Satellite Launch Begins New Era of Explosion Monitoring

Monday - 6/7/2010, 8:49pm EDT

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced the deployment of a satellite that heralds the beginning of a new era of space-based nuclear explosion monitoring.

On May 27th, the U.S. Air Force successfully launched the first I-I-F series of satellites, carrying improved nuclear detonation detection instruments built by Sandia National Labs and Los Alamos National Laboratory for the N-N-S-A.

Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator Ken Baker says the deployment of the new instruments will significantly improve the agency's ability to detect atmospheric, or space-based, nuclear explosions and verify compliance with nuclear test ban treaties.

The sensors are being integrated on to Air Force GPS satellites, thus the entire planet is monitored continuously for tell-tale signs of treaty violation.