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Tugger
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Spy satellite USA 224

Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:41 pm

So apparently the picture that Trump tweeted last week of the damaged Iranian launch site, currently known to be due to a failure during fueling, was taken by a US spy satellite. It shows the extreme quality delivered by American reconnaissance satellites. Due to the high quality many thought it was more likely taken from a drone within Iranian airspace.

Image

Thompson was one of the first to use an amateur-curated database of known satellites to point the finger at USA 224. He showed that it flew over the Iranian space center shortly after the accident.

Langbroek went further still. He was able to reconstruct the picture taken by USA 224 by matching the obliqueness of the circular launch pad in the image tweeted by Trump. His calculation showed that the photo was taken from the vantage of USA 224. Langbroek and another online researcher, Christiaan Triebert, also used shadows cast by towers around the launch pad as sun dials—allowing them to verify the time at which the photo was taken.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/09/0 ... umps-tweet

And here is the link to Trump's tweet: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta ... 70/photo/1

Love how the amateur community swings into action (of course the "other nations agencies" knew this too) and just enjoy the example of how using science/simple mathematics in conjunction with basic information can yield this.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
Productivity isn’t about getting more things done, rather it’s about getting the right things done, while doing less. - M. Oshin
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Spy satellite USA 224

Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:57 pm

Also, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRLVFn9z0Gc - Scott Manley, space enthusiast and KSP overlord, did some 'splaining.

Given the KH-11's orbit, and given the diffraction limits (which depend on mirror size and wavelength), the satellite operates at near optimum. It can't get any better.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
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Tugger
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Re: Spy satellite USA 224

Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:08 pm

DigitalSea wrote:
and the quality isn't anything exceptional.

Actually the quality is exceptional. That was the first thing noticed and why the image was in fact noticed by the public. The image has details in the 10cm range while the best commercially available images (Maxar is one company noted to have the best currently) are in the 30-40cm range. The apparent physical limits of satellite imagery is supposed to be in the 5-7cm range (due to the atmosphere - you are actually looking though an object even if we don't often think of it like that) so this is pretty close to that.

However with that said, there are newer and likely higher quality imaging systems rumored to be active in the US recon arsenal (drone to satellites). And the capability was probably not unknown to "other nations" even if few examples had ever been seen.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
Productivity isn’t about getting more things done, rather it’s about getting the right things done, while doing less. - M. Oshin
 
DigitalSea
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Re: Spy satellite USA 224

Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:19 pm

Tugger wrote:
However with that said, there are newer and likely higher quality imaging systems rumored to be active in the US recon arsenal (drone to satellites). And the capability was probably not unknown to "other nations" even if few examples had ever been seen.


That's the key right there, nothing Earth shattering, regardless of who releases the image.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Spy satellite USA 224

Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:25 pm

Not wanting to get into any political theater, I will say that I think any unnecessary release of "classified" (I know it has various official meanings) information is unwise. Never give away more than you have to. Need to convince the world that another nation is responsible for hijacking a tanker (or what have you)? Fine, release info and details. Otherwise don't.

What I was impressed by was just how fast the amateur "space community" was able to use the photo to isolate what created it. (Which is why you don't release such things normally).

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
Productivity isn’t about getting more things done, rather it’s about getting the right things done, while doing less. - M. Oshin
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Spy satellite USA 224

Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:11 pm

Tugger wrote:
What I was impressed by was just how fast the amateur "space community" was able to use the photo to isolate what created it. (Which is why you don't release such things normally).

Tugg


A Tom Clancy novel mentioned some terrorists that knew when spy satellites would be overhead, and so they planned their movements accordingly.

1 37348U 11002A 19239.00965638 0.00010600 00000-0 95384-4 0 03
2 37348 97.9000 349.1166 0536016 134.6567 225.3431 14.78336728 04

is the two-line format data for USA-224.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
hmmwv
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Re: Spy satellite USA 224

Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:57 am

I have to agree releasing the image is not the smartest thing to do, other nations may very well able to assess KH-11's capabilities, but nothing is better at verifying those assessments with an actual image taken by the bird.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Spy satellite USA 224

Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:51 am

Tugger wrote:
Love how the amateur community swings into action


love how that isn´t a digital picture, but a flash picture taken of some chart...... makes me wonder what else from that briefing is now sitting in the iCloud....

best regards
Thomas
This Singature is a safe space......
 
WIederling
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Re: Spy satellite USA 224

Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:10 am

Do we really see a launcher site? :-)

Faint remembrance images of sinister trucks shown off by Mr Powell to some UN assembly.
Fully and intentionally misinterpreted.

With a rapid disassembly event I'd have expected the girder towers to go first.
Same for the center one. rocket fuel is quite energetic.
Compare to other sample imagery from (recent) history

Anybody deciphered the text on the circular track?
Murphy is an optimist
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Spy satellite USA 224

Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:44 am

WIederling wrote:
Anybody deciphered the text on the circular track?


"The image that Trump shared was of higher quality, however. It revealed substantially greater detail, including a Farsi phrase written on the pad: “National Product, National Power.” A black rectangle in one corner of the image may have concealed the classification of the photograph."
Reading accident reports is what calms me down

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