Section IV: Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition

7-34 National Systems
Introduction a. Space based sensors on satellites have the advantage of unrestricted access over battlefields and areas that are otherwise difficult to gain access to for political or military reasons. Satellites can be used to verify compliance with treaties, determine the deployment and status of land, sea and air forces, and monitor activities in specific areas. If hostilities are initiated, space systems can provide attack warning, targeting intelligence, technical intelligence on enemy capabilities, and bomb damage assessment after strikes on the enemy. When information derived from space based reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) sensors is merged with information from other ground, sea and airborne systems, a more complete Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) is attained.
Space Segment b. The United States has national satellite systems which are capable of performing worldwide reconnaissance and surveillance. Many of the systems have been designed to support strategic requirements. They are, however, capable of providing useful information to tactical commanders if the information can be provided in a timely manner. Classified information on the capabilities of the satellites is available in the Joint Tactical Exploitation of National Systems (JTENS) manual available in many Special Security Offices (SSO).
Control Segment c. Information concerning the control segment of national systems is available in the JTENS manual.
User Segment c. Each of the military services has a Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP) program. The Army TENCAP program is the responsibility of the Army Space Program Office (ASPO), a field operating agency under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (DCSOPS), Headquarters, Department of the Army. The Army TENCAP program provides Army commands with prototype equipment which can receive and process data provided by the national space systems. Initially, ground processing terminals were developed for use at corps and echelons above corps (EAC) headquarters. Technology and applications have evolved so that certain systems are now employed at division level and below.
Imagery Processing and Dissemination System (IPDS) e. The Imagery Processing and Dissemination System (IPDS) provides a means to receive, process, exploit and disseminate digital imagery intelligence (IMINT) data from national and theater collection systems at Echelons Above Corps (EAC), corps, division, maneuver brigade and special operations forces (SOF) levels. The IPDS consists of multiple operational groups housed in modular 20 foot shelters. Some of the operational groups are:
  • Soft copy Processor Group (SPG). This provides computer software processing, exploitation and dissemination of imagery data with on-line mass storage and off-line reference image storage.
  • Hard copy Processor Group (HPG). This provides a film print output of processed and exploited imagery.
  • Communications Processor Group (CPG). This provides the patching, switching and interface functions necessary for internal and external transfer of data, imagery and voice. Free text messages can be exchanged with the EPDS for cueing and other purposes. The IPDS accesses DSN circuits through the corps local area network to establish interfaces with the EPDS, ETUT, TRAC, THMT and MITT.
  • National Input Segment (NIS). This receives and routes low rate data and imagery from national systems.
A 20 foot quick reaction antenna (QRA) is provided for satellite communications. The 20 foot shelters are moved by 5 ton tractor trucks. Power is provided by two power units. Each power unit consists of two 200 kW generators with a 25 ton tractor truck. Commercial power can also be used.
7-34 National Systems, cont'd
Electronic Processing and Dissemination System (EPDS) f. The Electronic Processing and Dissemination System (EPDS) receives and processes electronic intelligence (ELINT) and other information to generate integrated products. The EPDS consists of a single 30 foot van that incorporates communications, processing, and analysis functions. The EPDS provides products to ETUTs and other terminals. The van can be transported by a 5T tractor. Power is provided by 100 kW generators or commercial power.
Enhanced Tactical User's Terminal (ETUT) f. The Enhanced Tactical User's Terminal (ETUT) provides products from EPDS and the IPDS to specific tactical headquarters. The ETUT consists of a single 20 foot trailer with three operator positions for digitizing images, data processing, imagery management, communications and collection management. The trailer can be transported by a 5T tractor.
Tactical High Mobility Terminal (THMT) g. The Tactical High Mobility Terminal (THMT) can receive and transmit imagery, intelligence data and messages. It can also establish and maintain a correlated intelligence data base. ELINT and IMINT data as provided by the EPDS, ETUT or other intelligence systems can be analyzed or displayed on any of its two external operator positions or its one internal workstation. The THMT has most of the capabilities of the ETUT but in a more mobile configuration. The THMT is mounted in a single S250 shelter usually mounted on a 5T long bed truck. Two THMTs are mounted on trailing arm drive vehicles to enhance their deployability. The THMT can be transported on C130 cargo aircraft. A 30 kw generator provides power.
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Mobile Integrated Tactical Terminal (MITT) h. The Mobile Integrated Tactical Terminal (MITT) is designed to support corps, divisions, brigades and special operations forces. The general capabilities are similar to the THMT. The MITT can receive and transmit intelligence messages and data, including imagery over landline, AUTODIN or UHF communications links.. The MITT has two operator terminals. One is always operated remotely and the other can be operated from within the shelter or from a remote position. The MITT can interface with the ETUT, EPDS, IPDS and THMT through landline, AUTODIN (via MSE) or UHF data link. The communications equipment, processors, displays and printers are mounted in a standard shelter which is carried by a heavy duty HMMWV with a 15 kW generator mounted on a trailer. A second HMMWV is a support vehicle.
Forward Area Secondary Imagery Dissemination (SID) and Tactical Related Application (TRAP) - Improved (FAST-I) h. The FASTI is a limited capability version of the MITT intended for corps, divisions, brigades and armored cavalry regiments not scheduled to receive a THMT or MITT. The FASTI receives, correlates, enhances, integrates, stores and disseminates ELINT products, IMINT reports and secondary imagery. The FASTI consists of seven manportable cases with a total weight of about 1,400 pounds. There is one Sun/UNIX workstation and includes a communications system processor, a grayscale image printer, a SUCCESS radio, a dedicated modem for imagery, a STUIII and cyrptologic equipment. The FASTI can interface with ETUT, EPDS, IPDS, MITT and THMT through landline, DSN, Mobile Subscriber Equipment (MSE) and UHF satellites. A generator or commercial power is required to power the components.
Enhanced Tactical Radar Correlator (ETRAC) i. The ETRAC receives and processes imagery from national and theater synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensor systems. The ETRAC is also the baseline as DoD's Common Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Processor. The ETRAC can be deployed on a single C-130 cargo aircraft. When paired with the IPDS, the ETRAC provides a full range of theater and national imagery sensor inputs.
Synthesized UHF Computer Controlled Equipment Sub- System (SUCCESS) Radio j. The Synthesized UHF Computer Controlled Equipment SubSystem (SUCCESS) radio is a special UHF Satellite communications transceiver. It is capable of simultaneously receiving on three channels and transmitting on one channel. The SUCCESS radio has the ability to receive and transmit using the Tactical Receive Equipment (TRE), the Tactical Data Information Exchange System B (TAXISB) and Secondary Imagery Dissemination System (SIDS) protocols.
Special Purpose Integrated Remote Intelligence Terminal (SPIRIT) I/II Terminal k. The Special Purpose Integrated Remote Intelligence Terminal (SPIRIT) I/II terminal are designed to operate within the TROJAN communications network. The TROJAN communications network is a worldwide satellite communications network designed for the dissemination of intelligence data. The SPIRIT I/II terminals receive, process and transmit up to 14 channels of medium capacity multiplexed voice and data circuits over commercial C/Ku band communications satellites and SHF (Xband) military communications satellites. The SPIRIT I/II is mounted in an S250 communications shelter carried on a HMMWV. A trailer carries a 2.4 meter satellite antenna. A second HMMWV carries maintenance and mission support equipment.
7-35 Defense Support Program
Space Segment a. The Defense Support Program (DSP) was initially a space based surveillance systems to detect the launch of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) and Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM). The program expanded later to include the detection of certain other types of ballistic missiles after they were launched.
DSP Orbit b. The DSP satellites (DSP) are launched into a geostationary orbit from which the sensors on the satellite monitor the Earth below for the launch of ballistic missiles. Generally, there are two DSP satellites positioned to observe the western hemisphere and one to observe the eastern hemisphere. The principal sensor subsystem is the Infrared (IR) Telescope. Infrared energy given off by hot sources on the Earth is detected by an array of photoelectric cells located in the IR Telescope. Sensor data is transmitted to control segment ground stations for processing. The DSP satellites also carry RADEC sensors capable of detecting and quantifying nuclear explosions on the Earth's surface, in the atmosphere and in near Earth space. Newer DSP satellites have a laser crosslink so that data from one DSP satellite can be relayed through another. This helps to reduce reliance on overseas ground stations.
Control Segment c. The DSP satellites are operated and controlled by the Air Force Space Command. The Ground Data System consists of Satellite Readout Stations, Data Reduction Centers, a Data Distribution Center and the Ground Communications Network. There is one Overseas Ground Station which supports the eastern hemisphere DSP satellite and one CONUS Ground Station which supports the two western hemisphere DSP satellites. The Satellite Readout Stations function as tracking stations, receive and transmit TT&C to the DSP satellites within view, receive mission and relay the data to the Data Reduction Center. The Data Reduction Centers extract significant mission data and perform data processing in support of the satellites. The Data Reduction Centers relay data to the Data Distribution Center located at the CONUS ground station. The Data Reduction Center also converts high speed data to 150 baud teletype for output to selected users. The Ground Communications Network provides all required communications between segments of the control segment and the user segment.
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User Segment d. Data from the DSP satellites are centrally processed and a warning is transmitted to users. The warning information consists of an assessment of the time and place of launch, the type missile launched and an estimated course of the missile. The principal recipients of this warning are the National Command Authority, U.S. Space Command, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Air Combat Command, and unified and specified CINCs around the world. Army forces receive the warning information from the unified and specified CINC's.
Tactical Event Reporting System (TERS) e. To provide the warning information to the unified and specified CINCs, the Tactical Event Reporting System (TERS) was developed. TERS provides theater commanders with missile launch warning data within two to four minutes of launch. This warning can be used to alert friendly forces and defensive weapons such as Air Defense and Tactical Ballistic Missile Defense systems.
Use in Desert Storm/Desert Shield f. During Operation DESERT STORM, a DSP satellite was able to detect the launch of Iraqi SCUD ballistic rockets toward Saudi Arabia and Israel. The satellite sensor data was transmitted to a CONUS processing station. Computers analyzed the data to determine when a launch occurred. If the operator confirmed the computer analysis, a launch detection alert was issued. This alert message was relayed over satellite communications to the headquarters in Saudi Arabia. The alert message provided early warning to military and civilian personnel in the target area and provided cueing information to the Patriot missile batteries providing point defense. This procedure was an expedient system that was designed for this purpose, but had only been demonstrated in Europe prior to Operation DESERT SHIELD.
7-36 Nuclear Detonation Detection System (NDDS)
Introduction a. NDDS sensors are used to detect, quantify and locate any surface or atmospheric nuclear weapons explosion. This provides a means of monitoring compliance with the Limited Test Ban Treaty (1963), the Nuclear Weapons NonProliferation Treaty (1968) and the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (1990). Nuclear Detonation Detection System (NDDS) sensors on satellites in space can perform their mission without permission and without violating borders or airspace.
Space Segment b. NDDS sensors are carried on Block II Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and on Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites. These sensors are capable of detecting, locating and reporting atmospheric nuclear detonations on a global, near real time basis. NDDS sensors are self contained packages that are not related to the main payload of the satellites. Sensors on the DSP satellites provide continuous surveillance over a very large area but their position in geostationary orbit can make geolocation more difficult. A sensor on a GPS satellite is much closer to the Earth but is not able to keep a specific area in view at all times. The solution is to have the sensors mounted on all Block II GPS satellites. This not only provides for complete global coverage, but also allows more than one sensor to detect a nuclear explosion, thus enhancing geolocation accuracy and quantification. The NDDS sensors can detect visible light, xrays and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) radiation given off by a nuclear explosion. Geolocation accuracy is approximately 1.5 km.
Control Segment c. The NDDS sensors are controlled by the controllers of the host satellite.
User Segment d. The user segment consists of selected national and strategic level agencies or commands. Data is provided to operational and tactical commands by message from the selected user agencies or commands.