.

Traces of Krypton 85 gas, a byproduct of reprocessed nuclear fuel rods, were found in December, the Asahi Shimbun reported, citing sources in Washington. Krypton 85 gas, an isotope that does not exist naturally, is emitted into the atmosphere when spent fuel rods are cut and plutonium extracted.

The United States has been monitoring North Korea's nuclear activities by extracting air samples using a WC-135W reconnaissance plane flying over the Korean peninsula.

The United States also uses satellites to monitor the graphite nuclear reactor at the North's main nuclear complex in Yongbyon. Judging by the temperatures of structures at the facility and the steam emitted by its boilers U.S. officials believe that activity at the Yongbyon facility has been on hold since Sept. 2003, two months after Pyongyang's announcement that it completed reprocessing, Asahi quoted the sources as saying. - source

Scientists scan for nukes with space rays

21st February 2005 15:31 GMT US scientists plan to harness the by-products of cosmic rays to detect hidden nuclear material, probe Mexican pyramids and predict eruptions in volcanoes in Japan.

Several research groups speaking at the annual meeting of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), suggest using muons, charged particles formed when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, to scan dense objects. A team in Mexico is already using so-called muon radiography to look for burial chambers in the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, and Japanese researchers are using a similar technique to look into the interior of volcanoes, to assess how likely they are to erupt. Meanwhile, scientists at the Los Alamos lab in New Mexico are exploring muon tracking as a way of seeing into closed containers going through customs.

Muons strike the Earth at a rate of about 10,000 per square metre every minute, and their courses are deflected by the material they pass through. Researchers can tell what kind of material they have passed through by how much their course changes, and because they are charged, these deflections are easy to track. All groups are tracking the paths of naturally occurring muons to obtain their data, a fact the US team sees as a big advantage over other scanning technologies, such as potentially harmful X-Rays or neutrons.

According to the Los Alamos researchers, truck drivers could remain in their vehicles while they are scanned. Christopher Morris, a member of the Los Alamos team explained that each scan lasts between 30 and 60 seconds, and the detectors can spot a four by four by four inch cube of uranium in a metal container full of sheep.

"We've been fighting the general perception that there are not enough muons to measure," Morris said. "There really are." The team is developing better software techniques to allow rapid 3-dimensional images of the volumes being screened, he added.

The detectors are still in a developmental phase, and are likely to cost around a million dollars a piece when they are ready for market. However, Morris says he is confident of the contribution the technology will make to the security of the US' borders. ® By Lucy Sherriff>

Israeli spy satellite to monitor Iranian nuclear programme

25/04/2006 Israel is to launch a spy satellite today to collect information on Iran's nuclear programme.

The Eros B satellite is capable of spotting images on the ground as small as 70 centimetres, the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported.

The satellite, a more sophisticated version of the Eros A that is currently in space, will be launched in Russia.

"We are talking about an extraordinary capability that will allow intelligence officials to follow small details in sensitive places," Yediot quoted an unnamed Israeli expert as saying. "This camera has a sharp eye that sees everything." - IOL

so they didn't use this on Iraq to spot potential WMD - because they hadn't got the technology? BOLLOCKS!

Captain Wardrobes

Down with murder inc.

Kill Kontrol