Thursday, April 8, 2010

Monitoring Arms Control Treaties: How Much Has Changed?

The nuclear arms control treaty signed by President's Obama and Medvedev today brought back memories of my time as a satellite imagery analyst for the U.S. government in the mid-to-late 1980's. My work at that time was focused on arms control issues, particularly developing satellite imagery collection strategies that could be used to help monitor Soviet compliance with the INF and START treaties.

As I was reading about the signing ceremony in Prague, I was struck by how much has changed in geospatial technology in general and the remote sensing industry in particular since those two treaties were signed. Which made me wonder how much of this new and improved technology is being incorporated into the monitoring regimes? For example, if I was in that position today, I would taking a hard look at how to incorporate the growing number of commercial remote sensing satellites into the monitoring mix. Hopefully, existing government policy towards these systems facilitates such access.

1 comment:

Sterling said...

Hey Kevin. I like your line of thinking. Frankly, I'd like to see civilians use crowd-sourcing and real-time or delayed-time satellite imagery to monitor nuclear arms -- a sort of IdeaScale and Google Earth double-whammy. I actually posted something about it on Secure Nation just recently.