SATELLITE AND AIRBORNE SURVEILLANCE FOR
ARMS CONTROL VERIFICATION, PEACEKEEPING, CRISIS MONITORING AND SOVEREIGNTY
A. Walter Dorn
Originally published as a Special Report, Science for Peace,
The Science for Peace Working Group on International Surveillance and Verification sponsored the full-day workshop on July 7, 1987, at the McLennan Physics Labs, University of Toronto. The twenty-five participants (listed in Appendix I) were from industry, government, academia and five co-sponsoring peace groups. The Working Group is interested in investigating the possibilities of using multilateral surveillance systems to enhance international peace and security. In addition to this topic, the workshop participants considered surveillance for the purpose of enhancing Canadian sovereignty, especially in the Canadian North.
The workshop was chaired by Dr. Larry Morley, Executive Director of the Institute for Space and Terrestrial Science (ISTS), based at York University. The twenty presentations made at the workshop were divided into two categories. The first set dealt with the “strategic” aspects of surveillance, focusing on political and organizational considerations. The second set dealt with the technical aspects, focusing on Canada’s expertise in airborne and satellite surveillance. Dr. John MacDonald, Chairman of MacDonald-Dettwiler & Associates Ltd., a Vancouver-based company that is a world leader in the interpretation of remote sensing data, and Professor John Polanyi, Canada’s most recent Nobel Prize winner, addressed the workshop participants at a luncheon.
This report summarizes the presentations, questions and answers and discussions at the workshop. The Workshop Statement, adopted unanimously at the end of the workshop, is also included. Funding for the workshop was provided by the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security (CIIPS).
In opening the workshop, host Eric Fawcett (Department of Physics, University of Toronto) pointed out that the Working Group sponsoring this workshop was the result of an earlier workshop on “Peace-keeping Satellites” held on October 21, 1986. Workshop Chairman Larry Morley then examined several possible reasons why participants were interested in attending the workshop: some came to represent the interests of a company or group; others, for nationalistic or internationalistic reasons. Most were interested in peace-keeping, and everyone abhorred war. He deplored the possible weaponization of space. He recalled that Canada had long ago chosen not to develop a “military-industrial complex” and he proposed that Canada develop a “peace-keeping-industrial complex”. In contrast to military solutions which usually result in “things that go bang”, surveillance technologies can offer the diplomat valuable time to reach negotiated peaceful settlements.
A. Walter Dorn
Presentations focusing on the strategic aspects of surveillance were made by the following speakers:
|Larry Morley||Introductory Remarks|
|Walter Dorn||International Surveillance and Canada|
|George Lindsey||Offshore and Arctic Surveillance of Canada|
|David Cox||Canada and North American Surveillance|
|Ron Cleminson||The Role of External Affairs in Arms Verification|
|Jim Mcintosh||Requirements for Arms Control Verification|
|Ralph Chipman||Legal Principles of Remote Sensing in the UN|
|Douglas Scott||The Role of Third Party Monitoring of Arms Control Treaties|
|Dieter Heinrich||Strengthening UN Surveillance Capabilities|
|Philip A. Lapp||The Federal Government’s Requirements for Surveillance|
|George Bell||Surveillance and Peace-keeping Operations|
International Surveillance and Canada
Walter Dorn, Chairman of the Working Group on International Surveillance and Verification; UN Representative of Science for Peace; Graduate Student, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Toronto.
Since 1961, surveillance satellites have allowed the USA to see over the Iron Curtain into the USSR. These satellites have reduced the fear of surprise attack and have helped verify important arms control agreements. However, the data from US surveillance satellites are not available to the public or to the UN. Even allies like Canada do not receive data on a regular basis. The United States “military-industrial complex” does not want to lose its monopoly over satellite surveillance and continues to make efforts to curtail the development of high resolution (better than 10 metres) sensors in the civilian sector and in other Western nations. The data could be of tremendous value to the international community. At the last workshop Dr. George Ignatieff, who was President of the Security Council during the Six-Day War (in 1967), described the ridiculous situation of having to rely on the previous day’s New York Times reports to provide information on the scene of hostilities while the superpowers were getting immediate, current and accurate surveillance information.
Outer space lends itself ideally to the activity of international surveillance for several reasons: outer space is the common heritage of all mankind; space activities are often of a cooperative nature; under international law, orbiting satellites may travel freely over any part of the world; and observation from space is presently accepted and is not overly intrusive. Canada is a world leader in the technology of remote sensing and has also shown great dedication to peace-keeping and international security. Canada can play a leading role in the development of surveillance systems to bring more stability to the world. Government documents have shown that Canada has both a growing expertise in surveillance (Report on Satellites and Sovereignty, 1977; Department of Defence White Paper, 1987) and a growing commitment to national and international surveillance (see the reports from the following House of Commons Standing Committees: Science, Research & Technology, 1987; National Defence, 1982 and International Relations, 1986).
Some of the frequently mentioned obstacles and objections to international satellite surveillance and responses are as follows:
(1) Some feel that “verification is being used as a smoke screen in order to slow progress in disarmament”. It is precisely because of this possibility that we should develop advanced means of verification, so that verification cannot be used as a smoke screen.
(2) “Why should this area be developed by middle powers like Canada and not left to the superpowers whose technology will, at least in the short term, be better than ours?” The answer is that third party verification can command more credibility in the international community and a more open system of verification will be safer from false accusations. In addition, nations which are signatories to a multilateral treaty have a right to participate in the verification systems which determine the compliance with the treaty.
(3) “Civilian satellites dedicated to resource monitoring should not be used for surveillance, since this could lead to their demise under pressure from certain nations.” While true to a certain extent, the march of civilian technology in the international community will go on in spite of obstacles. Since satellites can be very expensive, it is very appealing to have satellites which do both tasks.
(4) “Should anyone be able to access the data?” The misuse of surveillance data by terrorist or other groups for wrongdoing should be guarded against, but the more open system of data distribution should not be compromised. A balance can be achieved.
(5) While the cost of a surveillance satellite system may be high, it can be shared amongst several nations. Furthermore, even the most advanced system envisioned under the ISMA (International Satellite Monitoring Agency, UN Secretary General, 1981) proposal would cost much less than one percent of the world’s expenditure on arms. Surveillance satellites could become part of a peace-keeping-industrial complex which would provide a very welcome and realistic means of conversion from the escalating arms trade market.
Offshore and Arctic Surveillance of Canada
George Lindsey, recently retired from the Department of National Defence, where he served as the Chief of the Operational Research and Analysis Establishment (ORAE); now affiliated with the Canadian Institute for Strategic Studies (CISS).
From outer space one of the earth’s features that would be readily noticeable is the large, uninhabited area in the Soviet and the Canadian north. In these areas it would seem difficult to keep track of what’s going on. In the future one can expect to see an increase in activity of surface ships for fishing and oil drilling, submarines for underwater prospecting and mining, and aircraft for aerospace defence. Though the amount of activity in the Arctic is increasing and a great deal of attention has been paid to the Arctic recently, it is still a much less important area militarily than are other theatres. The Arctic gained importance militarily in the 1950’s, when a defence was necessary to counter the threat of Soviet bombers coming over the pole. In the future, the threat of long-range cruise missiles will be of greater concern. It is assumed, however, that the Soviets would launch cruise missiles off the coast of the USA, rather than from the Arctic. The Joint US-Canada Air Defence Study (JUSCADS) found that the DEW line, which had been built in the 1950’s, was both obsolete and incomplete. The newer North Warning System (NWS) will provide more reliable detection, though only along a narrow strip. Research and development is showing that the technology of space-based cruise missile detection will become mature only in the 1990’s using infrared sensing, or after the year 2000 using radar sensors. Perhaps in the near future it will be possible to keep track of ships in the Arctic from space just as it is now possible to track aircraft from AWACS. Canada cannot claim ownership of the Arctic waterways right up to the North Pole, according to the 12-mile territorial waters rule. However, Canadian ownership of the Northwest Passage can be debated. The maintenance of effective surveillance, using satellites and other means, over the passage will help the Canadian case considerably.
An important component of a satellite surveillance system is the process of control and interpretation, in which data from satellites and other sources are fused. This may constitute a considerable part of the effort and cost of maintaining the system. It would have to include the training of interpreters and keeping track of what is normal so as to distinguish the abnormal.
In the subsequent discussion, Larry Morley pointed out that one of the major dangers facing Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic was the possibility that superpower submarines may be able to play hide and seek there. It remains our duty to monitor and discourage any such activities.
David Cox, Director of Research at CIIPS; Professor of Political Studies, Queen’s University.
There is a conceptual difference between sovereignty surveillance and defence surveillance in Canada. Sovereignty surveillance can be supported by national measures, while surveillance for defence will, in the present climate, include the participation of the United States. The North Warning System is not adequate for sovereignty surveillance since it provides poor coverage of the northern extremities of Canadian territory. Since the NWS is seen as an interim solution, it is worthwhile to look at what the US is planning for future surveillance systems. These systems will rely, to a large extent, on space-based radar, which will not be ready for deployment until at least 1995. Canada will participate in the development of the Teal Ruby satellite by assisting in the testing phase. Canada will, for example, provide some of the chase planes. Another research program which may involve Canada is the Air Defense Initiative (ADI). The purpose of ADI is to image, track and intercept objects as small as cruise missiles and to detect those with stealth characteristics. Under ADI, there is a proposal to build a network of TV station antennas to provide a surveillance system which is nuclear-explosion survivable. Another aspect of the ADI program involves remotely piloted vehicles and airships. Clearly, the US wants to be able to combat cruise missiles in a war situation.
In contrast to ADI, there is a Canadian proposal for a national space-based radar system. It would be an excellent surveillance system, though it could not image and track cruise missiles. It would involve two satellites, placed in different orbits at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion. This highlights the distinction between efforts which are aimed at war fighting, necessarily involving the US and those which are designed for sovereignty surveillance, which may be within the capability of Canada. The national system would be used for early warning, for attaining complete knowledge of movements of commercial aircraft and possible intruders. Information from the national system could be shared with the US but would not be associated with US strategic plans.
The Role of External Affairs in Verification
Ron Cleminson, head of the Verification and Research Unit (VRU) of the Arms Control and Disarmament Division of External Affairs.
The Verification Research Program involves 10-12 universities, several commercial firms, institutes and centres. It has been operating for three years and the annual budget is $1 million. All research is directed towards a negotiating mandate. For example, work is presently being done at the University of Toronto under the guidance of Professor Gordon West to distinguish between seismic waves arising from earthquakes and those arising from nuclear tests. The work of the various research groups supported by the VRU is described in the proceedings of the annual Symposia on Verification held at Carleton University and published as the Carleton International Proceedings (see Appendix II for a list).
Over the last few months, Canadian officials have been very active in promoting the development of verification. In May, the Canadian Disarmament Ambassador, Douglas Roche, chaired the Working Group on Verification at the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) in New York. The working group, which achieved consensus on a final report [UN Doc. A/CN.10/89], was singled out amongst all the working groups for progress made in the one month at the UNDC. At the same time, UN Ambassador Stephen Lewis presented to the Secretary-General a transportable chemical detection kit developed by a research group at the Institut Armand-Frappier in Montreal. In June, Ambassador Alan Beesley, Canada’s representative at the Conference on Disarmament (CD), hosted an outer space workshop in Montreal which was attended by fourteen of his peers from the CD as well as other national representatives. The morning session, devoted to legal aspects, was hosted by the Institute for Air and Space Law and the afternoon session was hosted by SPAR Aerospace. Afterward, there was a round table discussion which provided a unique opportunity for the Ambassadors to discuss issues frankly. A chemical weapons workshop was held in Ottawa with the US in which the provisions for verification of a comprehensive chemical weapons ban were discussed. In the same month, Canadians presented two papers at an Oslo workshop on chemical weapons. Finally, a team composed of individuals from External Affairs and SPAR Aerospace have just completed a series of briefings in Europe on the PAXSAT concept.
The European reactions to PAXSAT ranged from strong support to healthy skepticism. The skeptics focused on whether it was possible to develop a political regime in which PAXSAT could work effectively. Everyone recognized Canada as the leader in the field. Jim Mcintosh’s study [Confidence (and Security) Building Measures in the Arms Control Process: a Canadian Perspective] was one of the first studies produced under the Verification Research Program and was very well received, especially in Washington.
Requirements for Arms Control Verification
Jim Macintosh, Senior Research Associate with the York University Centre for International and Strategic Studies (CISS).
Sovereignty surveillance could be separated from the three other tasks listed in the title of the workshop since it involved unilateral measures while the others involved multilateral initiatives. Sovereignty surveillance could call for unconstrained monitoring, while the others involved constrained or limited monitoring. In particular, monitoring for arms control verification is constrained by the terms and measures of the relevant arms control agreement. Overall, it is important to examine the context into which proposals for surveillance or monitoring are made, since this may influence the design of the surveillance instruments. A multilateral verification organization could greatly assist the verification of an MBFR [Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction] or Stockholm follow-on agreement (applying to European conventional forces). The PAXSAT study, for instance, has been examined in such a context. In another vein, the Sinai withdrawal arrangements are the best examples of crisis monitoring employing moderate monitoring technology.
Walter Dorn said that there was a need for both practical work, geared towards the current negotiating mandate (such as the very good verification research which is being sponsored by External Affairs) and for work on developing of a long-term vision for increasing international peace and security. This latter effort may or may not envision the establishment of new international or UN monitoring systems.
Legal Principles of Remote Sensing in the UN
Ralph Chipman, Outer Space Affairs Division of the United Nations. He was the first employee of the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) and contributed to its development. At the UN, he first worked on the application of remote sensing for developing countries, and now does research in accordance with requests from the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
COPUOS, which has 53 member nations, began to consider the legal principles of remote sensing in the early 1970’s. The discussions bogged down in the late 1970’s over disagreement between the Western countries, in general (and the US, in particular) and the developing countries. The US was opposed to restrictions on the acquisition of remote sensing data, while the developing countries wanted control over the imagery taken of their territories.This deadline was broken in 1985, and in 1986 agreement was reached on a set of principles, which were adopted in COPUOS and unanimously endorsed by the UN General Assembly. It was a compromise which provided that there would be no restrictions on the collection of remote sensing data, but that any data collected over a country could be purchased by that country at a reasonable cost. The Principles represent an agreement and a moral commitment between governments, but they are not binding under international law. These principles apply only to “remote sensing” systems, which are specified as those used for resource management, land-use surveys or environmental protection. This definition then does not apply to the surveillance satellites of the superpowers. The activities of an international surveillance satellite could fall under the agreement if the data were to have economic applications and be widely available.
There are several possible models for an international monitoring or verification organization and several possible relationships between the agency and the UN. The agency would, most probably, not come directly under the General Assembly or the Secretariat. The International Maritime Satellite Organization (INMARSAT), for example, was created at the initiative of the International Maritime Organization, but it operates autonomously, with its own means of funding, operations and management. The International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), which is a member of the UN family, may be the closest model since it does have a monitoring function. Under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) it is responsible for monitoring nuclear facilities. Like INMARSAT, it is independent of the General Assembly and its membership is open to all countries. Another possible model would be the Conference on Disarmament (CD) which was set up on the initiative of the US, the USSR and the UK. The UN provides secretariat services, but the CD sets its own mandate, determines its own rules of procedure and determines its own membership.
Ron Cleminson remarked that it was not the USA or the USSR that was the stumbling block for the remote sensing agreement, but rather it was the third world countries. They could see themselves being left out of space-based remote sensing. He also noted that it had taken ten years to develop principles relating to resource sensing, and that it could take two or three times as long to develop principles relating to surveillance impinging on national security, unless there was some way of drawing from the experience of COPUOS. In the case of PAXSAT, the right to perform surveillance will be derived from the sovereign authority which is created within a specific treaty, if and when this treaty is signed. According to Arthur Darnley, the IAEA grew out of two UN Conferences on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy and the same sort of development could occur for the development of a satellite remote sensing and surveillance agency. Chipman noted that, though there are organizations and committees associated with the UN that would like to have information relating to verification, there was no agency with such a mandate and that some sort of international agreement, such as a treaty, would be required to establish the agency.
The Role of Third Party Monitoring of Arms Control Treaties
Douglas Scott, Research Director of the Toronto Chapter of Lawyers for Social Responsibility (LSR); President of the Markland Group, an organization which promotes the protection and strengthening of arms control treaties and examines devices which can be inserted into arms control treaties to promote compliance.
International monitoring can be divided into two categories. The first is “independent monitoring” which is monitoring that is not authorized by an arms control treaty but can be done legally by a particular country, organization or group. For instance, there is no legal principle which would limit any nation, including Canada, from supplying satellite data relating to compliance with arms control agreements. But since this type of unilateral verification is unlikely, independent monitoring is more likely to come about through a joint arrangement among a group of countries or through the UN. One example of independent monitoring adopted by the UN is a procedure, based on the 1982 General Assembly resolution 38/97D, which establishes a team of experts with authority to investigate violations of the 1925 Geneva Protocol (which bans the use of chemical weapons). This team has been sent to Iran and elsewhere and it reports back to the Secretary-General. Several key decisions are made by either the team or the Secretary-General, such as when to inspect, which procedures to use, and whether a violation has occurred – a very important decision, which is based on the interpretation of the data.
The second category of international monitoring could be described as “authorized monitoring.” This type of monitoring would occur after an arms control treaty sets up a treaty administering agency (such as the IAEA) and gives it the authority to inspect. The possibility for the creation of a treaty administering agency to verify a Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) looks promising and both superpowers have recently agreed that decision-making in the governing body will be based on a majority-vote procedure. This opens up the way for other treaty administering agencies under other multilateral treaties. .e
Walter Dorn pointed out that Article 99 of the UN Charter authorizes the Secretary-General “to bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.” For the most recent inspection teams sent to Iran and Iraq, the Secretary-General has chosen to act under this article rather than General Assembly Resolution 37/98D.
Strengthening the Surveillance Capabilities of the UN
Dieter Heinrich, President of World Federalists of Canada
Surveillance technology must be applied within some political framework. So far, we have looked at domestic, continental and regional frameworks. In a multilateral context there is also the United Nations, which was founded to provide collective security for states. There is a real need for a greater surveillance capability at the United Nations. The particular structure of the UN hasn’t allowed it to meet the need for which it was created. The original vision was reaffirmed in the Final Document of the First Special Session on Disarmament which stated that disarmament and peace require some means of “effective international control.” Disarmament and the development of international control must happen simultaneously: as confidence in international control grows, disarmament becomes easier. This, in turn, creates a better political climate in which to develop control mechanisms. A first step towards international control must be a system of gathering information. There are a variety of means that can be used such as satellites, airborne platforms, including airships, on-site inspections, etc., and a variety of possible structural organizations. The UN has a right to know what is going on at least to the same extent that any particular member state does.
We can see various progressive trends: openness in the Soviet Union, trends towards the transparency of national militaries, the multilateralization of security and breakthroughs in the management of arms control treaties. The UN is coming of age to manage an information monitoring system. A surveillance system could provide early warning about potential threats to the peace; it could provide intelligence to UN peace-keeping forces; it could encourage the negotiations of arms control treaties between countries which do not have their own adequate means of verification (e.g. India and Pakistan); it would promote non-alignment of states and equalization between the military powers. The surveillance system could be a stimulus towards the further transformation of the UN.
The Federal Government’s Requirements for Surveillance
Philip Lapp, President of Philip A. Lapp Consultants; former Chairman of the Interdepartmental Task Force on Surveillance Satellites which produced its report in 1977.
The 1977 Report looked at the many possible applications of satellite surveillance for Canada. Sovereignty surveillance includes observation of environmental phenomena as well as the observation of human activities, since certain human activities can only be detected through their effect on the environment and because environmental surveillance is an expression of total sovereign control. Larry Morley and the late Don Clough had proposed a system called ASJOC (Arctic Services Joint Operations Centre) which would maintain a central database of information from all sources, allowing for all activities in the Arctic to be monitored on a real-time basis. Many of the individuals in the task force supported this view, but at the Assistant Deputy Minister level there was little support. Canada has the second largest continental shelf in the world (4,975,000 sq. km) and the second largest coast line (243,791 km – not including inland waters). Although Canada is not yet a signatory of the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the domestic definition of offshore “Canada Lands” is very close to the UNCLOS definition of “Continental Shelf”. The “Irish formula” for the definition of the Continental Shelf will, in fact, carry us right to the pole.
The 1977 Report identified five stages of surveillance: detection, location, classification, identification and inspection. There were 17 surveillance targets listed in the report: clusters of ships, drilling platforms, seismic lines and camps, oil spills, flotsam, all ships, navigation aids, siltation, submarines, naval vehicles, troops & battlefield equipment, weather & sea state, ice-open water, ice-river, search & rescue targers, cartography, and forest inventory and forest fires. Provincial requirements would add to this list. Radar was found to be the most useful means of observation in the Arctic and was cited for use in detecting 14 out of the 17 targets. Multispectral scanners, which observe in the visible region, were the second most important, and passive microwave radiometers, which can be used to measure surface roughness and determine the age of ice, stood third. Both the radar sensor and the microwave radiometer can see through clouds and at day and night.
Surveillance and Peace-keeping Operations
George Bell, President of the Canadian Institute for Strategic Studies (CISS); now serving on the CIIPS Board of Directors. He was the commanding officer on several UN peace-keeping missions.
The surveillance technologies employed thus far in peace-keeping operations have been much less sophisticated than those used in arms treaty verification. The last time that the UN employed any sophisticated surveillance equipment was during the Korean police action. As a result of his experience during 1965/67 as Commander of the Canadian Contingent of UNEF I [United Nations Emergency Force, 1956-1967], Bell proposed that when a peace-keeping force is formed, the military units should come with their technological reconnaissance equipment. In UNEF I, the forces relied for more than ten years on “the human eyeball”, accompanied by standard binoculars. No night-viewing devices and no radar were supplied. The mandate allowed the peace-keeping force freedom of movement throughout the whole of the Sinai, but the mandate eroded over the years, and the forces were limited to what they could observe visually within specific areas and air corridors. Bell tried to introduce a short range radar to be used by the Canadian armoured reconnaissance squadron, but the UN leadership disapproved. They were concerned that the “Egyptians would think that UNEF was looking at them and passing information to the Israelis and, conversely, the Israelis would think UNEF was looking at them and passing information to the Egyptians”. With STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) aircraft it was possible to see some indications of the build-up preceding the 1967 Six-Day War, including the SA-3 missiles. But when UNEF I tried to fulfill the mandate and use its aircraft for real reconnaissance, the Egyptians threatened to shoot down UN planes.
As peace-keeping is both a military and a political operation, representations to the 38th Floor of the UN in New York brought no support. The political leadership in the UN did not allow the forces to fulfill the mandate of the agreement. Had even limited surveillance technology, such as that which was available in the STOL aircraft, been employed, valuable additional information could have been provided. The on-going Cyprus peace-keeping operation is a little better in terms of surveillance capabilities, since night-viewing devices and British helicopters are available. In the case of observation by the three-nation International Control Commission in Vietnam and UNEF II, surveillance was again based on human vision. The only place where technology played a large role was in the US field mission in the Sinai and the current Sinai field force, where Canada now uses helicopters. Peace-keeping forces could benefit from programs such as the NAVSTAR GPS (Global Positioning System) for accurate location, MILSTAR for communication, and radar (RADARSAT) surveillance to enhance observation. The question is whether it is possible to get the necessary command, control, communications and intelligence capabilities to collate and make the information useful. Also, will the political bodies responsible for the forces have the international maturity to deal with the provision of surveillance capabilities? Who will finance the provision of surveillance capabilities? Who will control them? How will they be used? Who has sanction to use them? The organization which sets up a peace-keeping operation must be capable of providing some forms of sanctions against violators of agreements. The political problems which are at the root of many of today’s problems must be solved. Canada should develop technological expertise capable of dealing with multiple futures, able to deliver surveillance, warning, and control systems to both national and international markets.
George Bell deplored efforts to create artificial separation between civilian and military security efforts, between sovereignty and security, between peace-keeping and military preparedness. In response to this, another participant pointed out that it was common experience that in joint ventures, the military “takes over and the civilian side always takes second fiddle”. Bell felt that it was important that Canada’s space plan include a military dimension and not concentrate solely on civilian projects. In many projects, such as RADARSAT, there is common civil/military interest. On the other hand, the development of a separate military space agency could become important in order to interface with the military space agencies of other nations on classified projects. David Cox said that military tasks, such as the tracking and targeting of cruise missiles, usually require much more sophisticated systems than do other tasks, such as sovereignty surveillance. Bell also stated that it was necessary to have something to demonstrate our active participation and interest in space activities to the Americans, otherwise we may lose our place in the space coordination centre in NORAD. He suggested that a low cost way of doing this would be to offer to co-man BMEWS and PAVE PAWS as we have agreed to do in the US-based OTHB (Over-the-Horizon Backscatter) stations. David Cox pointed out that there was a resource allocation problem since one might have to choose between civilian-based and military-based projects. Bell responded that Canada could choose either to contribute to the research and development of military systems or to the construction and operation of them. Ron Cleminson described an example of positive military-civilian cooperation in the area of surveillance of Canada’s Arctic. The Department of Energy, Mines and Resources (EMR) could not find a contractor to fly a plane to certain distant Arctic zones, while Air Force reconnaissance planes flew by every week. While it would have been impossible to reach an interdepartmental agreement between EMR and DND, the RCAF reconnaissance unit designated the photographic work done for EMR as a training exercise. In the near future, the reverse may be true: the civilian programs may yield information that could be used by the military. Cleminson also made two other points: the systems that perform verification will likely not be the same ones that perform crisis monitoring, since surveillance for verification is strictly bound by the rules of the treaty, while crisis surveillance may not be so limited. While still serving in the Air Force, Cleminson had suggested that an Air Force photoreconnaissance unit of approximately 80 airmen might replace the ground element of approximately one thousand personnel in the Middle East and be able to provide more accurate information. But the question came up: would the UN Secretary-General be as effective a mediator if he knew absolutely and every time “who was right and who was wrong”?
Finally, John Polanyi described an early experience of his at a time when he was seeking support for the ISMA proposal. When he brought the subject up with US and Soviet officials, it had an “immediate unifying effect”: both countries were opposed to ISMA. The situation may be different now and it is important to carry on with discussions.
The second set of presentations addressed the technical aspects of satellite and airborne surveillance. The speakers and their topic areas were:
|John MacDonald||Trends in Civilian Remote Sensing|
|Harold Seigel||Sniffers: Chemical Sensing as Scintrex|
|F.J.F. Osborne||PAXSAT: The Context and the Spacecraft Design|
|Leroy Pearce||DND Activities in Space|
|Arthur Darnley||Radioactive Surveillance|
|Cameron Cumming||Barringer Research’s Capabilities in Remote Sensing|
|Ron Buckingham||Canadian Astronautic’s Capabilities in Remote Sensing|
Trends in Civilian Remote Sensing
John MacDonald, Chairman of MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Ltd. (MDA), a company with a worldwide operation and a pioneer in the development of civilian remote sensing. Dr. MacDonald has devoted many years to the development of the RADARSAT project.
MDA has analyzed and interpreted much of the SEASAT data, demonstrating an efficiency and creativity that eventually General Electric, the competing US firm, left the business. The acquisition of data from satellites is a much easier task than the interpretation and management of the data. In order to provide a context for the vast volume of data acquired, which is usually in the form of arrays of pixels stored digitally, it is necessary to develop a dynamic database. In order to standarize the data so that input from various satellite systems can be merged, it is useful to “geocode” the data using precise geographic coordinates. An accurate model of the satellite orbit must therefore be made from ground control information. Over the next 10 years, data processing using artificial intelligence will become a vital part of the interpretation process, especially in the area of target identification. Real time processing of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data from satellites is now technically feasible, but extremely expensive. Airborne SAR data processing is now being done in real time, digitally, and in two modes: broad and narrow scan. Another area that is very promising is mixed pixel analysis. [A pixel or “picture element” is analogous to one of the dots that form part of a character in a newspaper.] There are both civilian and military applications for SAR including ice mapping and border/coastal surveillance. A database could be used for both surveillance and resource management tasks. MEDIASAT is a proposal to privately fund a satellite which would serve TV networks and other media interests. The impressive use of SPOT images in news reports has already been demonstrated. Several new radar-capable satellites are to be expected. These include ERS-1 (European), JERS (Japanese), IRS (Indian) and, of course, RADARSAT (Canadian).
Sniffers: Chemical Sensing at Scintrex
Harold Seigel, President of Scintrex, a firm which specializes in sensing of both radioactive materials and trace vapours.
Vapour sensing has become extremely sensitive and specific. It is feasible to detect, with high specificity, certain vapours to the parts-per-trillion level. Gamma ray spectrometry can be used to detect both natural and artificial radioactive isotopes. There are also detection devices which can sense organo-phosphorus compounds, such as chemical warfare agents. Routine battlefield surveillance of these agents will become possible. It should also be possible to detect chemicals in a high vacuum, such as that which exists in space.
PAXSAT: The Context and the Spacecraft Design
F.J.F. Osborne, Director of Advanced Systems at SPAR Aerospace, prime contractor for the PAXSAT studies and builder of the Canadarm.
PAXSAT A deals with the application of remote sensing techniques to the verification of arms control in outer space, while PAXSAT B deals with the verification of arms control on earth. A few underlying principles were assumed in the development of PAXSAT: (1) the existence of multilateral agreements in which the participation in the verification process of any of the parties to the agreement is optional; (2) the treaty itself provides the sovereign authority for the operation of PAXSAT; (3) the technological capabilities required for PAXSAT development exist in the collectivity of the nations involved in the treaty, i.e. the technology is available in nations other than the USA and the USSR.
For PAXSAT A, which is designed to identify weapons in space, the basic question is “Can a spaced-based observation system determine the function of an object in space for the purposes of verifying an outer space arms control regime?” First of all, it would be desirable to have an optical picture of the satellite to determine its dimensions and its general configuration. By observing the solar panels it would be possible to determine the power capacity of the spacecraft. Waveguides will tell us the frequency at which messages are transmitted. Thermal images will help to determine the nature and the amount of the power utilization. By observing radio frequency (RF) transmissions it is possible, without decoding the messages, to determine the amount of information being sent and received and the frequency bands used. For example, a spacecraft that transmits a great deal of data but receives nothing is likely to be a remote sensing satellite operating in the optical region, such as Landsat. If wideband RF is coming in and wideband is coming out, the satellite is probably used as a communications relay. It is also possible to determine the mass of the spacecraft by observing the operation of the secondary propulsion. Radiation and chemical detectors could also be installed; one possible application is the detection of chemical lasers in space. A look at the distribution of known military satellites in space shows that military satellites are found in three characteristic regions of space. Most of them, including those used for photoreconnaissance and ocean surveillance, are found in a low earth orbit, characterized by inclinations between 60 and 90 degrees and altitudes of less than 3000 km. Other military satellites, such as those used for early warning, navigation and communications can be found in geosynchronous and semi-synchronous orbits. Orbital parameters are sensitive indicators of satellite function. For instance, American satellites which are optimized for photoreconnaissance of the USSR are usually found in polar retrograde orbits. In order to make many of these observations, the payload of PAXSAT A should include: a visible imaging system capable of 1 cm resolution at a 10 km range; a thermal imaging system of 5 K temperature resolution and a spatial resolution of 10 cm at 10 km range. Other instruments which could be included are electromagnetic receivers, radiation detectors and a mass spectrometer. PAXSAT A could either be launched on demand or it could be parked in an orbit which optimizes rendezvous time. The PAXSAT A concept is feasible primarily because of the fact that the shape and location of orbiting satellites are optimized to suit their functions.
The PAXSAT B concept deals with the problem of verification from space of conventional forces in a specific region on the ground. Since it is not possible to resolve individual soldiers and count heads, the number of tanks is counted instead. The two territories considered in the study correspond to the areas in Europe covered by the MBFR talks and the Conference on Confidence and Security Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe (CCSBMDE). The concept can, however, be applied to many other areas of the world as well. The sensor technologies to be employed in PAXSAT B include synthetic aperture radar (SAR), electro-optical sensing and electronic intelligence. It is desirable to observe any point in the region within 24 hours. This makes radar very important since it can be used to see through cloud and bad weather conditions. RADARSAT, which was designed for optimum coverage of northern Canada, will be able to access most areas in Europe within three days. RADARSAT has many limitations, however. The PAXSAT B study concludes that current or planned civilian remote sensing satellites, particularly those with sensors operating in the optical range, have insufficient resolution to meet the full PAXSAT B requirements. However, the present technology base in the civilian sector is sufficient to develop the full PAXSAT B system. The follow-on PAXSAT B, which could be developed by the late 1990’s, would include a SAR payload with both a long-track scanning and a spot light mode, capable of a 1 metre resolution.
DND Activities in Space
Leroy Pearce, specialist on military space activities. He recently joined CRAD (Chief of Research & Development) of the Department of National Defence (DND).
DND space activities fall into three areas: satellite aided Search and Rescue (SARSAT), space communications and space-based surveillance. The SARSAT program is “alive, well and healthy” and was an outgrowth of a program instigated by CRAD. The communications research program involves several projects. In the short term, communication systems for north warning and other applications are being developed. DND is leasing communications circuits from the domestic satellite communications system, which uses Anik satellites, and will possibly purchase ground stations. In the “medium term”, DND researchers are looking at military satellite communication frequency bands that might be available to Canada and at what kind of access is possible to the existing military communication satellites. A more long-term project explores the possibilities of exploiting the EHF (Extra-high Frequency) satellite bands in the 44 and 20 GHz range. Several system concept studies are being examined by industry. The thrust is to develop the technology base for EHF communications and a prototype ground terminal. The space-based radar (SBR) research program is long-term project focused on North American air defence scenarios. Discussions have taken place between DND and the US Department of Defense (DoD) for future cooperation in deploying SBR systems in the NORAD context. Both the SBR and the EHF SATCOM programs are funded to the tune of $47-48 million over a duration of 5-7 years. CRAD is looking at systems that will help Canada as a nation and Canadian industry. The recent White Paper on Defence discusses the three areas of space research. The problem of communication to submarines in the Arctic is being examined. Trials made at 85 degrees latitude show that it is feasible to use EHF in the Arctic. At latitudes north of 75 degrees, we are forced to consider non-geostationary satellite orbits. In addition to the links to the DoD, there have also been rather informal discussions with the UK Ministry of Defence and other NATO allies, primarily to establish data exchange agreements so that research on SBR is not duplicated. .e
According to David Cox, the US trade press reported that the US Navy had performed experiments to investigate the use of blue-green lasers for communication to submarines under ice. Larry Morley reported that blue-green lasers have been used by the Canadian company Optec to perform aerial hydrography to scan under water to depths of hundreds of metres. Morley also wondered what had become of the attitude that national defence should not rely on satellites because they are too vulnerable. Pearce answered that most other systems of communication, such as the telephone and radio systems, are also vulnerable in wartime. It is therefore necessary to look at multimodal means of communication. Furthermore, it is not a trivial exercise to attack a satellite. George Bell described our role in the AWACS program as essentially one of co-manning NORAD systems and systems used in Europe. David Cox pointed out that AWACS systems for surveillance would be very expensive. In a meeting with a Boeing engineer, Larry Morley learned that AWACS had the capability of detecting moving objects on land and ships at sea as well as flying aircraft.
Arthur Darnley, Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). He has been with the GSC for 21 years and is a world authority on airborne gamma ray spectrometry.
Canada took the lead in developing radioactive mapping equipment in the late 1960’s and still maintains an edge internationally. For mapping the ground surface, airborne gamma ray spectrometers must be used at altitudes of less than 500 ft. There are three common naturally occurring elements which are gamma emitters: potassium, uranium and thorium. Each element and its decay products has a distinct spectrum. By analysing the spectra produced every few seconds during flight, it is possible to make a detailed map showing the distribution of radioactive elements. All rocks and soils are radioactive because they contain some potassium, uranium or thorium – the amounts vary according to rock and soil type. To make sensitive measurements it is necessary to have instruments with large detector volumes. A map of the natural radioactivity of Canada shows that there are significant regional variations. It is possible to calibrate the spectrometer to derive values in terms of radioactive element concentrations in the ground or concentrations in terms of dose rate, which would be of interest to health physicists. Gamma ray spectrometry can be done in the tropics as well as in glaciated regions. Radioactive element maps of large parts of Brazil have, for instance, been produced.
Darnley described an interesting incident which demonstrated successful application of the Canadian gamma ray spectrometry technology. A Soviet nuclear-powered satellite (Cosmos-954) re-entered the atmosphere on January 24, 1978, and spread its debris in a trail several hundred kilometers in length, beginning on Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories (NWT). For several weeks, a US/NORAD team had been monitoring the orbit of the satellite. In anticipation of re-entry, an emergency response team, based in Reno, Nevada, was prepared to go anywhere in the world where their assistance in tracing the debris would be accepted. They arrived in Edmonton, which became their base, a few hours after the satellite’s re-entry. However, it was equipment developed by the Geological Survey of Canada, which arrived on a Canadian armed forces aircraft 24 hours later, that located the first debris. The Canadian equipment arrived late because it was not mobilized until the news of the satellite re-entry became public. It turned out that the US equipment was not reliable in the -30°C temperatures characteristic of NWT winters and was not designed to distinguish, during flight, between the natural background radiation and fallout high spots.
Other applications of aerial surveys were presented. The Swedish Geological Survey made aerial surveys of Sweden after the Chernobyl reactor accident. The results showed the variable distribution of the Cs-137 fallout due to differences in rainfall in different areas of the country, which in turn depends on the local terrain and the weather patterns. The Swedish example also demonstrates how point monitoring of radioactive fallout using fixed ground stations is ineffective to determine the details of a fallout pattern. With aerial monitoring, one starts with widely spaced flight lines to identify the areas of greater concentration and then one surveys the area of greater contamination more closely. Very detailed and accurate maps can then be produced. Monitoring of radioactive iodine concentrations and distributions is very important, since iodine can enter the food chain through milk; it is then taken up by the thyroid gland and can have serious effects on children.
Maps from areas near the Chalk river nuclear facility on the Ottawa River were exhibited, showing the ground-level dose rate caused by vented Ar-41 (which does not cause harm to biological systems). Detailed radiometric maps of built-up areas, such as Uranium City, Saskatchewan, were also shown. It would be possible to use airborne gamma ray spectrometers near nuclear sites to gather information about the type of materials being produced there. One participant suggested that it might be possible to detect changes in the type of fissile material being produced at a nuclear site (such as one in Pakistan) which might occur if an atomic bomb was being constructed. The US team improved their equipment after the Cosmos incident. The Soviets made a $2 million purchase of Canadian equipment about 18 months after the incident. The results from GSC gamma ray surveys are available publicly, in both map and digital forms.
Barringer Research’s Capabilities in Remote Sensing
Cameron Cumming, Chief Scientist at Barringer Research Ltd.
Barringer has been working in the area of geophysics and geochemistry for more than 25 years. Perhaps it is best known for its airborne pulsed electromagnetic surveys of the type called INPUT, COSPEC and COTRAN. The technology has been applied in the construction of walk-through metal detectors, such as those used in airports. The equipment is capable of detecting anomalies in electrical conductivity and can also be used in low-flying aircraft platforms. Mines, for example, can be detected using INPUT techniques. Barringer has looked at the MAGSAT concept, in which the production of magnetic maps from satellites have been considered. Barringer has been interested in trace gas detection, including those techniques using electro-optical measurements (in the ultraviolet, visible and infrared regions). One commercial product is able to detect sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide using dispersive correlation. The Atmospheric Environment Service (AES) in Downsview, Ontario, has used COSPEC to detect the sulphur dioxide plume produced by the International Nickel stack in Sudbury, 404 km away. COSPEC was tested 15-16 years ago, under a program funded by NASA. The experiments, which were made using a balloon over Chicago, successfully demonstrated the possibility of high altitude detection of the two gases. Gas filter correlation techniques, of both the active and passive type, were used for the detection of trace gases. One of the first experiments made aboard the first Space Shuttle was part of the MAPS program (Monitoring Air Pollution from Satellites). The space-hardened instrument employed was built by TRW Systems based on the Barringer GASPEC. They successfully monitored the global distribution of carbon monoxide, looking passively through the atmosphere with a single field of view covering a 30 km “footprint” on the ground. NASA is to use the Barringer COSPEC in the Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE), which is designed to study the vulnerability of the ozone layer to the decomposition products of freons. The GASPEC could also be incorporated into an infrared gaseous imaging system. The chairman of Barringer is a member of the board of directors of the GEOSAT committee.
Note: It is possible to monitor vehicle exhaust in zones in which the background is very low (for example, in “prohibited” cease-fire zones), but not possible to distinguish military from civilian exhaust!
Canadian Astronautics’ Capabilities in Remote Sensing
Ron Buckingham, Canadian Astronautics Ltd. (CAL). He was Project Manager for the Viking Satellite ultraviolet imaging system.
CAL is a 12-year-old company, employing about 250 people and working in the aerospace systems area. The company has built several ground stations, with associated processing equipment, for the Search and Rescue Satellite (SARSAT) program. The downed aircraft’s distress signal is relayed to the ground stations by satellites belonging to the USA and the USSR. The signal is then processed in order to determine the location of the downed plane or ship. So far, over 800-900 lives have been saved. Canadian Astronautics ground stations have been sold to Canada, the USA, France, and a station is currently being constructed for Brazil. The company developed Canada’s first satellite imaging instrument. It was built for Sweden’s Viking satellite and it used a charge coupled device (CCD). It worked in the 1200-1900 Angstrom region and produced images of the Northern auroral oval of roughly 40 km resolution. The instrument worked very well. But unfortunately the satellite ceased functioning about a month ago (in June, 1987). The device was lightweight and ionizing radiation resistant. Another imaging instrument is being built with AIT Corporation of Ottawa: a wind imaging inferometer. It is also a CCD-based instrument which will fly aboard NASA’s upper atmosphere research satellite to be launched in 1988 or 1989. CAL was prime contractor for the Phase A and Phase B studies of RADARSAT. Their expertise lies in radar, antennas and the associated low-power radar electronics. Once RADARSAT begins, CAL may also work with British Aerospace (who will build the satellite bus) on the construction of the power system. CAL is also performing studies on SBR and EHF Communications under contract to DND. CAL builds a side-looking airborne radar which is used, among other things, for ice detection. Thus CAL has a general systems capability and has handled both the hardware and the software aspects. Norway has built its own SARSAT ground station, but there is no competition at the present time for ground station construction. However, when the frequency of the search and rescue signal changes from 121.3 MHz to 406 MHz, there may be more people getting interested in getting into the market.
Larry Morley drew attention to a brief that had been sent to the workshop participants. The objective of the brief was to make the government more fully aware of the broad range of technical capabilities that Canada has in the surveillance field. The buyers and users of surveillance technology were fractionated and there is not in any one quarter a complete knowledge of Canada’s surveillance capabilities. The new space agency was in the process of being formed and it could possibly take on a role in the areas being discussed in the workshop.
The last workshop produced a statement which included three recommendations: (1) that surveillance be included as a high priority for the new Canadian space agency, (2) that Canada initiate the use of aerial surveillance for use by UN peace-keeping forces and (3) that RADARSAT and SPOT data be used as a training ground for developing the interpretation skills required for satellite surveillance.
Three suggestions were made regarding possible future actions in the area. (1) In any written submission to the government, it is important to remain functional, emphasizing the plurality of treaty regimes and not just the United Nations. (2) It might be fruitful to look for non-traditional ways in which Canadian technologies can be important for arms control verification. For example, though radiation detection is not the primary source of verification of a low yield or comprehensive test ban, it could prove to be an important secondary source. Many underground tests vent radiation and the ability to detect venting could become very important. An inventory of possible applications of surveillance technologies could be made. (3) The business sector should be aware of the wide range of verification opportunities that are available (David Cox).
The PAXSAT studies had made a very thorough study of the technical capabilities for arms control verification from space and have made a good start on the political/organizational aspects, but much more work is necessary in the area of data interpretation, the training of interpreters, and developing a database (George Lindsey). The history of remote sensing has shown that the sensing technologies are developed far in advance of the interpretation technologies. The remote sensing field is at present going through a transition from qualitative sensing to quantitative sensing, where the interpretation on a pixel by pixel basis is becoming more important (John MacDonald).
It is important to include the UN when considering possible future applications of satellite surveillance (Hanna Newcombe). It was important to build a framework which incorporates a broad mandate for Canada to develop surveillance technology without being, at the present time, specific about the types of technology to be employed (Ron Buckingham).
In airborne geophysics there has been a move from the qualitative to the quantitative. Satellite sensors and airborne sensors are complementary and should be considered together for possible surveillance tasks. Satellites survey much larger areas and countries are more willing to accept satellite than airborne observation. There are however, certain areas in which airplanes could be used to complement satellites. It is also necessary to develop international standards for making measurements, calibrating national systems, such as those used to determine radioactive levels. It would be unfortunate if the means of paying for RADARSAT came from the money that was currently available for airborne sensing research, an area in which Canada has clearly established itself as a world leader (Arthur Darnley).
It was important to consider the time frame over which one wants to influence events. For the twenty-first century, it might be appropriate to concentrate on the United Nations. For the next five years, it is important to consider the three multilateral negotiations in which Canada has a seat (MBFR, CCSBMDE, CD) and the three other negotiations about which Canada is consulted and gives advice. The Canadian space agency is the most practical object for the workshop’s present considerations. The designers of the Canadian space agency should be sensitive to the potential of Canadian space-based techniques for arms control verification. At the last workshop, the participants voiced the need to save the RADARSAT program and this has happened. Arms control verification is an area in which Canada has already developed a certain expertise. Here there is both a responsibility and a right to advance the technologies used for verification. PAXSAT has shown that for very little effort it is possible to modify existing technologies to serve the purposes of verification. Therefore, including the mandate for space-based surveillance in the space agency could provide a very great return for a little more effort. PAXSAT is currently, however, only a feasibility study. It is part of contingency planning on the part of Canada. Canada must avoid appearing to be trying to become a judge of superpower actions and label them right or wrong. Canada does not have a responsibility to pass judgement in the area of the bilateral negotiations. Canadians should not suggest that putting satellite technology in the hands of the UN will change the nature of the world. Progress at the UN can be very slow (Ron Cleminson).
All the potential applications considered in the workshop use common certain technologies, though the contexts for the various proposals are different. Satellite surveillance to promote Canadian sovereignty is one context; the PAXSAT context, for region monitoring in Europe, is another. But why stop there? There are other multilateral contexts and groups of countries which may be interested (Commonwealth, la Francophonie, Pakistan/India, for example). In order to promote the internationalization of monitoring and verification techniques, it is useful to consider the UN. If the UN, a young organization, is ineffective, it is because not many countries have put much effort into it. The introduction of monitoring technology would be made in conjunction with efforts to make changes to the structure of the UN itself. Since the new technology would entail a consideration of sensitive, complicated questions such as data distribution, the new monitoring technology could be a means of accelerating political/structural change. It is important to be creative, to look at various time frames and consider what is possible in the near future. The world is moving away from the concept of sovereign states, recognizing interdependence. We should align ourselves with the positive trends in history (Dieter Heinrich).
It may create a diffused message if the two applications of satellite surveillance (sovereignty and PAXSAT) are linked. Neither the present audiences nor the eventual operators for the two are likely to be the same (Jim Mcintosh). As in remote sensing, it was normally considered that the two tasks of sovereignty surveillance and arms verification employed similar technology, but were different applications (Larry Morley). Once a satellite is launched into orbit, a very costly operation, it is economically sensible to consider different operational applications (John MacDonald). Within the Canadian government there could be two different agencies to handle the different tasks of sovereignty and verification, but they would employ similar technologies (Larry Morley).
Any submission to the government must deal with the total Ottawa environment and it is important to look at how the proposals may affect the overall national security picture. There are three issues involved: (1) the division between civilian and military functions, (2) the effect that such proposals may have on foreign policy and (3) the influence of economic and industrial forces (George Bell).
The international surveillance and verification initiative, which began with the October workshop, is extremely important and further discussion should be planned on these issues. It is necessary to come up with a plan of action for implementing these ideas (Tim Eastland). It is also important to consider the American response to the workshop proposals, since Canada is involved in several important bilateral space projects with them (John MacDonald).
At the biannual Conference of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) in Ottawa on November 2-4, 1987, there will be a technical symposium on satellite surveillance for sovereignty purposes and another on the subject of surveillance for arms control verification. Discussions should also continue in the Working Group on International Surveillance and Verification and further ideas on the topic should be addressed to Walter Dorn [c/o Science for Peace National Office] (Larry Morley). The data processing element of surveillance is an area that needs to be looked at. Proposals made to the government should have a bearing on current activities – therefore, the Canadian space agency is a good target (Ron Cleminson). It is important to make a statement to ministers before the agency is cast in concrete. It may be much more difficult to add a new mandate after its establishment (Larry Morley).
The final statement, adopted unanimously by the workshop participants, states: [b]”the mandate for the research & development of technologies for arms control verification and crisis monitoring should be included as part of the mandate of the proposed Canadian space agency.”
|Mr. Al BANNER||Corresponding member, Working Group on International Surveillance and Verification|
|Gen. George BELL||Member of the Board of Directors, Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security|
|Mr. Peter BROGDEN||Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, Science for Peace|
|Dr. Bill BROWETT||Research Associate, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Western Ontario|
|Mr. Ron BUCKINGHAM||Canadian Astronautics Ltd.; Corresponding member of the Working Group|
|Mr. Ralph CHIPMAN||Outer Space Affairs Division, United Nations|
|Lt. Col. Ron CLEMINSON||Head, Verification and Research Unit, Dept. of External Affairs|
|Dr. David COX||Research Director, Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security (CIIPS)|
|Dr. Cameron CUMMING||Chief Scientist, Barringer Research Ltd.|
|Dr. Arthur DARNLEY||Geological Survey of Canada (GSC)|
|Mr. Walter DORN||Dept. of Chemistry, Univ. of Toronto; Chairman of the Working Group|
|Mr. Tim EASTLAND||Hierogam Associates Ltd.|
|Prof. Eric FAWCETT||Professor of Physics, University of Toronto; Coordinator, Science for Peace International Network (SPIN); Workshop Convener|
|Mr. Lamberto GOMES||Engineers for Nuclear Disarmament; Representative to the Working Group|
|Mr. Doug HARDWICK||Aeromagnetic Section, National Aeronautical Establishment|
|Mr. Dieter HEINRICH||President, World Federalists of Canada; Representative to the Working Group|
|Dr. Philip A. LAPP||President, PA Lapp Ltd. Consultants|
|Dr. George LINDSEY||Canadian Institute for Strategic Studies (CISS)|
|Dr. John MacDONALD||Chairman, MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Ltd.|
|Dr. Jim MCINTOSH||York University Research Program in Strategic Studies|
|Dr. Larry MORLEY||Executive Director, Institute for Space and Terrestrial Science (ISTS), York University (Workshop Chairman)|
|Dr. Hanna NEWCOMBE||Director, Peace Research Institute – Dundas; Representative to the Working Group|
|Dr. Freleigh J.F. OSBORNE||Director of Advanced Systems, Satellite and Aerospace Systems Division, SPAR Aerospace|
|Dr. Leroy PEARCE||Research and Development (CRAD), Dept. of National Defence|
|Prof. David ROULSTON||Professor of Electrical Engineering, Univ. of Waterloo|
|Mr. Douglas SCOTT||Research Director, Lawyers for Social Responsibility (Toronto Chapter); Representative to the Working Group|
|Dr. Harold SEIGEL||President, Scintrex Ltd.|
Buckingham, Ronald, “Satellite Surveillance and Canadian Capabilities”, Background Paper Number 7, Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security, Sept. 1986, 10 pp.
Carleton International Proceedings:
– First symposium: “Political and Technical Problems in the Verification of Arms Control of Chemical Weapons and Outer Space”, June 1983;
Proceedings published in “Compliance and Confirmation” (Harald Von Riekhoff, ed.), Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa, 1986.
– Second symposium: “The Verification Issue in the Context of Arms
Control Negotiations”, December 5-7, 1984; Proceedings published in “A Proxy for Trust”, (John O’Manique, ed.), Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa, 1985.
Dorn, Walter, “Peace-keeping Satellites: The Case for International Surveillance and Verification”, Peace Research Reviews Vol X, No 5 & 6, Peace Research Institute – Dundas, (25 Dundana Ave., Dundas, Ont. L9H 4E5), 1987, 182 pp. ($8.00)
External Affairs Canada, “The PAXSAT Concept: The Application of Space-based Remote Sensing for Arms Control Verification”, Verification Brochure No. 2, Arms Control and Disarmament Division, Dept. of Ext. Affairs, 1987.
House of Commons Standing Committee on Research, Science and Technology (William Tupper, Chairman), “Canada’s Space Program: A Voyage to the Future”, June, 1987.
House of Commons Standing Committee on External Affairs and National Defence (Marcel Prud’homme, Chairman), “Report on Security and Disarmament”, April, 1982. Interdepartmental Task Force on Surveillance Satellites (P.A. Lapp, Chairman), “Satellites and Sovereignty”, Ministry of State for Science and Technology, August 1977.
Macintosh, James, “Confidence (and Security) Building Measures in the Arms Control Process: A Canadian Perspective”, Dept. of External Affairs, August, 1985.
UN Secretary-General, “Study on the Implications of Establishing an International Satellite Monitoring Agency”, UN Doc. A/AC.206/14, [tab025] UN publication, Sales No. E.83.IX.3, United Nations, New York, August 6, 1981, 120 pp. (US$ 12.50)
The workshop took place for a full day during U.N. Disarmament Week in the McLennan Physics building of the University of Toronto. It was chaired by Dr. Larry Morley, founder and first Director of the Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing. There were fifteen participants.
The purpose of the workshop was to explore the possibilities of establishing and using a peace-keeping satellite (PKS) system. Such a system could observe the earth to verify arms control treaties, monitor conflict and crisis situations and support peace-keeping operations. The idea was brought into the international spotlight at the first U.N. Special Session on Disarmament (UNSSOD I) in 1978 under the name of International Satellite Monitoring Agency (ISMA). A detailed feasibility study was submitted to the U.N. Secretary-General in 1981.
The order of speakers and their topics were as follows:
1. Dr. George Ignatieff (President, Science for Peace) – Keynote Address
2. Prof. Lynn Trainor (Physics, Univ. of Toronto) – Pugwash Conferences and ISMA
3. Mr. Walter Dorn (U.N. Representative, Science for Peace) – Recent U.N. Developments Relevant to a PKS
4. Dr. Keith Raney (Chief Scientist, RADARSAT Project) – The Canadian RADARSAT and European ERS-1 Programs
5. Dr. Larry Morley (Space Science, York Univ.) – Feasibility of an ISMA
6. Lt. Col. Ron Cleminson (Head, Verification Research Unit, Arms Control and Disarmament Division, External Affairs) – Canadian Experience with ISMA and PAX SAT
7. Round Robin: Other participants offered their perspectives
A committee was established to prepare a statement that would reflect the views and recommendations expressed in the workshop. The workshop statement is attached to this report (Appendix A).
The workshop was supported financially by the International Year of Peace Committee of the City of Toronto (whose logo is displayed above).
The workshop began with a welcome by Workshop Chairman Larry Morley, who said that efforts directed towards avoiding armed conflict are well worth while. Professor Eric Fawcett (Physics, Univ. of Toronto) then introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. George Ignatieff, who was formerly Canada’s ambassador to NATO, then to the Disarmament Committee (Geneva), and then to the United Nations.
1. Dr. Ignatieff pointed out the timeliness of our discussions on ISMA. At the time of the Science for Peace brief to SCEAND in support of ISMA, there were considerable political and financial difficulties attached to ISMA. The superpowers were opposed to an encroachment of their monopoly in space. Since then, the use of outer space (for SDI) has become a central issue in the arms control debate. There has been a shift in attitude in Moscow under the new leaders. While they insist on maintaining the superpower status they feel they earned, they also want domestic development. They recognize, therefore, the need for increased economic and technical cooperation with the West. They have shown a willingness to accept seismic verification and on-site inspection of nuclear testing and they are keen on peaceful cooperation in space. The USSR may now be more willing to accept an ISMA too. Such a system could been invaluable in a time of crisis. For example, having been president of the U.N. Security Council during the Six-Day War (1967), Dr. Ignatieff noted that had there been ISMA, “we would have avoided the ridiculous position of having to read the New York Times or rushing people by aircraft while the US and the USSR had up-to-date information on the area of hostilities.” To be an effective peace-keeper in the age of satellites, Canada should revive the idea of an ISMA as a means of preventing potentially very dangerous local conflicts from escalation. Continuous satellite surveillance would provide information that cannot be obtained by ground observers.
2. Prof. Lynn Trainor began by giving a brief history of the peace-keeping satellite concept. Substantial interest was generated at a Pugwash meeting in 1977, with the input of people like Bill Epstein. In 1978, Giscard d’Estaing, then President of France, proposed ISMA at the first U.N. Special Session on Disarmament (UNSSOD I). A very “positive” report was prepared by a group of governmental experts; it concluded that technically, legally and financially the project was feasible. It suggested a three phase development: first, learning image interpretation techniques; second, establishing a network of ground stations, and third (the most expensive phase) launching observation satellites. Unfortunately, the ISMA report did not generate any action at UNSSOD II. At a subsequent Pugwash conference three modalities for the creation of an ISMA were considered: (1) as an organ of the U.N.; (2) arising from a consortium of nations (regionally) and (3) as a nonprofit business organization. The Canadian government, with its expertise in satellite technology, should support the ISMA proposal as recommended by SCEAND and those groups which appeared before the parliamentary committee.
3. Walter Dorn reported on some recent developments at the United Nations. The ISMA proposal was not discussed at UNSSOD II (1982), but France asked the Secretary-General to report back on “practical arrangements for implementing the conclusions” of the expert’s report. In 1983 the Secretary-General reported that the “General Assembly would have to decide upon a process and a legal framework which could result in an ISMA” and the proposal has been waiting for sponsors ever since. Several recent indications of revived support are (1) Canadian discussion of ISMA and the International Verification Organization proposal in its submission to the Secretary-General under the resolution “Verification in All its Aspects” – which was Canadian sponsored and adopted unanimously, and (2) a Soviet proposal for the creation of a World Space Organization (WSO). Furthermore, in 1985, France placed in orbit its SPOT remote sensing satellite (resolution of 10 metres) and is selling the data commercially. Using such data to begin a modest data interpretation centre could be feasible. For example, the New York Times published SPOT pictures of a Soviet space shuttle landing strip. The fact that newspapers now have access to regions of information formerly belonging only to the military demonstrates the emergence of a new dimension in the arms control debate. However, the resolution of U.S. military close-look satellite systems (KH-11) is considerably better; their exact capabilities are a closely guarded secret, but estimates are for a 15-20 cm resolution. The Soviet Union launches many more military surveillance satellites than the U.S. but their satellites have a much shorter lifetime.
4. Dr. Keith Raney, from the Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing (Ottawa), described the political and technical situations of the RADARSAT program in Canada. RADARSAT is part of the Canadian Space Plan and was supported by 36 of 40 cabinet ministers. However, instead of committing itself to building the RADARSAT satellite, the government has chosen to fund work for the U.S. Space Station Project instead. The Space Station will, however, not fly over Canada and will not be a useful platform for Canadian or global observation. Since no new funding was committed to the plan, the government support for Space Station was to be taken from existing programs, including RADARSAT. The initiators of RADARSAT must now search for funds from the private sector and they have solicited foreign governmental support. Canada is presently negotiating for full membership in the European Space Agency and will participate in the ERS-1 remote sensing satellite project. Using radar, satellites can record data day and night under all weather conditions. This makes them particularly useful for observation of the arctic. Radar sensors and optical sensors see different things and so should be used in a complementary fashion. Some simple resolution comparisons between the systems may not reflect accurately the quality of the information that can be obtained. SEASAT had radar sensors of 25 metre resolution and a highly controversial altimeter but it operated for only three months in 1978. The data from the satellite was declassified after some time. SPOT, the French satellite whose sensors work in the visual and infrared range is operating under a nationalized corporation. SPOT data can be purchased commercially.
The Canadian RADARSAT was designed for the primary purposes of earth resource, oceanographic and arctic observation. Special designing features were incorporated to detect vessels against an ice background, which could be useful for maintaining Canadian sovereignty. Both domestically and internationally, there are systems for receiving, processing and enhancing RADARSAT data, so that the data could be made available in an operational time frame (four hours). In an operational swath mode the resolution would be 25 metres, but better resolution (8 metre, one look) could be obtained for narrower swaths. The ERS-1 satellite will not be as flexible as RADARSAT; it is to be launched by the European Space Agency around 1990. In summary, the RADARSAT is a technically superior system and, if approved, could be a good candidate for a peace-keeping satellite.
5. Dr. Larry Morley noted that since Canada and France have sufficient satellite technology and the European Space Agency (ESA) has launch capabilities, we are not technologically dependent on the United States. France will have learnt a lot about satellite reconnaissance from the SPOT experience and Canada could do likewise with the RADARSAT project. Both systems, he remarked could potentially be modified to make for first-rate spy satellites. However, the Canadian Defence has not expressed an interest in RADARSAT, presumably because they are planning to invest in the U.S. multi-satellite system. The United Nations could “jump onto the learning curve” by equipping the U.N. peace- keeping forces with advanced aerial surveillance technology. Leading technology can be found in several companies in Canada. Perhaps we could start by equipping the Canadian contingent, who could then pass on the knowledge. The advantages of aircraft observation include (1) a greater variety of sensors are available, (2) easier to keep data confidential, (3) easier to direct the airplane to a specific location and (4) smaller start up costs. Of course, the superpowers use satellite surveillance because it is non-intrusive and such observation does not break any treaties. The air-borne surveillance experience could be a stepping stone to satellite surveillance.
6. Lt. Col. Ron Cleminson spoke about Canadian perspectives on ISMA and the obstacles it faced. By 1978, France has been away from arms control for 15 years. But at UNSSOD I, they wanted to be innovative, so they made several suggestions, including ISMA. Canada had been talking about it before. ISMA would cost six billion dollars, as priced out in 1970 U.S. dollars. France wanted to make the point that arms control is not cheap – it costs at the same level as the arms themselves. The superpowers resented the French attempt to share their technology without asking first. Therefore ISMA was a losing proposition from the start. For seven years, Canada followed ISMA very closely. Canada accepts the principle of multilateralization, but we want agreement by the superpowers first. This was not forthcoming, and still is not. Even on remote sensing of economic resources (Landsat), we have achieved only 50% agreement in the world. Many Third World countries object. Canada has an excellent international reputation. We played a significant role at the 35- nation Stockholm Conference. Airborne inspection was discussed there, and was accepted if carried out by the aircraft of the country being inspected. This is good confidence-building, to supplement the other CBMs agreed on in Stockholm. Canada was greatly interested in RADARSAT, supplemented by optical coverage. Surveillance is only another word for intelligence, and the Soviets do not want to be spied on. We only want to distinguish a tank from a truck, not know what kind of a tank it is. Canada has a capability next only to the superpowers, but we cannot do verification alone—we want to cooperate with others. We have been asked to serve many times—this is often not publicized. Each year, Canada submits substantive documents to U.N. disarmament negotiations. Our plans may be mundane, may not make headlines, but represent a solid achievement. Not the least of them is clarifying terminology: e.g. the difference between military use of space and weaponization of space (we favor the former, oppose the latter). The wording “ban weapons `for use’ in space” was ours; the USSR opposed it initially, now accepts it. Canada favours remote sensing, but views multilateral systems as complementary to bilateral systems, not a replacement.
7. After lunch, we held a “round robin”. Many interesting points were made and I note here points (followed the name of the presenter) which do not appear in the summary above or in the Workshop Statement:
1. Under current commmitments, Canadians will pay more per capita for the space station than Americans; 2. third party verification is a stabilizing third leg in a triangular relation; 3. the Soviets have kept to agreements on scientific exchange very well (Stan Townsend); 4. the question of dissemination of information needs to be thoroughly examined (Peter Brogden); 5. On-site inspection by the IAEA is very expensive ($6000 per day – Ron Cleminson), this may make a satellite observation component more appealing (W. Dorn); 6. the success of the National Resource Defence Council in organizing a seismic information interchange is very encouraging; 7. perhaps Canadian scientists could analyse satellite data and make a similar non-governmental contribution (John Barrett); 8. the “missile gap” alarm of the ’60s was shown to be unwarranted after reconnaissance data was provided, an example of the potentially useful effects of such observation (Chris Gainor); 9. an ISMA established as a U.N. agency would greatly strengthen the United Nations. A peace-keeping satellite operation should be thoroughly coordinated with the U.N. and its various organs; we should not loose sight of the larger goal of a more peaceful world through increased international cooperation, international law and international order (W. Dorn).
The organizers of the workshop would like to express their gratitude to the International Year of Peace Committee of the City of Toronto for financial support, to the Physics Department for use of a meeting room, and to Helen P. Rousso for volunteering her time and secretarial services. Abstracts of the presentations were made by Dr. Hanna Newcombe for publication in Peace Research Abstracts Journal.