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Japan Government The Military News

Japan Launches Two New Spy Satellites 76

Posted by timothy
from the launching-old-ones-didn't-work-out dept.
According to the Daily Yomiuri, "Japan launched two satellites on Jan. 27 to strengthen its surveillance capabilities, including keeping a closer eye on North Korea which has vowed to stage another nuclear test. One of them was a radar-equipped unit to complete a system of surveillance satellites that will allow Tokyo to monitor any place in the world at least once a day. The other was a demonstration satellite to collect data for research and development." The Defense News version of the story says "Japan developed a plan to use several satellites as one group to gather intelligence in the late 1990s as a response to a long-range missile launch by Pyongyang in 1998. The space agency has said the radar satellite would be used for information-gathering, including data following Japan’s 2011 quake and tsunami, but did not mention North Korea by name."
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Japan Launches Two New Spy Satellites

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  • by bhlowe (1803290) on Monday January 28, 2013 @12:50AM (#42712903)
    Check this video of new spy technology for drones and presumably spy satellites: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e95_1359267780 [liveleak.com]
    A single drone can cover a 25 sq mi area with 6" resolution. This video is incredible in that it gives you a detailed peek at what is possible from a single aircraft and the amount of data-processing that can be done in real time.
    • by mrbluze (1034940)

      Check this video of new spy technology for drones and presumably spy satellites: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e95_1359267780 [liveleak.com] A single drone can cover a 25 sq mi area with 6" resolution. This video is incredible in that it gives you a detailed peek at what is possible from a single aircraft and the amount of data-processing that can be done in real time.

      This is a drone, but can a spy satellite obtain such realtime data in this resolution? I am yet to see an example of that.

      • by acedotcom (998378)
        not yet...maybe in ten years. it would depend on how much data the sat could send back. pictures are easy to send back real time...but video at HD would require its own satellite. thats why you never see real time HD from the space station.
    • by acedotcom (998378)
      its not a 1.8GP sensor. its a 1.8GP mosaic and it looks useless the resolution of the zoomed in image is pretty shoddy, and it couldnt use things like infrared from the heights it shows it to be the most practical. it would have to fly at a fairly high altitude other wise it couldnt focus unless it had a series of HUGE lenses to help compensate . it would work with a city like new york because the image "bends" like looking through a fisheye lens...it cant see through buildings. its a cute idea, but on
    • This video is incredible in that it gives you a detailed peek at what is possible from a single aircraft and the amount of data-processing that can be done in real time.

      There's no clear indication in the video that any processing (beyond possibly creating the mosaic, which is pretty straightforward computationally) is taking place in real time. They talk about ARGUS, but they're pretty cagey about differentiating between the front end on the UAV and the back end on the ground. (And there's no immediate w

  • North Korea? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ikaruga (2725453)
    More like trying to spying on a real threat like China. NK is hardly a threat.
    • Re:North Korea? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rockout (1039072) on Monday January 28, 2013 @01:00AM (#42712959)
      They're two different kinds of threats. China at least rotates its leaders in and out, and probably has less of a chance of some maniac doing stupid things that would endanger both China's economy and those of its competitors. NK, on the other hand, is ruled by a cult of personality unrivaled in the world today, and if he starts believing his own propoganda, there's no telling what suicidal path KJU will take NK down.
      • Re:North Korea? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 28, 2013 @02:16AM (#42713209)

        China had a cult of personality but it didn't work, so they reverted to the earlier system prior to the republic (which also didn't work), but without an emperor. A complex order of bureaucrats runs things in China today just like it has for thousands of years. Communism is just a facade. Heck, they could still have an emperor if they wanted and things would be almost exactly the same.

        • Re:North Korea? (Score:5, Informative)

          by rasmusbr (2186518) on Monday January 28, 2013 @03:50AM (#42713519)

          That's one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is to think of China as a country run by engineers. The current president Hu Jintao is a hydraulic engineer and the next guy in line Xi Jinping is a chemical engineer and Jiang Zemin who was president before Hu Jintao was an electrical engineer. The next couple of guys in line in the politburo are economists and engineers.

          Once you realize that China is run by engineers a lot of what China is doing begins to make sense in a sort of intuitive way if you're a tech person yourself.

          • by steelfood (895457)

            Meanwhile, the U.S. is run by career politicians and lawyers.

            I'm not sure which is worse, quite frankly. While I'm partial to engineers myself, most of them are not very good when it comes to dealing with unpredictable systems like people.

    • by 0111 1110 (518466)

      If North Korea is not a threat then surely China wouldn't be either. Admittedly the Chinese seem to hold a grudge for a very long time over the Nanking Massacre, but I cannot imagine them attacking Japan.

      • by mrbluze (1034940)

        If North Korea is not a threat then surely China wouldn't be either. Admittedly the Chinese seem to hold a grudge for a very long time over the Nanking Massacre, but I cannot imagine them attacking Japan.

        Fable and history are merely tools of statecraft. The decision to go to war or not with anyone has much more to do with resources and trade routes than anything sentimental. As long as China is getting its way, and Japan does not become weak, Japan is safe. But at a certain point China will outgrow its current situation and will find it necessary to make territorial gains in order to keep growing, or something will get in its way, like the US. When that happens both sides will come up with a narrative that

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          I think China's most immediate goal is the Republic of China (Taiwan). That's a thorn in their side.

          • Re:North Korea? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by korgitser (1809018) on Monday January 28, 2013 @03:14AM (#42713391)

            China's most immediate goal is southern Siberia. China severely lacks farmable land, and the russians have a lot of it unused. Both are conducting military excercises in the area. Russia, though, knows that it can not stand against China by it's own, so is seeking admission into NATO; the USA knows that it does not want to help Russia and is thus seeking withdrawal from NATO. This is also a part of why USA is leaving the Atlantic and focusing on the Pacific now. For the Russians it would probably make most sense to go Alaska on Siberia, but their imperial pride might not be willing to do in under pressure.

            China's second immediate goal is a possible attack from Japan, not that it would be much of a problem. Of course they would not attack Japan by themselves, nothing to gain there. But they are pawning Japan in another game. Remember when USA was giving crap to China because China "artificially" keeps its currency cheap? China was doing it by buying up massive amounts of USD, basic stuff. When the amount of crap they recieved became too high, they outsourced it to Japan. Started to buy up yen instead. The price of yen rising, Japan losing it's export power, all of their big companies going bust. Japan is doing it's best to cheapen the yen by buying up USD themselves, (following the Chinese masterplan) but they can not match the Chinese wallet. So the Japanese economy, already in a standstill for decades, is now on the brink of collapse. And they might be crazy enough to go kamikaze on the Great Wall of China.

            But the dance around Taiwan? I do not think so. They are too small to pose any real threat, but they work wonders as an enemy to point at for rallying up masses. They also work wonders as a diplomatic taboo, a card that will move mountains if played well.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              >China's second immediate goal is a possible attack from Japan, not that it would be much of a problem.
              >Of course they would not attack Japan by themselves, nothing to gain there.
              >But they are pawning Japan in another game. Remember when USA was giving crap to China because China "artificially" keeps its currency cheap?
              >China was doing it by buying up massive amounts of USD, basic stuff. When the amount of crap they recieved became too high, they outsourced it to Japan.
              China HAD to "buy" USD, th

              • Not sure if troll or not, but I'll just say that the world does not run on face-value thinking like that. We need to go deeper :H

            • Russia wants to join NATO? Hilarious. Where'd you pick that one up?
            • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

              You are projecting American thinking on to the Chinese. They don't want to grab land from Russia, and they don't fear imminent attack from Japan (whose constitution forbids them from doing it anyway). What they care about is protecting themselves both militarily and economically, and which the US takes as a threat to itself.

              And by the way, Japan is doing okay. Not brilliant, but not on the edge of economic disaster either. There is no hint what so ever from any major political faction, and certainly not the

              • A land grab is mostly necessary for the Chinese. It is protecting themselves economically - they need to feed their people. They currently have a severe lack of farmland, and buying from the world market is only going to cost more and more. Also it will be necessary for internal stability, their people's expectations for a living standard are rising, based on both growing wages and more information about the status quo outside of China.

                Concerning Japan: what do you think this row in the autumn was about: ht [bbc.co.uk]

                • by amiga3D (567632)

                  It wasn't about farm land.


                • Lost territory is lost territory, those islands are not the only ones China has been focusing on, but they are the only ones that matter to Western Media due to Japanese and American ties.
              • You are projecting American thinking on to the Chinese. They don't want to grab land from Russia, and they don't fear imminent attack from Japan (whose constitution forbids them from doing it anyway). What they care about is protecting themselves both militarily and economically, and which the US takes as a threat to itself.

                His information on China wanting to grab land from Russia isn't wrong, it is just outdated. They did in fact want to grab land from Russia. China had a long running border dispute with Russia. They actually came to blows over it in the 1960s. The dispute was only settled in 2004 when Russia gave them what they wanted in exchange for closer economic ties and an easing of tensions. So at this time I don't think there going to be any problem there.

                China's military spending is far beyond what is required to m

            • by MTEK (2826397)
              Your depiction of current Sino-Russian relations isn't accurate. And Russia would love nothing more than to infiltrate and undermine NATO due to the fact that former Soviet-Bloc countries are now members of the organization.
            • Sounds like a summary for the next Tom Clancy novel.

              May god have mercy on us all!

              Soon to be available at every book selling shop in every airport in the world.

              Just need to insert "Clark" and/or rainbow 6 (Seal team 6 perhaps?! Hmm maybe not, I hear Disney's got the rights now for 175 years)...

    • Re:North Korea? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Luckyo (1726890) on Monday January 28, 2013 @03:35AM (#42713453)

      NK is essentially an arm of China. One has to understand that China has a lot of control over what NK does due to leadership ties, and NK has traditionally served as an agent of Chinese interests when really shoddy stuff has to be done.

      That in addition to the old animosity that most Koreans, North or South have for Japanese and the fact that NK has a very strong spying presence in Japan to the point of kidnapping japanese to get them to teach japanese customs and culture to their agents, NK is a very credible threat to Japan, and far greater threat then China in short term.

  • Here in Oceania our allies have always been Eurasia. The drones tell me that it's true.

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