Launch of Celine-2
American reconstruction of Soviet ELINT satellite
SICH (Okean) civil satellite is very similar to Celina-D and Celina-R satellites


A special type of surveillance and surveillance satellites are satellites for electronic scanning, ie collection of intelligence data with signal analysis. SIGNALS INTelligence - SIGN). These satellites are intended for capturing (intercepting) radios, microwaves and other communication systems. COMmunications INTelligence - COMINT), electronic systems, eg radar (engl. ELECTronic INTelligence - ELINT) and other instrumental signals, such as telemetry systems, video-data connections Foregin Instrumentation Signals INTelligence - FISINTetc.) By intercepting such signals, it is possible to detect the type and location of very weak transmitters, such as handheld radio stations.

The satellite for collecting intelligence signals, according to available data, is US and Russian federation. China has launched several such satellites, but supposedly, with very limited capabilities. France is such a satellite system, under the name Essa (Roj), is still developing and is expected to be used in the 2003 period. to 2005. years. Year 1995. and 1999. France has launched two satellites (Cherry i C), which were designed to catalog terrestrial electromagnetic signals at different wavelengths.


The program of American spy satellites was launched in the 1960s due to the need to monitor the Soviet territory without losses and incidents, such as the May 1960 event. when an American Spy plane crashed near Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg) U2 with a pilot Gary Powersom. The military KH 11 satellite at the time of the Chernobyl disaster was the most modern and most sophisticated manifestation of the program. The photos taken with this miracle of modern technology had a fantastic resolution of only ten centimeters. But in the sky, some civil satellites had already been cruised. For example, American satellite Landsat which could capture photos of 20 resolution, was especially used for cartographic field recording. The fires in the Chernobyl reactor, which were then published in print and electronic media, were shot by a French satellite Spot with a resolution of 10 m. Geographers, meteorologists and environmental protectors were among the first to have seen the exceptional possibilities offered by orbital cameras. However, for years Landsat satellites (which NASA has made for Eosat) and Spot satellites were the only sources from which they could legally obtain commercial satellite photos. For the interpretation of these pictures, expert experts and sophisticated software were needed. In addition, image quality depended on many factors, such as meteorological conditions, time of day, etc.

The United States has multiple constellations of signal collection satellites with intelligence in geostationary, elliptical and low Earth's orbit. The first satellite of this kind was satellite GRAB (Gallactic RAdiation and Background) The US Navy and became operational in June 1960. years. GRAB had the task of intercepting the signals of the then Soviet radars and mediating them at US collecting stations, where they were recorded and then sent to the analysis. So the Americans got information on the features and radars that worked deep inside the Soviet Union and were not accessible with intelligence gathering aircraft. Of the five launches, two were successful, and the satellites were launched in orbit along with other, larger satellites. Official GRAB satellites are for the purpose of solar radiation research and their task rights have only been discovered by 1998. years. The US Air Force is 1962. began launching satellites for collecting intelligence signals under the common label "tag"There were two types of satellites, one small, a few tens of pounds of heavy rumble, launched along with larger satellites for photographic observation in a low orbit, and then raised them to a polar orbit, to a height KH-300, KH-800, KH-4, KH-7, KH-8, KH-9, KH-11, KH-12, KH-XNUMX, two or three podsatelite, and the newer KH-XNUMX and KH-XNUMX do not use pods. Another type, "heavy ferret"(Heavy Spy), were satellites with a mass between 1000 and 2000 kg, operating at altitudes around 500 km, some even up to 900 km, and were primarily intended for intercepting the communication signals of the Soviet command and control system. have been launched in orbit 1971 "heavy ferret" satellites.The experience with ferret satellites has shown that for efficient and continuous reception of radio transmitter signals, satellites should be placed in more geostationary high elliptical orbits.Earth satellites in higher orbits would, in addition , could unify the functions of receiving communication and electronic signals (COMINT / ELINT).

The new, second generation SIGINT satellite has been tagged Canyon (canyon). The first satellite Canyon was launched by 1968. year and up to 1977. There were still 6 successful launches and one unsuccessful attempt. Canyon-type satellites had a mass around 270 kg, and with their 10 meter diameter radiator, they were intercepting the signals and mediating them to ground stations for analysis. The lifetime of these satellites was 5 to 7 years. They used so-called. a quasi-stationary orbit with an apogee between 39000 and 42000 km, perigue between 30000 and 33000 km and inclination between 3 and 10 °. In such an orbit the satellite is not always exactly over the same point of the earth's surface, but moves on a complex elliptical path, increasing the surface being monitored, and it is also possible to determine the transmitter position with measurements from different points in the orbit.

Parallel to the Canyon program, a satellite program was launched Rhyolite. These satellites were similar to Canyon satellites, having a larger antenna with a diameter of 20 meters, and their mass was larger - about 680 kg. The satellites were primarily aimed at intercepting microwave communication links over the territory of the former Soviet Union. For efficient reception and analysis of large amounts of received signals, Americans have built two more land-based reception stations in other countries, one in the UK (in addition to receiving stations on their territory)Menwith Hill) and another in Australia (Pine Gap). In the 1970 period. to 1978. they launched 4 satellite type Rhyolite. When the name of the satellite in a spy affair came to the public, they changed it to Aquacade.

Geostationary satellites for collecting second generation signals have replaced the new generation of satellites in 80 for years, labeled with names Chalet i V, te Magnum i Orion. These satellites were even bigger and weaker, with antennas of 30 and 45 meters, and they differed according to the type of signal they were holding.

In mid-90 years, the latest generation of SIGINT satellites came into use, which are publicly labeled with names Mercury i Mentor. And these satellites continue to trend for bigger antennas - now they should have a diameter of over 100 meters. At the beginning of the 70 years, the US began to take signal-gathering satellites into a high-elliptical orbit mollification that would allow better surveillance of the latitude of the more northern latitudes, and in addition, these satellites would intercept the radio communications of the Molnaya Soviet-type communications satellites.

Satellites under the name Jumpseat, are similar to satellites Rhyolite. According to various information they were used up to the end of the 80 or the first half of the 90 years when they were replaced with newer generation of stronger satellites Trumpet, with larger antennas and greater signal interception capabilities.

With its intelligence-gathering satellites, Americans came up with a lot of quality information about events in the former Soviet Union. Among other things, the communication between Kiev and Moscow found that there was an accident in the nuclear power station in Černobil, with the interception, decoding and analysis of telemetry signals, they learned the right possibilities of the ballistic missile of medium range SS-20 "Saber", intercepting radio communications between members of the politburo and missile constructors got the first indication on the development of new intercontinental ballistic missiles SS-19 "Stiletto" and so on. Today, the satellite for collecting signal intelligence also connects with the system Echelon US National Security Agency (National Security Agency, NSA), with which Americans monitored the content of information transmitted across all the world's communications systems, both military and civil, and used this information also to help their economic partners in the struggle with other competitors.


The Russian Federation today uses celina-2 satellites to collect intelligence signals. The first Soviet photographic survey satellites Zenit were equipped with electronic sighting systems. The first dedicated satellites ELINT received the Soviet Union with satellites Celina O, which began to test 1970. year, and the whole system (with land control complex) became operational 1972. years. Celina O were satellites for outdoor observation of smaller features, and were supplemented by satellites with greater capabilities Celina D for more detailed signal reception. Year 1984. have abandoned the use of Celine O and some of the functions of those satellites have been included in Celina satellites. Celina D satellites have been named in the West by their name heavy ELINT (Heavy ELINT) and used orbit at altitudes between 400 and 600 km with incidence of 81,2 °. The entire constellation is composed of 6 satellites at the 60 ° spacing. Testing flights of the first satellites Celina have shown that the satellites apart from detecting and determining the position of the radio signal source can also determine the type, features and capabilities of the target transmitters. That is why in the USSR they started developing a new generation of satellites called Celina-2.

The first Celina-2 satellite, with the tag Kosmos 1603, was launched in September 1984. year, by means of carrying missiles Proton because the development of the planned Zenit missile rails has not yet been completed. With its maneuvering of incubation with 51 to 66 ° and then to 77 °, Kosmos 1603 initiated conclusions in the West to show maneuvers to avoid anti-satellite weaponry. Only later did the West know that the Proton rocket carrier was in fact too big for Celina-2 satellites, and such orbital maneuvers were necessary. The Celina-2 system has become operational at the end of 1988. years. Celina-2 satellites are equipped with a radio signal reception system Korvet, and send intelligence to the land monitoring station via relay satellites. Last Satellite Celina-2 Kosmos 2369 3 was launched. February 2000. and it should be the only operational satellite of that kind.

After the Cold War and after the fall of the Soviet Union, the year 1994., There was a real revolution: the United States allowed the technology developed for spy satellites to be commercially exploited. Namely, the US has spent over $ 100 on the development of satellite technology, and around $ 30 billion on the Strategic Defensive Initiative (SDI), popularly called Star Wars. It was the most complicated military-research project in history, which is 1983. was approved by President Reagan. The aim was to establish a satellite defense system that would protect the US from the so-called " first strike of nuclear missiles and hostile satellites. It was an extra blow to the shrinking, technologically obsolete economy of the Soviet Union, which could not withstand the price of the imposed racing in the armament. The sum of a total of $ 130 billions is too much, and it would not be commercially exploited. Well, there has been cooperation with even the next enemies.

So they are an American company Aerial Images, and the Russian Space Agency (Sovinformsputnik), establishing a joint company SPIN-2, united their photographs of urban areas, recorded from aircrafts and satellites, into a unique database. The size of this base is fantastic 3.5 terbytes (3.5 × 1012 bytes) of uncompressed data, ie in compressed form of 1 terabytes (1 TB). The rest of the photograph was obtained from the US Geological Survey Agency (USGS). The presentation of these photos was taken over by the software div Microsoft. Setting up your Internet server TerraServer Microsoft is 23. June 1998. year World Wide Web and literally provided the World. Namely, Microsoft has provided a large number of users of its new Web server with a view of the Earth from the universe. According to the words Jima Ewela, a manager for SQL Server, wanted to demonstrate that with the help of Microsoft products it is possible to service this demanding 24 server, seven days a week. TerraServer works on Win NT 4.0 Enterprise Edition and on SQL Server 7.0 Enterprise Edition. As the largest database on the Internet, it is no wonder TerraServer has eight large cabinets: one for the Digital Alpha 8400 Compaq processors and the other seven for the 324 disk unit with about 3 TB memory. For comparison, 1 TB corresponds to about one billion pages of text or 4 million books. The surface of the earth is 5.1 × 1014 m2, of which 75% is in the oceans and lakes, and 20% is above or below 70 ° latitude (ice caps on poles and polar plains). Of the remainder, most of the land is occupied by deserts, mountains or farmland. It is estimated that it is urbanized around 4% land. Photos available via TerraServer are primarily urban landscape photos. The resolution of the available photos is 1 meter, meaning that each pixel can represent an image of the size of 1 m. Therefore, in Microsoft's headquarters, some buildings can be discarded, but not Bill Gates himself. For comparison, intelligence experts estimate that the resolution of photos taken by the most sophisticated military satellites today is amazing 15 cm! Images of a particular area can be made using a geographic map or by using a search engine to navigate through a geographic name database. Uploading satellite photos requires a lot of patience because surfing through the server moves from a global perspective, so that the cadres of the universe gradually diminish as long as the desired areas on our planet do not come. It's also a mess of the server. After all, Microsoft's server http://www.microsoft.com/, of course with CNN, according to some statistics belongs to 10 most visited on the Internet. So TerraServer is on Monday 29. June, four days after it was officially opened, it had 4 million visitors, so that on the second day that number would increase to 8 million. Microsoft spokesman says that using additional techniques will quickly resolve these issues. Fortunately, the approach from Croatia seems to be satisfying fast. TerraServer was active even before 26. June, and has already provoked a fiery reaction, especially among the intelligentsia. Namely, among the 180 million photos available to users of that server, there are real intelligence treats. These are, for example, the recordings of the Pentagon bunker's air in Raven Rock (near the famous Camp David), which is scheduled to be one of the US Presidents in the event of a crisis. There are also images of the Mount Weather subway complex, intended as a haven for senior government officials, and the image of the CIA training camp Camp Perry. But it is interesting to miss the photos of the so-called. The 51 area in Nevada, which urban legends favorite among hangouts are associated with visits to unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Representatives of TeraServer say that the US government has (yet) not pressured to block "scramble" areas. However, access to TerraServer is blocked by undemocratic regimes such as Iraq, Cuba, and North Korea. TerraServer users are in this trial phase with architects, urban designers, students, building contractors, ecologists, etc. The age of photography ranges from 3 months to ten years, and new ones are added, some of which are in color. Once the photo you choose can be uploaded to your own computer. Price? Free for photos from the USGS database, while the prices of others move from 7.95 $ to 24.95 $. The poster just costs 40 $. You can also order photos on a CD-ROM. Finally, it should be noted that Microsoft is not the only person interested in painting the world on the Web.

President of the United States Al Gore is still at the beginning of 1998. It proposed the establishment of a system that would connect some meteorological satellites to the Internet in order to be able to monitor certain meteorological phenomena in real time. In December, 1997., A company EarthWatch Corp. it launched the satellite EarlyBird And who, when resolving some communication problems, will take photos with 3 meters resolution! By the end of 1999. EarthWatch has launched its second satellite, and it is Space Imaging Eosat has launched its modern satellite. Information until recently reserved for only the world's largest officials will be at the disposal of an information society we have all already well-trained. Already today, anyone who has an adequate bank account can get satellite imagery that interests him, even over the Internet. The typical photo that EarthWatch offers through its archive covers around 100 square miles and costs 2,75 dollars per square kilometer. For a photo taken on a special order, the price goes up to the 3,75 dollar. One of the photos that will have to be delivered as fast as possible due to a TV transmission, or maybe some military operation, costs 7.25 dollars per square kilometer. Customers who build road and road lines for example, are looking for a wealth of people, ie all those who need to work for GIS (Geographical Information System) data. According to some researches around 80% of business information, some geographic component has been included.

Yet illusory is to be expected that there are not some undemocratic countries and dictatorial regimes that can not afford their own spy satellites among the potential bourgeoisie. A resolution of three meters allows you to monitor the inventory and state of armaments of the enemy state several times a day. The US administration is trying to find mechanisms to prevent the sale of satellite images of high resolution endangering US national security. However, it will be difficult to achieve, and in this unusual market worth a few billion dollars, France and France (with Helios satellites, Spot successors) could soon include India and Israel. Experts believe that the resolution of photos taken by such civilian satellites will drop very quickly below the 1 m, which has been overcome in US military technology for a long time. Perhaps US tactics are just that, by enabling a commercial approach to the fruits of its sophisticated technology, it diminishes the efforts of its trading competitors, sometimes military allies, to develop their own satellite technology and thus strengthen their power.

Several decades ago, on the earth's surface, it was possible to hide secrets of the size of the entire cities. So is 29. September 1957. there was a serious nuclear accident at the plutonium processing plant in Ural town Chelyabinsk. An enormous amount of radioactive material has been released into the environment and thousands of square kilometers are contaminated. Several dozens of villages had to be permanently displaced. As once scandalized politicians in some Stalinism were retouched from collective photography, these villages soon disappeared from geographic maps. Out of the Soviet Union about this disaster has long been unknown, but the next time it was different. Thirty years later, Tass agency announced the news that in a place called Chernobyl not far from Kiev on Monday, 28. April 1986. in the nuclear power station "Lenin" there was an accident. The reason for this strange Soviet honesty was prosaic. Namely, neighboring countries have already detected a radioactive cloud that spread from the Soviet territory. Hoping to cover the scale of the disaster, Soviet authorities have banned all foreigners, mostly businessmen and truck drivers who transported goods in international traffic, to leave Kiev. The next day, the forbidden zone was extended to a radius of 150 km around the destroyed reactor. But the politburo could not close the sky, and the planes could follow radioactive ash as it spread over Europe. American satellite V, the 23000 milestone positioned above the Western Soviet Union was eavesdropping with panic and confusion that spread to Soviet telecommunications. The second US satellite KH-11 Keyhole, after a successful maneuver, shot a series of photos that had already been in Washington on Tuesday afternoon. The photos taken with this miracle of modern technology had a fantastic resolution of only ten centimeters. Photographs provided the officials of the White House, the CIA, and the Pentagon a detailed insight into the radioactive hell that had spread out of the deadly reactor. Soon, the ban on alien movements in the Soviet Union was abolished as if they were meaningless, and they started returning home. In many laboratories across Europe, and so on in Zagreb, Gamma Spectrometry Analyzes examined the air filter trucks that were found in the vicinity of Chernobyl. Some specific radionuclides were detected, which only confirmed what they knew about satellites almost immediately: Chernobyl had the worst nightmare of nuclear reactors: reactor core melting.

But in the sky, some civil satellites had already been cruised. For example, the US Landsat satellite that could capture 20m resolution photographs was especially used for cartographic field recording. Fire pictures in the Chernobyl reactor, which were then published in print and electronic media, shot French 10m resolution Spot. Since the year 1957. 120 new satellites have been launched annually. Most satellites, 129, were launched the year 1984., And the least, only 73, year 1996. Although the futurists already consider the consequences of increasing the number of artificial objects around the Earth already in 1960 years, only at the beginning of the 1980 there was a scientific discipline that dealt with the problem. True to the will, NASA is already 1966. estimated the risk of collision of spacecraft with human beings with some such object. But only the larger objects that could be traced in this or that way were taken into account in the calculations. Larger pieces of space junk today are being watched by the same systems that used to track enemy satellites in the Cold War of the World Superstate, or timely warning of a possible missile attack. Such objects of size up to 10 cm are cataloged around 10000. Smaller objects are studied indirectly by statistical methods. Countless (often small craters) are counted on the surface of spaceships or special plates specially for this purpose exposed to the action of the space environment and then returned to Earth. In December, 1997., A company of EarthWatch Corp. it launched the satellite EarlyBird I with the ability to capture photos with a resolution of 3 meters! By the end of 1999. EarthWatch plans to launch its second satellite, and Space Imaging Eosat will launch its modern satellite. More and more information, only recently reserved for the world's largest officials, is at the disposal of an information society we have all already well trained. It is therefore interesting to note that relatively rare satellite images of Chernobyl and its surroundings are on the Internet. On the other hand, a huge number of technical data can be found on the Chernobyl reactor accident and its consequences. (Please recommend the Polyn Web site at http://polyn.kiae.su/polyn/contents.html). Unfortunately neither the Microsoft Server TerraServer (http://www.terraserver.microsoft.com/), which allows the users of the Internet to view the Earth from the universe, does not cover the critical area. Although the Russian space agency Sovinformsputnik, with the US company Aerial Images co-founder of the company SPIN-2, (http://www.spin-2.com/), which combined the photographs of urban areas, recorded from aircrafts and satellites, into a unique database, whose presentation was taken over by the software div Microsoft, the material pertaining to Russia itself has not been included. But such images with little skill and perseverance can be found with the help of a specialized Search Engine called AV Photo Finder (Http://image.altavista.com/cgi-bin/avncgi). It's about serving a well-known AltaVista search engine, launched at the end of September by 1998. year, intended for search of image material. This is undoubtedly the largest database (estimated at more than 10 million units), images and photos on the Internet, including satellite imagery. Search results are shown as thumbnails that allow visual control to the user if the thumbnails of his / her expectations are met. Images can be searched for on the basis of visual content, not just keywords. Some more interesting images illustrate this text.

Let's ask ourselves ... Is it possible today to hide a Chernobyl catastrophe when Earth is literally under the auspices of many satellites, but also other sophisticated equipment on the ground? Is it possible to miss a nuclear bomb? Still, it looks like it is, at least a few hours. On Monday, 11. May 1998. India has conducted three underground nuclear explosions in the semi-arid region of Rajasthan. The Indians have so cleverly concealed their preparation that the CIA has been caught, and the US public is uncomfortably surprised by the ignorance of its central intelligence service. The Indians used to pick the short periods in which the satellites stationed above India watched something else (bogus hull movements in other areas), and the periods of frequent sandstorms hindering visibility. And while the avalanche to the CIA was embarrassed by the embarrassment of the US and the world's public, it was shocked by two more Indian nuclear explosions that took place only two days later. And this time the CIA had been scheduled. Indian counterintelligents have done their job brilliantly and made it impossible, effectively hiding their activities from US satellites and intelligence. The quality of the information obtained and the latest state-of-the-art satellite equipment still depends on intelligence and analysts on Earth.