Using Commercial Satellite Imagery to Increase Transparency of Nuclear Forces

Wed. March 21, noon-1:30pm in Hurst 202. A light lunch will be served!!

The advent of high-resolution commercial satellite imagery has revolutionized the ability of people to monitor activities anywhere on surface of the planet. Only a decade ago, access to satellite imagery with better than one meter resolution required top secret access to military spy satellites. Now, anyone with a laptop computer can use GoogleEarth and several other free providers of free commercial satellite imagery to monitor developments in anything ranging from urban sprawl to deforestation to nuclear weapons deployments. As director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, Hans Kristensen uses commercial satellite imagery to monitor and document the nuclear forces of the world’s nine nuclear weapons states. His presentation will showcase some of his discoveries and give advise on how to use this unique technology to strengthen analysis and writing on nuclear weapons and non-proliferation issues.

About the speaker: Hans Kristensen is the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists where he focused on researching and describing the status of the world’s nuclear forces and the government policies that guide their potential use. His work is frequently published on the FAS Strategic Security Blog. He is a co-author to the Nuclear Notebook in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and the World Nuclear Forces overview in the SIPRI Yearbook. Before he joined the Federation in 2005, Kristensen worked as a consultant to the Nuclear Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C., and before that as a project officer at the Nautilus Institute in Berkeley, California.