Title: Application of Earth Observation Satellite Products to Non-Proliferation Studies
Citation: Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management
Publisher: Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (INMM)
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC59752
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC59752
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Satellite imagery has been used for some years for non-proliferation studies. High resolution optical imagery (image pixel size of the order of one meter or smaller) has been the preferred instrument for monitoring activities, as it is possible to visually relate and interpret a picture with a state¿s nuclear fuel cycle facilities and activities. While these high spatial resolution sensors provide detailed information, they do not cover large areas and are thus most appropriate to investigate specific targets at known locations. Earth Observation (EO) satellites, for their part, have acquired electro-magnetic measurements globally and for decades, albeit at much lower spatial resolutions, mostly to investigate climate change or environmental issues, or to support specific applications such as weather forecasting, oceanography, etc. This paper explores the potential of physical measurements acquired from EO instruments to complement more traditional non-proliferation studies. Four EO instruments were used, though much of the effort concentrated on NASA's Multiangle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (MISR) instrument, a state of the art multi-spectral and multi-angular sensor, which has been in operation for the last ten years. The paper describes the studies made with EO data (primarily but not only from MISR) for a nuclear related site during the period 2000-2008, including the relevant technical steps in processing and analyzing the data. A preliminary conclusion of this research is the usefulness of medium spatial resolution EO sensors to document issues or research questions that would traditionally be addressed with much higher spatial resolution sensors.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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