29 April 1998
Thanks to William Burrows and Berkley Books
New York, Random House, 1986
This excerpt from Berkley Books (soft), 1988, pp. 167-191, 358-361
The U.S. strategic reconnaissance and surveillance program as it currently exists was set in place throughout the 1960s to blanket the globe. The system was extended from the murky depths of the sea to the vacuous blackness of space for the purpose or gathering an unparalleled amount of intelligence about other nations, friend and foe alike. And the spread of collection systems was accompanied by a swelling bureaucracy whose chains of command and areas of specific responsibility were forged in occasionally fierce battles over control of the systems and just what it was they were supposed to do.
By the end of the decade American non-space-based systems-- ships, planes, radar and communication interception sites, and seismic detection stations--literally ringed the Communist bloc from Berlin to the Bering Strait. U.S. and Allied technical intelligence specialists, both military and civilian, were operating at clandestine facilities, invariably fenced off and guarded, in Great Britain, Norway, Spain, West Germany, Italy, Morocco, East Africa, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, South Korea, Japan, and
Australia, in addition to scores of places in remote areas of Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, California, and other states. The sites, which were otherwise unassuming and usually meaningless to the untrained eye, almost always sprouted large round white domes, radar dishes, or massive antenna farms, all of which either pulled in intelligence signals the way a vacuum cleaner ingests dust, relayed intelligence data to Washington through several different, highly specific routes, or uplinked instructions to the aircraft and satellites.
The Soviet Union's growing fleet of deepwater, missile-carrying submarines were monitored by long arrays of large hydrophones strung along cables buried on the ocean floor at several strategic choke points, by others towed in the wake of civilian-operated surface ships, and by still others that were dropped out of carrier-based helicopters and land-based maritime patrol planes.
Specially outfitted floating listening posts like the ill-fated Liberty, which was shot up and torpedoed by Israeli fighters in the 1967 war, and the Pueblo, which was captured by North Koreans off their coast the following year, plied the seven seas listening for clues that would help Washington monitor revolutionaries in Asia Africa, and Latin America, military activity in the Middle East and East Asia. and diplomatic and commercial traffic almost everywhere. The days right after World War 11, when make-do antennas and receivers were bolted onto surplus Liberty Ships, were over. The new Liberty was a 455-foot-long spy ship crammed with listening equipment and specialists to operate it. The vessel's most distinctive piece of hardware was a sixteen-foot-wide dish antenna that could bounce intercepted intelligence off the moon to a receiving station in Maryland in a ten-thousand-watt microwave signal that enabled it to transmit large quantities of information without giving away the Liberty's location.*
*The system, known as TRSSCOMM, for Technical Research Ship Special Communications, had to be pointed at a particular spot on the moon while a computer compensated for the ship's rolling and pitching. The computers and the antenna s hydraulic steering mechanism did not work well together, creating frequent problems.
In addition, submarines were performing regular naval reconnaissance in the Holystone program, as has been mentioned, and various other types of vessels were pressed into service as requirements arose. The best-known incident involving such activity occurred in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 4, 1964. when
two U.S. destroyers gathering SIGINT were reportedly attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats. The incident, which was publicly denounced by President Lyndon Johnson, led to the congressional resolution that opened the way for overt U . S . involvement in the war in Vietnam.
Special reconnaissance aircraft, such as the U-2s, SR-71s, and RC-135s, were supplemented with a variety of other planes, most of them modified to carry eavesdropping and photographic gear, which flew shorter range but on the whole more frequent missions that nibbled tenaciously at communications traffic, radar transmissions, and imaging targets along the periphery of the Communist bloc and often directly over the Soviet Union's client countries in the Third World. The planes that flew for the Navy were called P 2V Neptunes and later P-3 Orions, both of which also were submarine hunter-killer aircraft, and RA-SC Vigilantes. The RA5C was a reconnaissance adaptation of a remarkable twin-engine, swept-wing, carrier-based bomber built by North American Aviation that was flying at twice the speed of sound in 1958 (the reconnaissance version went into service six years later).* The Air Force used RB-57s and RB-66s--both adaptations of twin-jet bombers--as well as EC-121 Constellations (a lumbering version of the Lockheed airliner that bulged with huge dorsal and ventral radomes), EC-130 Herculeses, and even the ubiquitous, infinitely adaptable C47, the Air Force version of the Douglas DC-3. EC-47s were widely used in Europe during the fifties and sixties and in Vietnam to fly electronic surveillance missions along South Vietnam's western frontier and around its coastal waters near North Vietnam.
*The Vigilante, which was unheralded and remains so, was in its way the Navy's equivalent of the SR-71, though its performance fell considerably short of the Blackbird's. It was the largest bomber ever built for carrier operations and the only one to reach Mach 2. The reconnaissance version, or RA-5C, was produced after the plane's bombing role was dropped. Though keeping an attack capability, the RA-5C carried vertical, oblique, and horizon-to-horizon cameras, side-looking radar, infrared sensors, and low-light-level television. The Vigilante was the airborne component of the Integrated Operational Intelligence System (IOIS) that fed immediately usable tactical intelligence data to ground-based military units in Vietnam after one of the planes returned to its carrier. The RA-5C was almost 76 feet long and had a 53-foot wingspan. It had a maximum speed of 1,380 miles an hour at 40,000 feet and could cruise at that altitude at 560 miles an hour with a range of 2,650 miles.
Not counting bases in Vietnam, foreign airfields supporting U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army, and CIA reconnaissance operations by the end of the sixties included RAF Alconbury and Mildenhall
in the United Kingdom, Rota air base in Spain, Hellenikon Airport in Greece, RAF Akrotiri on Cyprus, Incirlik air base in Turkey, Kadena air base on Okinawa, Atsugi air base in Japan, Osan air base in South Korea, and other air bases in Iceland, West Germany, Norway, Iran, and Pakistan.
In addition, listening posts, telemetry interception facilities. nuclear
explosion detection equipment, submarine surveillance operations, and satellite
uplink and downlink centers had proliferated in most of the countries listed
above, as well as in some others, including Australia, Ethiopia, Italy, and
Morocco, where either the CIA or the NSA operated facilities or shared them
with the host government. A detailed account of such operations worldwide
is beyond the scope of this work, but two nations can be said to represent
the multifaceted nature of U.S. foreign reconnaissance and surveillance
operations overseas. Owing to the complex, expensive, and highly sensitive
nature of the intelligence work involved, both nations apparently were chosen
as much for their kindred political spirit and social stability as for geographic
reasons. For their part, both have cooperated extensively with the United
States military and intelligence services while going to considerable lengths
to keep the lowest possible profiles, no doubt to avoid confrontations with
local political factions opposed to such liaisons with Washington, as well
as to prevent agents working for the opposition from penetrating the various
systems. They are Norway and Australia.
Nature has not been kind to Russian sailors. Although the U.S.S.R. has the longest coastline of any nation, it is poorly situated for naval operations. Much of that coastline is landlocked, and what is not is blocked by thick ice for much of the year. There are two major submarine bases, one at Polyarnyy, just north of Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula, and the other at Petropavlovsk, on the eastern edge of the Kamchatka Peninsula bordering the Pacific.
Submarines leaving Polyarnyy bound for the Atlantic must first glide through a 225-mile-wide channel between Nordkapp, Norway and Bear Island, south of Spitsbergen. They then must negotiate the relatively shallow water between Scotland and Iceland before ranging into the North Atlantic. Soviet boats heading for the Pacific from Petropavlovsk have quicker access to the open sea, but they must nevertheless pass between Hokkaido in northern Japan and the Aleutians.
Whichever of the two naval facilities a Soviet submarine calls
home, however, it never leaves or returns without being heard by the opposition. This is because the ocean floor over which it moves is bugged by the United States Navy. And that's not all.
Even before a Soviet sub slips out of its berth and heads to sea, the communications activity that is a necessary prelude to such an operation is picked up by SIGINT satellites and by listening posts in Norway, Japan, Okinawa, the Philippines, or any of more than a score of other locations, depending upon the port. In many instances the submarines are also photographed by reconnaissance satellites as they cruise on the surface of the shallow inlets between their moorings and deep water before they slip under the waves. As is the case with most elements relating to antisubmarine warfare (ASW). the Navy maintains steadfast silence about the use of satellite imagery for Soviet submarine reconnaissance. Yet one defense analyst who has studied the photographs of the Soviet boats quipped, "You can tell if the guys on the bridge watch have their parka hoods up. " The satellite data arc relayed to the Current Operations Department of the Navy Operational Intelligence Center (NOIC) outside Washington, where a large chart of worldwide submarine activity, friendly and otherwise, is kept up to the minute for relay to Navy command operations centers in Europe and Asia. The Soviet subs, many of which carry ballistic missiles, are tracked relentlessly wherever they go.
Underwater, submarines can be detected by two basic surveillance techniques, one active, the other passive. Active detection depends upon sonar, which sends sound waves through the water and records the strength and timing of the signal that bounces back from the target submarine. Sonar, which was used in World War II, is carried on most Navy surface ships and on all submarines, whether they are so-called fast-attack killers that are designed to hunt and destroy Soviet subs or fleet ballistic-missile types that form the ballistic-missile-carrying third leg of the bomber-ICBM-submarine nuclear-attack triad long used by the United States as its nuclear war-fighting system.
The second kind of underwater detection system, the passive one, depends upon acoustical devices that pick up the sounds made by the submarines as they move. Passive acoustical systems placed underwater, like those placed in the vacuum of space, omit nothing. They just listen.
Submarines moving at medium or high speed produce sounds primarily from their propellers and by the rush of water along their hulls, according to Dr. Richard L. Garwin, an IBM physicist who
has long studied defense matters.* The major source of sound at low speed, he has said, comes not so much from the propellers and water but from machinery inside the boat, and especially the kind that rotates (turbines and propeller shafts, for example). But even a noisy submarine radiates less than one watt of acoustical power, an extremely low level. "One can therefore imagine the problem of detecting this tiny signal at long range in the presence of noise from waves and wind, undersea life and hundreds even thousands--of surface vessels," Garwin has noted. The problem is formidable, to be sure, but it is one that the United States has managed to stay on top of, Soviet countermeasures notwithstanding .
* Garwin is now known chiefly for his tenacious opposition to the Strategic Defensive Initiative, or Star wars.
The bugs over which Soviet submarines pass while going to or from their ports are arrays of extremely sensitive hydrophones which, together with others placed farther out to sea, constitute the Sound Surveillance System, or SOSUS. The first SOSUS hydrophones were made by Western Electric and laid on the continental shelf along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States in the fifties and sixties in a program code-named Caesar. This was followed by the Colossus line, which stretches along the Pacific shelf from the vicinity of Vancouver to Baja, and later by Barrier and Bronco, which extended the listening system to the waters off Polyarnyy and Petropavlovsk.
There are actually two SOSUS arrays moored across the approaches to Polyarnyy: one between Norway and Bear Island. and the other linking northern Scotland, Iceland, and Greenland. Submarines whose home port is Petropavlovsk are monitored by hydrophones strung from the southeastern tip of Hokkaido, along a line parallel to the Kuriles, and then up toward the northeast, off the Aleutian coast. Still others stretch from southern Japan to the Philippines. covering the approaches to China and Indochina. And there are also SOSUS installations on the Atlantic side of Gibraltar, others about halfway between Italy and Corsica. and still others at the mouth of the Bosporus, off Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. and not far from Hawaii. The Navy keeps the precise locations of its SOSUS equipment a closely guarded secret, since interfering with it would be a logical Soviet objective .
SOSUS hydrophones are sealed in clusters of two dozen or so inside large tanks that are probably linked by fiber optical cables and are definitely buried as deep as possible on the ocean floor to
prevent their being severed by Soviet submarines or surface ships trailing cable cutters. Each hydrophone in one of the huge tanks (they are reportedly nearly as large as the oil storage tanks in refineries) is tuned to a specific frequency. By focusing all of the hydrophones on a particular submarine, many separate sounds can be tapped at the same time, including those made by its engine and cooling system, the water flow around its hull, the spinning of its propellers, and its own sonar system.
All of the individual noises combine to constitute a kind of submarine symphony: a unique set of sounds that, together, form a distinct SIGINT pattern for every sub, even those that are otherwise identical. The "music" from a particular Soviet Victor-class attack submarine moving over the SOSUS array between Norway and Bear Island is collected on the Norwegian coast and relayed to Navy data-processing facilities through Fleet Satellite Communications system (FLTSATCOM) spacecraft, five of which ring the earth in a 22,300-mile geosynchronous orbit.*
* The FLTSATCOM system was developed to provide a near-global satellite communications network for the Navy and Air Force, and relaying SOSUS data is therefore only one of the satellites' functions. The system s basic mission is to provide an ultra-high and super-high frequency, anti-jam communications link between all Navy ships and submarines, many kinds of aircraft, and shore stations. It also connects the president and the secretary of defense--the National Command Authority--to field commanders around the world. In addition, twelve of a FLTSATCOM's twenty-three UHF and SHF channels are used by the Air Force for communication between SAC headquarters and its bomber force and ICBM installations. The satellites, which are built by TRW, weigh a little more than two thousand pounds in orbit, have eight-foot-wide hexagonal bodies, and sprout sixteen-foot wire and mesh parabolic antennas that open on station like umbrellas. There is also a helical antenna, which looks like a giant corkscrew, and a horn antenna for uplink communication. Hydrazine motors allow orbital maneuvering. The first FLTSATCOM spacecraft was launched in February 1978 as part of the national command control and communications system.
On shore, the sounds that have been relayed by satellite are sorted out almost instantly by powerful computers such as the Illiac 4 and are then compared with other "symphonies" in the data bank. In this way the identity of every submarine passing over the SOSUS line is established, and in the process its mission profile, capability. operational characteristics, and probable direction are determined.
An assessment of the satellite-linked SOSUS system's capability made by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reportedly concluded that at its best it can pinpoint the location of older (and
therefore noisier) Soviet subs to within ten miles of their actual position from a distance of ten thousand miles, and that a twenty-five-mile fix from "several thousand miles" is feasible in most cases. And although Soviet submarines are becoming quieter and rely on an increasing number of their own tricks to avoid detection (diving deeper and hiding between currents of varying temperatures being but two of those tricks), it is generally conceded that their whereabouts are known at all times, an indispensable requirement for attacking them should that ever become necessary.
There are other ways to track submarines besides using SOSUS. Surface ships towing sonar arrays can spot them, and so can helicopters and P-3 Orion antisubmarine planes dropping sound-sensitive sonobuoys. Satellites also are natural sub-sniffers. Although submarine propellers can be made quieter, they must spin, and spinning underwater creates a churning vortex that soon comes to the surface and leaves a wake so minute that it cannot be seen from ships or even from most aircraft. From about three hundred miles high, however, even the faintest wake can be discerned when compared with the water around it. Another possibility has to do with tracking the billions of dead microorganisms a sub leaves in its wake. Still another satellite-sensing technique might involve the use of blue-green lasers that can penetrate water to certain depths and could be used to first fix a beam on the submarine and then lock onto the boat in such a way that no matter how it maneuvered, it could not shake off its space-based electronic leash. For the time being, however, SOSUS remains the principal component in the worldwide Soviet submarine surveillance system, and Norway is one of SOSUS's chief anchors.
Norway's extensive involvement in U.S. strategic reconnaissance and surveillance activity is steadfastly played down by Washington, and given that nation's proximity to the Soviet Union, the Norwegians like it that way. But their discretion notwithstanding, it is fair to say that Norway abounds with a variety of operations that in one way or another have been designed and positioned to either monitor events inside the U.S.S.R. or actually pull out intelligence. And SOSUS, as important as it is, remains but one Norwegian-connected system among many.
Antennas used to eavesdrop on high-frequency radio traffic, most of which comes from the Soviet military and concerns ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore, and air-to-ground communication, are located at Vadsø, which has a huge "Pusher"-type circular antenna array, as well as at Skage, Randaberg, and Jessheim.
Vadsø's antennas point over the Varanger fjord and northern Lapland's bleak hills straight at the Northern Fleet's huge base at Severomorsk, a bare hundred miles away. Skage and Randaberg most likely monitor communications from Soviet ships, submarines, and long-range naval reconnaissance planes, such as the TU-95Ds that routinely head out over the Norwegian Sea. The big turboprop Bears lumber on to Greenland, where they ferret NATO radar and communications traffic and then swing down along the Canadian and U.S. coasts to extract still more SIGINT before landing in Cuba. Jessheim, only twenty-five miles north of Oslo, intercepts the capital's diplomatic traffic.
Very high and ultrahigh radio frequencies (VHF and UHF) are mainly used for short- and medium-distance, line-of-sight communication, air-to-ground links, the transmission of telemetry from missile tests, satellite-to-ground communication and, in the case of VHF, certain kinds of Soviet radar. There are VHF and UHF intercept facilities at Vadsø, Viksjøfjell, Vardø, Randaberg, and Fauske. Vadsø's antennas would mean nothing special to a casual observer, but one knowledgeable in radio reception equipment would understand that the facility's long period arrays, vertical wire dipoles, and broad-band dipoles backed by corner reflectors, are extremely sensitive receivers. A map and compass would show that they point toward the naval and air installations around Murmansk, including the submarine base at Polyarnyy. Both Vadsø and Viksjøfjell also have sophisticated VHF antennas hidden under geodesic domes that sit on top of sixty-foot-high concrete towers. The location and design of such antennas suggest that they almost undoubtedly intercept telemetry from Soviet submarine-launched ballistic missile tests in the Barents Sea.
Vetan, a tiny, suitably remote peninsula in the far northern Skjerstad fjord not far from the air base at Bodø, which was Gary Powers's destination the day he went down over Sverdlovsk, may be the single most important element in the Norwegian connection. It is a satellite ground station linked to the U.S. Satellite Data System (SDS) spacecraft network. SDS satellites relay collected intelligence from the remaining KH-11 reconnaissance satellite, as well as several different kinds of communications traffic. What is more interesting, however, is that some satellites that appear to be SDS types (chiefly because they use the same highly elliptical orbit) are no such thing. They are actually anti-ballistic missile radar ferrets code-named Jumpseat. The impostor's orbit, like that of the real SDS, is so elliptical that it can "hang" over Siberia for some eight hours as it soaks up the microwave pulses coming from there. Thus, Vetan not only picks up SDS signals but most likely
Jumpseat's as well, making it one of the most important downlink facilities in the U.S. reconnaissance and surveillance system.
If that weren't enough, Vetan's antennas also intercept transmissions from Soviet Molniya communications satellites. More important, the Norwegian antennas listen to the Russians' own ferret platforms as they pass over Murmansk's large receiving dishes and "dump" streams of the electronic nuggets they have collected high over the North Atlantic. This means that the National Security Agency knows what the Russians are ferreting over Western Europe and North America because it intercepts their interceptions.
Project Vela, which was invented to coincide with the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) of 1963, is supposed to allow Washington to make certain that Moscow is adhering to the agreement, and also to the 150-kiloton limit set by the so-called Threshold Test Ban Treaty of 1974. It evolved out of recommendations made by two special panels convened in Washington in 1959 (one on seismic improvement and the other on high-altitude detection), as well as the Conferences of Experts that met in Geneva at about the same time. Vela, which was to involve Norway, as well as Australia and other countries, provides an example of how a single surveillance program can serve two masters at the same time: arms control and military intelligence. There are, of course, many others, perhaps the foremost being Cobra Ball.
The overall project was divided into three distinct programs designed to provide assurance that Soviet nuclear explosions took place only underground. Vela Uniform was to use seismic detectors and other equipment to pick up the vibrations from underground and underwater explosions; Vela Sierra was to use earth-bound measuring instruments, such as riometers (radio receivers that measure the intensity of signals coming over great distances) to spot atmospheric and space-related detonations; and Vela Hotel would use satellites working in pairs to detect nuclear explosions on the surface of the earth or in space.*
*Considering that America's first successful satellite, Explorer 1, had gone up only in February 1958 and that boosters were still exploding on launch or flipping out of control immediately afterward with appalling regularity, the very notion of orbiting a sophisticated nuclear test surveillance satellite in those days smacked of audacity, especially since the orbit had to be synchronous. But plans for Vela at such an early stage give some indication of the optimism of the engineers and planners and the quickening momentum of research and development.
Overall responsibility for developing Vela went to the Advanced Research Projects Agency, and therefore to the Defense Department. And although the Atomic Energy Commission, Army Corps of Engineers, and Office of Naval Intelligence played key roles in the development of several of its components, it was the Air Force that became the principal military adviser for Vela and, eventually, the entire program's operator. Uniform and Sierra--monitoring underground tests and scanning the skies from earth for explosions--were to be handled by the Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. Hotel, the satellite surveillance program, would go to the Air Force's Space Systems Division (now simply the Space Division) at El Segundo, California, which was responsible for managing the design, production, launching, and operation of Air Force satellites.
The first seismic station built in the Vela Uniform program was called the Wichita Mountains Seismological Observatory. It became operational near Lawton, Oklahoma, in October 1960 with an array of ten short-period vertical seismometers spaced at intervals of about three thousand feet, plus twenty-one seismographs.*
*A seismometer is a detector that can sense tiny movements in the earth. A seismograph is a seismometer with an amplifier and a recorder. The more detectors in an array, the tinier the movements it can pick up.
The Wichita Mountains detection station went into business relatively quickly given its complexity, and with good reason. "AFTAC was able to achieve this result rapidly because the station involved only a modest expansion of the existing Air Force research facility, where most of the techniques and equipment had previously been deployed," according to Dr. Carl Romney, an AFTAC geophysicist, who made the statement to the Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy during hearings on Vela in 1961. Romney thus made it clear that the Defense Department had been working independently during the 1950s to develop a seismic monitoring system with which to take the pulse of every Soviet nuclear explosion irrespective of the outcome of the treaty negotiations.
More than a decade after Dr. Romney testified in Congress, ARPA Director Charles Herzfeld was asked by a congressman whether a huge seismic array in Montana called LASA had been built specifically to tell whether the Russians were cheating on the test ban treaty. "Yes," Herzfeld answered with apparent impatience,
"but what I'm trying to highlight now is that this is important in the absence of any treaty whatever. In fact, this was started before any underground treaty seriously was thought about. We feel rather strongly in the Defense Department that we must know more, and more accurately, what the Russians and other countries [sic] are getting in their underground tests."
The military as well as the political imperative to monitor all nuclear testing, both under and above ground, led to the establishment of a string of seismic stations girdling the U.S.S.R. as part of a program originally called IONDS (Integrated Operational Nuclear Detection System) and later shortened to NDS (Nuclear Detection System).* And Norway. by political inclination and geological accident, figures prominently in the NDS .
*IONDS, and then NDS, is an outgrowth of the Vela system, not a part of it.
With two exceptions, no nation in the non-Soviet camp has such an uncomplicated vibration travel path from the underground nuclear test site at Semipalatinsk as does Norway. The exceptions are Iran, whose seismic arrays and other intelligence installations were dismantled, destroyed, or confiscated during the revolution that ended the reign of the Pahlavis, and the People's Republic of China. There are two U.S. nuclear detection monitoring stations in China, both on a wedge of territory in the northernmost part of Sinkiang Province, and therefore a scant three hundred miles southeast of Semipalatinsk. One is at Qitai (or Ch'i-t'ai), a town set in the northern foothills of the rugged Tian Shan mountain range, and the other is at Korla, just on the other side of the mountains, to the south. The seismic stations are not far from the large tracking dishes, also American, that follow the warheads that come arcing out of Tyuratam and then slam down onto the test ranges on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Northern Sinkiang provides the technical intelligence collectors in Washington with a window on the Soviet Union the likes of which they haven't seen since the departure of the Shah.
Hamar, north of Oslo, is another excellent place to put a seismic station. It is built on the same continental plate as the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, which is where Semipalatinsk is. Seismologically speaking, the two localities are in effect connected by a 2,500-mile-long iron pipe. Every time a nuclear weapon goes off under the crusted mantle of Semipalatinsk, it seems to those who watch the seismographs at Hamar that the pipe has been struck by a giant mallet.
The Hamar facility, which is unguarded and operated by Norwegian civilians, is a dual-purpose monitoring operation. Its overt assignment is to gather and accumulate seismic data that can be used for the development of ever better verification techniques for a comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons testing. In that regard, scientific results are freely shared with researchers from other nations, including the Soviet Union.
But Hamar is also equipped to make instant transmissions of what it picks up to passing satellites at a rate of twenty-four hundred bits a second--near instantaneously. The satellites in turn relay the data to the Seismic Data Analysis Center in Alexandria, Virginia, where they are analyzed in an effort to pinpoint the location of the "event" and determine whether it was natural or man-made. The SDAC works in close conjunction with the Air Force Technical Applications Center, which keeps track of nuclear weapon test signatures--their distinctive pattern--as part of its role in the NDS program. But why would it be so important to get seismic data on a Soviet nuclear weapon test so quickly that they have to be relayed by satellite? Even underground nuclear tests can leak residual radiation through cracks in the soil surface or out of partial cave-ins. The only apparent reason for sending news of an explosion in real time would be that a reconnaissance satellite carrying appropriate sensors to measure radiation and other effects can be maneuvered into position before the dust settles, both figuratively and literally.
Given the extent of Norwegian involvement in the NDS program and all of the other technical intelligence operations, it can be assumed that the Russians have worked out a variety of electronic countermeasures to thwart Norwegian-based NATO activity both in peace and war. But they seem to have done more than that.
It has been reported that elite Soviet spetsnaz commando teams specializing in reconnaissance, sabotage, and assassination, and operating out of the island fortress of Kronshtadt, have made more than one hundred fifty clandestine landings along the Swedish coast since 1962. According to the reports, the practice landings seem to be part of a larger Soviet plan to outflank NATO forces around the western Baltic in time of war and neutralize Swedish and Norwegian defenses, including surveillance facilities. These landing operations are said to be in part rehearsals for invading and crossing Sweden in order to reach targets in Norway that are marked for destruction. This could partly explain the heavy Soviet submarine traffic off the Swedish coast. In October 1981, for
example, a Soviet Whiskey-class submarine ran aground off Karlskrona, a naval base in the south of Sweden. The incident, one of several involving Soviet subs at the time, was ignominious. But the Russians, following the practice of their U.S. Air Force counterparts, hastily explained that their boat had trespassed because of a navigational error.
Dr. Desmond Ball, who is head of the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University of Canberra, has noted that geography alone makes his country a natural site for the kind of electronic intelligence and other facilities that are used in conjunction with U.S. strategic operations, and particularly with those relating to space reconnaissance and surveillance.
Ball has pointed out in a book that is widely read by those interested in technical intelligence that Australia not only is a large continent whose desolate center is about five hundred miles from the nearest coast. but also has the advantages of being relatively close to Southeast Asia and virtually on the other side of the globe from the United States.
The remoteness of the continent's center makes it an ideal place for the building of installations that must be kept away from the prying eyes of those who inhabit population centers. Where people are concerned, central Australia is easily "secured" (to use the government argot). Proximity to the Asian landmass means that Australia is especially well suited to eavesdropping on some kinds of communication and electronic signals coming from there, helping U.S. submarines, surface ships, and aircraft navigate and communicate throughout the western Pacific, monitoring the nuclear blasts going off above ground at Lop Nor in China and under it in the hills of Soviet Kazakhstan, and listening to Soviet, Chinese, and other nations' submarines on tapes connected to SOSUS amplifiers.
Australia's location nearly opposite the United States is especially important where space reconnaissance and surveillance are concerned. The geostationary spacecraft engaged in SIGINT reconnaissance and ballistic missile early warning (BMEW) surveillance of the Soviet Union, China, and elsewhere in the Eastern Hemisphere can be fully monitored because the positions high above the equator from where they look and listen are in unimpeded communication range of Australia.
The island-continent is so fundamentally involved in U.S. space reconnaissance and surveillance programs, as well as a wide variety of other intelligence-gathering, monitoring. and communication
operations, that it amounts to the Southern Hemisphere's equivalent of the Norwegian connection. Indeed, if there is a difference in the degree of participation between the two countries, it is that the Australians probably have an even more intimate and extensive relationship with the U.S. intelligence establishment than the Norwegians do.
Unlike Norway, Australia was not occupied during World War II, and it therefore quickly developed into an extremely important forward base for American and British forces in the Pacific. Its size made it a daunting prospect for invasion by Japan, while its location made it a natural staging area for Allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen. Douglas MacArthur made his celebrated return to the Philippines from Australia in October 1944.
At the same time, Australia was turned into an intelligence-gathering mecca by a number of secret services that ran spy networks or, more usually, pulled information out of thin air with directional antennas and powerful receivers. Ball has claimed that more than twenty separate intelligence organizations operated in Australia during World War II under British, Australian, or American auspices (with the last dominating) and that some of them were so black--so structured on a need-to-know basis--that to this day exactly what it was that they did remains unclear and untangling their relationship with one another is all but impossible.
What emerges quite clearly, however, is that SIGINT, and especially its communications aspect, had become so refined by 1943 that it was already playing a significant role in the outcome of the war. Using the Japanese naval codes that had been cracked in Washington before the attack on Pearl Harbor, intercepts of encoded radio transmissions led to the ferocious and highly successful attacks by U.S. submarines against Japanese shipping, the naval disasters inflicted at the battles of Midway and the Coral Sea, and even to the death of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the commander in chief of the Japanese Navy, who was killed on his way to inspect fortifications on Bougainville when his bomber was jumped by P-38s that were waiting for it.
Australian experience in technical collection and the sharing with the country's allies of the take and the facilities necessary to get it were well established by the end of the war. And although some Australian combat units were disbanded outright or thinned by the armistice, the nation's essential SIGINT apparatus, human and mechanical, was kept intact for the day it might have to be
pointed in another direction. Many who followed events in 1947 behind the Iron Curtain and in China (where Mao Tse-tung's spreading War of Liberation had already claimed more than a million of Chiang Kai-shek's troops and was threatening all of Manchuria) knew that that day was swiftly approaching.
The close working relationship that existed between the Allied secret services during the war was formalized and codified in 1947 with the signing of the UKUSA Agreement, or Secret Treaty, as it was also called. The principal parties--the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand--agreed to cooperate in the collection of several kinds of SIGINT, to share what was collected, and to jointly operate some of the relevant installations that are on Australian soil.
Communication and assorted electronic signals are routinely intercepted at Australia's Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) headquarters in Melbourne, as well as at listening posts in Watsonia, Darwin, Shoal Bay, Harman (outside Canberra), Pearce (near Perth), Cabarlah, not far from Toowoomba in Queensland and North West Cape. Pearce, to take one example of listening-post coverage, is responsible for monitoring naval and air communication around the Indian Ocean. Cabarlah, to take another, taps radio traffic--COMINT--throughout the southwest Pacific. DSD personnel at both facilities use Plessy-built CDAA antenna arrays: the same type, code-named Pusher, that is used by the Norwegians at Vadsø.
Australia also hosts the U.S. Air Force's Detachment 421 which operates a seismic station at Alice Springs as part of the Nuclear Detection System. The unit operates nineteen seismometers, most of which are buried more than one hundred fifty feet underground, and all of which are arranged in a circle several miles wide to enhance overall receptivity. The station records an average of twenty-one hundred "events" a week, occasionally including an underground nuclear explosion, and, like Norway, relays the data to AFTAC at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida by satellite. Three similar stations due north--one on Okinawa and two in the Philippines--perform the same monitoring mission.
Most SIGINT collection is technically a joint endeavor involving the National Security Agency (NSA), Australia's DSD, and Great Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Ball has written that "NSA and GCHQ operations in Australia are so closely interlocked with those of DSD that it is impossible to consider them separately." While that is true, only one of the three intelligence organizations represents a country
that has a space reconnaissance and surveillance program, and that agency--the NSA--therefore plays a dominant role in space-related activity.
U.S. space reconnaissance and surveillance operations in Australia are focused at two locations, each of which possesses several capabilities, though each also has a distinct primary mission. The installations, both of which are as black as such things get, are at Pine Gap, a valley near Alice Springs (and therefore smack in the center of the country's barren outback), and Nurrungar, which is hard by the old rocket-firing range at Woomera, about two hundred fifty miles north of Adelaide. Pine Gap's primary mission is to serve as the downlink--the intelligence receptacle--for a series of multipurpose geosynchronous SIGINT satellites whose first version was named Rhyolite. Similarly, Nurrungar is the terminus for data coming from a platform known as DSP-647 (for Defense Support Program), which images the heat coming from ballistic missile tests and is supposed to sound an alarm in case of a ballistic missile attack.
Rhyolite and its several modified namesakes, all synchronous orbiters, are in many ways the most remarkable reconnaissance satellites ever developed. They were also intended to be among the most secret. But that was before the espionage trial of Andrew Daulton Lee and Christopher John Boyce, which took place in Los Angeles in 1977.
Having abandoned three colleges short of graduation and meanwhile holding jobs as a janitor, pizza cook, waiter, and liquor-store delivery boy, Christopher Boyce finally decided to use family connections to land a clerk's job at TRW's Redondo Beach headquarters, just south of Los Angeles, in July 1974. After making it through successive CIA security checks with apparent ease, Boyce, who was twenty-one, was put to work in the company's supersecret Black Vault. He soon learned of the existence of a spy satellite that was referred to as RH, for Rhyolite, which sent great quantities of intelligence data to Australia. The information in turn was transmitted from there to the Black Vault, which relayed it in code to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Boyce was therefore in a position to monitor whatever kind of intelligence Rhyolite collected.
During a subsequent twenty-one-month period Boyce and Lee, his childhood pal, sold thousands of documents relating to Rhyolite operations to KGB agents in Mexico City and Vienna. They did this, according to testimony at their subsequent
espionage trial, to finance drug purchases, improve their lifestyles and, in Boyce's case, almost as a "whim" because of vague feelings of enmity he had for the CIA and for his country in general. It was the time of Vietnam. Boyce was given forty years in prison and Lee got life.
The spacecraft whose secrets Lee and Boyce sold to the Russians was described to Boyce at an early TRW briefing as "a multipurpose covert electronic surveillance system," according to Robert Lindsey, whose book The Falcon and the Snowman chronicles the spies' exploits. "Project Rhyolite . . . had been developed by TRW to eavesdrop electronically on foreign countries, especially the eastern Soviet Union, China and Soviet test ranges in the Pacific. It was a 'bug'--much like the listening devices detectives plant on telephones to eavesdrop on private conversations--except that it was a listening device on the missile-launching tests of the two countries and on their telecommunications system--and on several other nations whose communications traffic the United States might want to monitor," Lindsey wrote. "Chris was to learn that each satellite carried a brace of antennas capable of sucking up foreign microwave signals from out of space like a vacuum cleaner picking up specks of dust from a carpet. American intelligence agents could monitor Communist microwave radio and long-distance telephone traffic over much of the European landmass, eavesdropping on a Soviet commissar in Moscow talking to his mistress in Yalta or on a general talking to his lieutenants across the great continent. . . . "
But Langley and the National Security Agency, which shared the intelligence that came down in a steady stream from tar above the equator, had bigger fish to fry than commissars exchanging endearments with their paramours or generals giving orders to junior officers. As good as Rhyolite's intercept capability was against Soviet and Chinese radio and telephone communication links in the VHF, UHF, and microwave broadcast bands, COMINT was not the satellite's primary target, and neither was RADINT--radar intelligence--although it did a little of that, too. Rhyolite's main task was to collect TELINT, or the telemetry from Soviet and Chinese ballistic missile tests, and to relay what it heard in coded form to the CIA and the NSA through Pine Gap and Redondo Beach. And it did that very well indeed.
The first fully operational Rhyolite went up on top of an Atlas Agena-D on March 6, 1973, though at least one experimental operational version was orbited as early as 1970 (the year the
U.S.-Australian "Joint Defence Space Research Facility" at Pine Gap began functioning). The spacecraft, a squat cylinder about five feet long and weighing three quarters of a ton, was positioned 22,175 miles over Borneo. Once on station, its main dish antenna, measuring more than seventy feet across, was unfolded and extended forward as though on the end of an accordion. Other, smaller antennas received instructions from Pine Gap (whose code name was Merino), and answered with a bonanza of telemetry intercepted from the ballistic missiles that roared off the pads at Tyuratam and Plesetsk and separated from their warheads, which then arced far over Siberia and impacted on Kamchatka or the north Pacific.
Subsequent Rhyolites were launched on May 23 and December 11, 1977, and on April 7, 1978. Of the initial batch of four operationally capable satellites, two are understood to have been put to work on telemetry collection, communication intercepts and some radar mapping, while the other two were kept in reserve for the day when point failure or attack crippled one or both of their sisters. So sensitive were the satellites' listening equipment that they could pick up walkie-talkie chatter during Red Army field exercises from more than twenty-two thousand miles over the equator. They also collected signals from the People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, Lebanon, and elsewhere.
The NRO reacted to Lee's and Boyce's having compromised Rhyolite, as well as to the subsequent public trial, in traditional fashion: its name was changed. Though still essentially the same satellite, Rhyolite was rechristened Aquacade in an effort to get the Soviet Union to believe that its TELINT and other intercept activities were mostly, or even totally, being taken over by a newer system. Meanwhile, the Rhyolites continued tapping the approximately fifty channels, most of them UHF and microwave, that the Russians use for telemetry transmission.
Nor is Rhyolite the only heavy SIGINT spacecraft to have been put in geosynchronous orbit by the United States. Even as Lee's and Boyce's trial was taking place, finishing touches were being put on a second major signals intelligence platform, this one code-named Chalet. The first Chalet launch apparently took place on June 10, 1978, followed by others on October 1, 1979, and October 31, 1981. After an article in The New York Times mentioned Chalet by name, it too was assigned a new designator: Vortex.
Yet another large signals collector, this one code-named Magnum, was launched amid glaring (and unwanted) publicity
when the space shuttle Discovery went into orbit on January 24, 1985. A month before, Brigadier General Richard Abel warned reporters at a crowded press conference that coverage of the mission--51-C--was to be severely restricted because of the nature of the heavily classified cargo. Abel, who was the Air Force's director of public affairs, added that subsequent similar launches would also come under the new rules, which were intended to "deny our adversaries" as much information as possible. And, Abel went on, any press "speculation" about the nature of Discovery's mission and the cargo it was to carry to orbit would set off a federal investigation for breach of national security.
Although some news organizations withheld details of Mission 51-C, Abel's threat, combined with a fear that the shroud of secrecy covering the NASA launch would become a precedent, proved too much for The Washington Post. Two days after Abel issued his warning, the Post ran a page-one story saying that the shuttle would be carrying a "new military intelligence satellite that is to collect electronic signals and retransmit them to a U.S. receiving station on Earth." The article went on to report that the collected data would include missile telemetry that could be used to verify arms control treaty compliance and that the SIGINT satellite's cost was $300 million. Caspar Weinberger promptly denounced the newspaper, saying that the article might have given ''aid and comfort to the enemy." General Abel was reassigned.
But there was at least one more attempt to deceive the press and, therefore, it was hoped, the Soviet Union regarding Magnum's mission. By international agreement, the initial orbits of all satellites are filed with the United Nations. In the case of U.S. military launches, procedure calls for the Air Force to supply the State Department with a satellite's initial orbital characteristics within several weeks after it has gone up. The State Department then passes the information to the UN. In the case of Magnum, someone seems to have tipped The New York Times that the satellite had gone into a most unusual orbit for a reconnaissance platform. A Times reporter than requested details. He was told that the secret spacecraft had been put into a highly elliptical orbit with an apogee of 21,543 miles, a perigee of only 212 miles, and an inclination of 28.4 degrees. The reporter noted in his lead paragraph that it was a "radically different orbit from many spy satellites" and quoted an expert at MIT as saying, "It's a very funny trajectory." It was a funny trajectory for a reconnaissance satellite, but it did not remain so for long. Magnum's initial orbit
was just that: a temporary so-called parking orbit where it was stabilized before being rerouted to geosynchronous. Although the Air Force had been absolutely truthful in describing Magnum's initial orbit, it had neglected to add that the orbit was subsequently changed, thereby attempting to undo what it saw as the damage that had been done by the earlier disclosures. This was a neat bit of what was later to be officially called a deliberate policy of disinformation by the Defense Department.
Nurrungar, located five hundred miles south of Pine Gap along the arterial highway that runs up the middle of the Australian continent, occupies only about eight acres in a valley that is a quarter of a mile by half a mile, forming an oblong bowl whose rim of hills is several hundred feet high. The hills help to maintain privacy and shut out electrical interference.
Nurrungar was built specifically to service TRW's Defense Support Program Code 647 satellites, or DSP-647s, as spacecraft in the long-lived series are commonly called. Construction of the isolated facility began in the autumn of 1969. It was pronounced operational on November 6, 1970, when the first non-experimental DSP-647 was launched under whole or partial control of Nurrungar (four experimental predecessors, called Code 949, had been launched with mixed results while under control of Pine Gap). Although that first Nurrungar-controlled DSP-647 did make it off the ground, it did not achieve geostationary orbit. It nevertheless marked the opening of the facility. The first DSP-647 to make it to its assigned station went up on a Titan 3C on May 5, 1971.
There were 396 persons working at Nurrungar by the summer of 1978: 189 Australian military officers and 207 Americans, who were probably employed by the military, the contractors, and perhaps by one or more of the intelligence services. The facility, which is quite a bit smaller than Pine Gap, consists mainly of two large buildings and two of the same sort of whitish-silver radomes that are at Pine Gap. As is the case at Vadsø, Viksjøfjell, Pine Gap, and all of the other similar installations around the world, the radomes at Nurrungar are there to keep out dust, dirt, weather, and Soviet spaceborne telescopic cameras (though one of Nurrungar's radomes conceals a Hughes AN/MSC-46 Defense Satellite Communication System [DSCS] antenna having a forty-foot Cassegrain dish with a four-horn monopulse feed, the design for which dates from the 1960s and is generally available). The only other facility similar to Nurrungar is at Buckley Air National Guard Base, not far from the large granite bunker in Cheyenne
Mountain, just outside and above Colorado Springs, belonging to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
It is the mission of the aged DSP-647s that ring the earth around its equator to sound the alarm when they see enemy ballistic missiles heading toward the United States from land or sea. The warning would flash from the sentinels in space to Nurrungar and Buckley to NORAD to the National Command Authority in Washington. Provided the entire system works as it should (it is vulnerable to attack and glitches at several points), the alarm would reach Washington in from three to five minutes after the start of the attack (depending upon weather conditions, since DSP-647 does not see well through clouds). This would in no sense give the people of the United States time to seek shelter, but it would probably give the Air Force and Navy time to strike back. DSP-647 and its fragile support system are therefore an integral part of the nation's deterrent capability, as are the intelligence-gatherers--the reconnaissance platforms--that provide targeting data for the counterattack itself.
DSP-647 replaced MIDAS as the nation's ballistic missile early warning space program. As originally intended when the Defense Department issued requests for proposals in 1966, the satellite system was supposed to combine spaceborne missile launch detection, nuclear test detection, and a meteorological capability for use exclusively by the military. Following a design philosophy that called for cramming as many different mission capabilities as possible into one satellite system, Daniel J. Fink, the Defense Department's deputy director of strategic and space systems in the Directorate of Defense Research and Engineering, explained in late April of that year: "We have concluded that these functions are compatible and could be married into a single, newly proposed satellite. Consequently, during the past year we have reoriented each of these programs toward such a common goal." Superior sensors had been developed for the ballistic missile early warning system, Fink added, and "by incorporation of additional sensors other functions could also be performed simultaneously." He did not elaborate beyond mentioning nuclear test detection and weather observation.
By the end of 1966 the Air Force Space Systems Division which had the responsibility of developing the MIDAS follow-on program, picked TRW and Aerojet-General to handle the project, which was variously known as Program 949, or Integrated Satellite, or Research Test Series 2. The Lockheed Missiles and
Space Co., which had lost the competition for the contract, was in the meantime designing advanced versions of the CIA's Corona and the Air Force's SAMOS photo intelligence satellites as part of the Keyhole program. Initial total funding for Program 949 was $105 million for the first three satellites, though it was estimated that the program's cost would run as high as $600 million through the following five to seven years. As conceived in 1966, Program 949 satellites were to use five-hundred-mile-high polar orbits. This was soon changed to geosynchronous, however.
By March 1969 the Integrated Satellite (shortly to be renamed DSP-647) was unveiled by the Pentagon. It stood about twenty-three feet high and was nine feet wide. Its weight was understood to vary between 1,700 and 2,600 pounds, depending upon the contents of its sensor package. The top of the satellite was a squat cylinder covered with solar panels that would provide power to the sensors; extra power was to come from four small solar paddles that came out of the top of the cylinder. There was a monopropellant hydrazine thruster system with which the satellite would be kept where it was supposed to be and a separate hot gas-propelled motor system to keep it stabilized on all three of its axes and prevent tumbling. The spacecraft was also seen to have antennas for uplinked command and control signals and downlinked transmission of data to Nurrungar and Buckley. The sensors included a Vela-type nuclear radiation package, an attitude control mechanism, a sun sensor so the satellite could orient itself, ultraviolet sensors, and a television camera. The last was put on as a kind of double check against the spacecraft's main sensor, its large infrared telescope. Since sunlight bouncing off high-altitude clouds and other natural occurrences could be seen by the telescope and interpreted as an individual or multiple missile launch, a nuclear explosion, or even an attempt to blind it by laser, the simultaneous transmission of a television picture with the infrared imagery theoretically acts to prevent the sending of a potentially dangerous false alarm to NORAD.
The heart of DSP-647 is its infrared telescope, a hydrogen-cooled Schmidt-Cassegrain type measuring twelve feet in length and having an aperture of thirty-nine inches. The telescope, which is protected by a small sunshade, protrudes out of the bottom of the main cylinder and points downward. Infrared radiation strikes the telescope's main mirror and reflects onto a detector array composed of twenty-three hundred wafer-thin lead-sulfide cells that are kept cold by the hydrogen. The pattern of infrared energy
striking this mosaic is registered in reasonable (but not fine) detail and transmitted to earth.
The system's engineers also devised a clever way of extending the telescope's field of view without changing its dimensions. They set the telescope 7.5 degrees off the center of the satellite's vertical axis, which means that it doesn't really point straight down, but is off at a slight angle. Since DSP-647 rotates at between five and seven revolutions a minute, its telescope's field of view is extended outward well beyond where it would be were it only pointed down. Seven and a half degrees may not seem like much of an angle, but it adds many thousands of square miles of coverage from an altitude of 22,300 miles.
Three DSP-647s are in orbit at all times: one, called DSP East by NORAD, is parked over the Indian Ocean; the other two, known collectively as DSP West, are positioned over the Atlantic and the Pacific. DSP East's primary job is to scan the Eurasian landmass, and specifically the twenty-six Soviet ballistic missile complexes that are strung out along a swath that roughly parallels the Trans-Siberian Railroad. In addition, the spacecraft's nuclear detection sensors, including particle detectors, electromagnetic pulse sensors, and gamma-ray and X-ray measuring equipment, gather specific data on Soviet underground tests and on French and Chinese detonations above ground. Successive satellites on the DSP East station have also detected ballistic missile multiple test launches, space launches, and rocket research launches, according to Senate testimony. Meanwhile, both DSP West satellites watch for heat plumes coming from the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico that would indicate a submarine-launched ballistic missile attack. Warning time would be between five and fifteen minutes.
It is also very likely that some launches that are said to involve DSP-647s have in fact been masks to cover Rhyolite and Chalet operations. Desmond Ball, who has done extensive studies of U.S. military satellite activity as it relates to his own country, Australia, has suggested this as a real possibility after doing a little arithmetic. ". . . given that only three early warning satellites are m operation at any given time, and that these have operational lifetimes of five years, then no more than about a dozen satellites would have been needed for this mission since the 647 program began, even allowing for several launch failures," Ball has noted. "The launch rate of just two satellites per year is certainly excessive for the early warning mission alone. This suggests that perhaps
half of the DSP satellites are dedicated to SIGINT and other 'special intelligence' missions."
In fact there were ten DSP-647 launches between 1971 and 1982, leaving somewhat more than twice that number in synchronous orbit and unaccounted for, at least officially. Three of the black launches--on June 10, 1978, October I, 1979, and October 31, 1981--were Chalets, while another was probably an Argus (the code name derives from AR, for Advanced Rhyolite). The remainder were Rhyolites, including spares--redundant platforms--that were supposed to perch near their operational sisters, waiting for the day when point failure or war would require their being brought to life.
168n TRSSCOMM on the Liberty is described in Bamford, The Puzzle Palace, p. 219.
169n Data on the RA-SC are from The Encyclopedia of World Air Power (London: Aerospace Publishing Ltd., 1980), pp. 30-4.
169-170 The location of foreign air bases is from Streetly, "US airborne ELINT systems, Part 2: the US Air Force," p. 274.
171 The NOIC is described in some detail in Richelson, The U.S. Intelligence Community, pp. 62-64.
171 The quotation from the defense analyst on the quality of satellite imagery of Soviet submarines is from Allen and Norman, "The Silent Chase: Tracking Soviet
Submarines," The New York Times Magazine, January 1, 1984, p. 14.
171-172 Garwin's explanation of submarine noise levels and the difficulty in picking them up is from "Antisubmarine Warfare and National Security," Scientific American, July 1972, p. 16.
172-173 Location of SOSUS arrays are indicated in Wit, "Advances in Antisubmarine Warfare," pp. 36-37.
173n FLTSATCOM is sketched in Fleet Satellite Communications (FLTSATCOM) System, a United States Air Force fact sheet issued by the Air Force Space Division in August 1981. A far more comprehensive description is given by Ball in The U.S. Fleet Satellite Communications (FLTSATCOM) System: The Australian Connection.
173-174 The MIT assessment of SOSUS and antisubmarine warfare in general was quoted by Walter Sullivan in "Can Submarines Stay Hidden?" The New York Times, December 11, 1984.
176-177 An overview of Vela is contained in the Hearings Before the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, Congress of the United States: Developments in the Field of Detection and Identification of Nuclear Explosions (Project Vela) and Relationship to Test Ban Negotiations.
177 Romney's testimony and a detailed description of the Wichita observatory are from the above hearings, pp. 87-128.
177-178 Dr. Herzfeld's testimony is excerpted in the report by Wilkes and Gleditsch, Intelligence Installations in Norway: Their Number, Location, Function, and Legality, p. 51. Data on HF, VHF, and UHF facilities in Norway, together with descriptions of the equipment they use, appear on pp. 17-37. Atmospheric nuclear explosion monitoring and seismic monitoring. both for verification and military "diagnostics," are described on pp. 45-56. The satellite facility at Vetan and its several likely uses are discussed on pp. 37-45. The data on the location of the Chinese detection sites are from a private conversation.
179 By January 1984, U.S. and NATO forces were installing new electronic listening posts along the 1,200-mile-long Norwegian coast. The information came to light in connection with the case of Arne Treholt, a Norwegian Foreign Ministry press representative who was charged with espionage (The New York Times, January 29, 1984).
179 The report of Soviet commando activities along the Swedish coast and their likely meaning is from The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 24, 1984. The New York Times carried a shorter version on the same date.
180-182 Ball's book is A Suitable Piece of Real Estate: American Installations in Australia. The geographic connection is on pp. 15-16. Reference to the UKUSA Agreement is on p. 27. The quotation about inseparability is on p. 40. The CDAA antenna is mentioned on p. 44 and diagrammed on p. 45. The various COMINT listening posts run by the DSD are mentioned on pp. 40-45.
183-184 Christopher Boyce's reference to having committed espionage almost as a whim is in Lindsey's "To Chase A Spy." Additional material is in The New York Times, March 26, 1982. Lindsey's description of Rhyolite's capability is from The Falcon and the Snowman, pp. 61-62.
184-185 Soviet telemetry channels and encryption are dealt with in Ball's "The Rhyolite Program," pp. 13-16 and in Richelson's ''Technical Collection and Arms Control," pp. 23-26. Rhyolite launches are also discussed in the pages cited.
185 I have been told that Rhyolites continued to be used in modified form.
185 Chalet was first mentioned publicly in "U.S. Plans New Way to Check Soviet Missile Tests," The New York Times, June 29, 1979.
185-187 The Magnum launch was copiously reported, in large measure because the Air Force went out of its way to prohibit press coverage. See, for example, "U.S. to Orbit 'Sigint' Cratt From Shuttle," The Washington Post, December 19, 1984; "Military Mission of Space Shuttle to Be Kept Secret," The New York Times, December 18. 1984; ''Launching of Shuttle's Secret Satellite Is Rumored" and "On Secret Shuttle, Silence Is Leaden," The New York Times, January 27, 1985; and "US Meets Mission Objectives on Defense Dept. Shuttle Flight," Aviation Week & Space Technology, February 4, 1985, p. 20. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger's assertion that reporting the launch was irresponsible appeared in a story on page one of The Washington Post on December 20. 1984. The article that unwittingly carried reference only to Magnum's parking orbit was ''Initial Orbit of New
Satellite Differed From Usual," The New York Times, April 26, 1985. King-Hele et al., The R.A.E. Table of Earth Satellites (1985) gives the satellite's final orbit as "probably geosynchronous" on p. 817.
187 Nurrungar's physical layout is described briefly in Ball's Code 647: Australia and the U.S. Defence Support Program (DSP), pp. 20-21.
188 The best account of the fragility of the DSP system is in Ford's "The Button" (which details NORAD's workings in considerable detail), The New Yorker, April 1 and 8, 1985.
188-189 Fink's remarks signaling the birth of DSP-647 are in "DOD Plans Multi-Mission Satellite RFP," missiles and rockets, May 2, 1966, p. 17. The initial concept and budget information is from "New USAF Satellite to Include Infrared, Photo Scanning Gear," Aviation Week & Space Technology, December 26, 1966, p. 23. DSP's basic dimensions and capability are given in Pringle and Arkin, S.I.O.P., pp. 96-97, and in Ball's report Code 647: Australia and the U.S. Defence Support Program (DSP), pp. 4 and 12-13.
190 DSP-647's coverage of the Soviet missile complexes is from Ford's "The Button," p. 58. Its other capabilities are listed by Ball in Code 647. The Senate testimony, as cited by Ball, is from Senate Appropriations Committee, Department of Defense Appropriations for Fiscal 1975, Part 1, p. 514.
190-191 Ball's Rhyolite-Chalet hypothesis is in Code 647, p. 16. Argus is in Lindsey, The Falcon and the Snowman, D. 63.