Still have questions? ", From http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077885/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/spy-satellites-enter-new-dimension/. In Houston, this hobby is best pursued when it’s cold outside. This doesn't mean that they can 'see' everything, but they can see some things. You don't need satellites to have a drone over a city which can pretty much see everything at once. Are blue light filters, not blue lights, on phones and computer screens harmful to sleep? They could read vehicle license plates and discern facial expressions back in the 90's. Tighter resolutions let analysts see details that allow them to accurately identify missiles and other targets. Memo to future filmmakers: License plates cannot be read from satellites. 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. And on what scale? So we can probably assume that the actual state of the art is better than the KH-11. Yes, there are limitations to what U.S. spy satellites can see. The bulk of the article talks about cancellation of Boeing's Future Imagery Architecture (FIA) program. They can monitor areas in real time if there's a satellite overhead, and the cloud cover/weather permits it. 21 September 1999. The Vexcel images are clearer than that. However, keep in mind the field of view of such satellites is narrow. Are MAVs (micro air vehicles) a legitimate future possibility? Why won't Democrats join me in getting Biden to close many of our Military bases around the world and get out of these senseless wars..? What makes you think this is all about imagery? Another problem for spy satellites is they are built for political/military purposes and therefore face military threat. The satellites make those crimes and other criminal activities more difficult. But they probably regularly change the schedule. The military is capable to utilize military satellite as a means of communicating long distances, even to restricted places. They can read the warning label on a pack of cigarettes. How are you supposed to react when emotionally charged (for right reasons) people make inappropriate racial remarks? 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. 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? Please note that in addition to classified proprietary tech, the modern movenet is towards using commercial capabilities. What are the earliest inventions to store and release energy (e.g. if they couldn't see the ground what use would they have? 25.7 kubriks per square gram? To show pre-dawn passes, select the day before and then scroll down to the bottom of that night's passes. 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. But the Buk missiles are about 16 feet long and they are usually mounted on trucks or tanks. The black and white images are used by the military and civilian communities. 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. Are nano diamond batteries a breakthrough in battery technology? The flight patterns of spy satellites are well know to most nation states. of course the conspiracy theorist (and in this case they will for once be correct) will claim that data on the actual spy sats is classified and not available. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22046019/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/us-plans-next-gen-spy-satellite-program/. You must assume that all movement is tracked as well as all digital data transactions over networks. France's defense minister painted a picture of cameras, machine guns and lasers on "sensitive satellites," able to watch for threats and then fight back. They have an imaging resolution of 5-6 inches, which means they can see something 5 inches or larger on the ground. The can read cigarette packs. 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. The interferometer arrays you speak of are fixed earthside installations. ... — A leading industry advocate organization outlined the changes it would like to see for contractors in a final defense bill. As a GeoEye spokesman noted today, his company has already committed more than $30 million dollars to the next generation satellite, known as GeoEye 2, and ITT is already grinding its 1.1 meter mirror. They're probably watching us, as we speak! How advanced do "people" think they are? This page is listing the Military satellites. I don't know but it's kind of scary to think about. Are low-spec computer parts just faulty high-spec computer parts? The first formal military satellite projects were made and launched in the US in the 1950s. Did hundreds of thousands of people die due to lack of seat belts in the period before they were made mandatory? How much better, we can only guess at. The best ones are supposed to be Keyhole-class KH-7 (2.5") followed by KH-11 (4-6"). Check out Google Earth... that is what is available publicly for free. You can sign in to vote the answer. Is it as close as a resolution of 10m can they monitor areas in real-time does anyone know? 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. 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. DigitalGlobe, the leader in satellite imagery, offers public images that display detail at 30 centimeters-per-pixel. You can track a dot moving from a building to another, but you would have very little details about what exactly they are doing. Ground resolution for pictures taken from this satellite would be a remarkable 9.75 inches. Los Angeles Times. And they have a resolution of 5 to 6 inches, meaning they can distinguish an object that small, but no smaller, on the ground. While satellites cannot read license plates, they can tell if a car has one. 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”? The initial satellites to be launched were named Discoverer and were used to observe the Earth and take pictures. Are military spy satellites as advanced as people think they are? Get your answers by asking now. 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. I think they can pretty much see a hair on your ***. But that does not tell us the whole story. WASHINGTON — Satellite communications provider SES Government Solutions announced Nov. 30 it was selected by the U.S. Air Force to join the pool of … How to find out if a preprint has been already published. Russia, China, and a few others track all our satellites in space. This is not for satellites but other imagery sources. The satellites for which there is publically available info** are definitely incapable of resolutions supporting reading written text or even car license plates; nor distinguish facial features. 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. By default, satellites are only shown if they reach a maximum brightness of 4th magnitude. A few non-military satellites can see objects down to about half the size of a car. In addition, commercial reconnaissance satellites are finding many military uses, enabling countries that cannot afford their own satellites to buy photos of their adversaries. Do I have to include my pronouns in a course outline? Source: Silber, Kenneth. @GeoffreyBrent It could have better than 10cm resolution. Are most people in the US air force pilots? What and how much to practice as a composer. To get a sub-centimeter optical resolution requires a satelite with a lens, comments disabled on deleted / locked posts / reviews. Day); now saved at http://www.c4i.org/spysats.html, (Dwayne Day is a space policy analyst and historian who lives in Northern Virginia. 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