Spy Satellites

By Deane Barker on October 26, 2003

Feds Want All-Seeing Eye in Sky: Is there anything cooler than spy satellites? I mean, I can’t even talk about spy satellites without looking over my shoulder to make sure the guy Jon Voight played in Enemy of the State isn’t about to take me out with a hypodermic to the neck.

“Space-based radar, or SBR, is Cambone’s preferred method for fulfilling these aims. America’s current imaging satellites can cover only thin slices of the Earth at any one time as the spacecraft pass overhead. A constellation of 10 to 24 SBR satellites, slated for 2012 or so, would cover almost the entire globe at once. Unlike the standard birds now in orbit, whose eyes are blocked by cloud and darkness, the SBR array would use weather-piercing synthetic aperture radar to look below without interruption. What’s more, the radar could track tanks, jeeps and planes, giving their locations to American bombers and fighter planes.”

When it comes down to it, spy satellites rank right up there with underwater robots on my scale of coolness. There’s really no conversation that can’t be made more interesting by mentioning spy satellites.

“Honey, what’s for dinner? Spy satellites? [dramatic pause; background music swells]”



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