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Posted: 2/2/2006 5:35:27 PM EDT
???
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:35:45 PM EDT
yes
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:36:42 PM EDT
.................no
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:36:46 PM EDT
NrO Of course we don't.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:38:59 PM EDT
No.
If we could detect the from that far out, the radiation that would be present in close proximity would kill every living thing. Somebody actually did the math in an article and an ARFCOMer posted it here .

Our atmosphere and elctromagnetic field block out solar radiation.
It does the same thing the other way.

Example: We didn't know about Chernobyl until a day or so afterwards.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:48:20 PM EDT
Only our satalites that are equiped with the "new" 40 gigawatt laser.....uhhhh....rangefinders.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:59:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE:
Our atmosphere and elctromagnetic field block out solar radiation.
It does the same thing the other way.



It's a magnetic field, not an electromagnetic field. Regardless, spy satellites generally orbit at low earth orbit altitudes (varies ~100-700 miles), well below the Van Allen Belts that do much of the shielding. The attenuation (blocking) of any kind of nuclear signature at LEO orbit would have very little to do with the atmosphere or the magnetic field, and everything to do with the fact that this signature degrades exponentially with distance (inverse square law).
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 6:01:47 PM EDT
I think we should say we do whether we do or not.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 6:02:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DukeSnookems:

Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE:
Our atmosphere and elctromagnetic field block out solar radiation.
It does the same thing the other way.



It's a magnetic field, not an electromagnetic field. Regardless, spy satellites generally orbit at low earth orbit altitudes (varies ~100-700 miles), well below the Van Allen Belts that do much of the shielding. The attenuation (blocking) of any kind of nuclear signature at LEO orbit would have very little to do with the atmosphere or the magnetic field, and everything to do with the fact that this signature degrades exponentially with distance (inverse square law).



The amount of radation is too small and the satellite to far away. If there was a radation signature you could detect with a satellite, you would not need a satellite in the first place.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 6:23:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NimmerMehr: The amount of radation is too small and the satellite to far away. If there was a radation signature you could detect with a satellite, you would not need a satellite in the first place.
Exactly. If you guys want to track down nuclear materials/facilities, then you gotta keep track of the accessories. Be on the lookout for a lot concrete, rebar, construction equipment, special parts orders, specialist personnel, piping, medical teams, etc. Those are easier to track than the relatively small amount of radioactive material.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 6:32:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2006 6:34:10 PM EDT by CAR-10]

Originally Posted By Wingnut116ACW:
NrO Of course we don't.



Classic response. I seriously considered going to work for the NRO, but I'd have to move to DC, which i'd rather not do.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 6:44:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2006 6:45:32 PM EDT by clement]
Isn't the range of alpha particles only a few centimeters? I think detecting that from space must be pretty hard(impossible). (Uranium is an alpha emmiter correct?))
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 7:02:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2006 7:05:31 PM EDT by PromptCritical]

Originally Posted By clement:
Isn't the range of alpha particles only a few centimeters? I think detecting that from space must be pretty hard(impossible). (Uranium is an alpha emmiter correct?))



Alphas won't even penetrate your skin, Beta's won't penetrate paper, Neutrons can be blocked by several feet of water, Gamma's can be blocked by a few inches of lead and concrete.

There is no chance in hell that you could detect alpha, beta, or neutron radiation from nuclear material. Gamma detection at that range would be nearly impossible unless it came from a detonation. But you probably wouldn't need sophisticated detection gear for that. And it would be a waste of time anyway.

"Hey, I just detected a shitload of gammas coming from Iran!"

"Yeah? No shit. Turn on Fox News. Israelis just nuked 'em."

There is another type of radiation emitted by Nuclear reactions: Neutrinos. No mas to speak of. No charge. They just fly out at nearly the speed of light. Since they don't interact with anything, hey also have extreme penetration. Think "all the way through the earth" penetration. However, since they don't interract with anything, they cannot be detected, since radiation detectors rely on some sort of interaction to detect radiation.

Where this would be useful is, if you did develop a neutrino detector, and you could put it on a satellite, you would be able to see every bit of radioactive material on earth, even from the other side of the planet. More important than that, every operating nuclear reactor would light up like a Christmas tree. All the power plants and, most important, all the ones on warships, surface, and submarines. Basically, the US submarine force would be put out of business.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 7:18:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PromptCritical:

Originally Posted By clement:
Isn't the range of alpha particles only a few centimeters? I think detecting that from space must be pretty hard(impossible). (Uranium is an alpha emmiter correct?))



Alphas won't even penetrate your skin, Beta's won't penetrate paper, Neutrons can be blocked by several feet of water, Gamma's can be blocked by a few inches of lead and concrete.

There is no chance in hell that you could detect alpha, beta, or neutron radiation from nuclear material. Gamma detection at that range would be nearly impossible unless it came from a detonation. But you probably wouldn't need sophisticated detection gear for that. And it would be a waste of time anyway.

"Hey, I just detected a shitload of gammas coming from Iran!"

"Yeah? No shit. Turn on Fox News. Israelis just nuked 'em."

There is another type of radiation emitted by Nuclear reactions: Neutrinos. No mas to speak of. No charge. They just fly out at nearly the speed of light. Since they don't interact with anything, hey also have extreme penetration. Think "all the way through the earth" penetration. However, since they don't interract with anything, they cannot be detected, since radiation detectors rely on some sort of interaction to detect radiation.

Where this would be useful is, if you did develop a neutrino detector, and you could put it on a satellite, you would be able to see every bit of radioactive material on earth, even from the other side of the planet. More important than that, every operating nuclear reactor would light up like a Christmas tree. All the power plants and, most important, all the ones on warships, surface, and submarines. Basically, the US submarine force would be put out of business.



If you had a neutrino detector, and it could see through the earth, why would you put it on a satellite?
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 7:24:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2006 7:24:51 PM EDT by CAR-10]

Originally Posted By PromptCritical:

Originally Posted By clement:
Isn't the range of alpha particles only a few centimeters? I think detecting that from space must be pretty hard(impossible). (Uranium is an alpha emmiter correct?))



Alphas won't even penetrate your skin, Beta's won't penetrate paper, Neutrons can be blocked by several feet of water, Gamma's can be blocked by a few inches of lead and concrete.

There is no chance in hell that you could detect alpha, beta, or neutron radiation from nuclear material. Gamma detection at that range would be nearly impossible unless it came from a detonation. But you probably wouldn't need sophisticated detection gear for that. And it would be a waste of time anyway.

"Hey, I just detected a shitload of gammas coming from Iran!"

"Yeah? No shit. Turn on Fox News. Israelis just nuked 'em."

There is another type of radiation emitted by Nuclear reactions: Neutrinos. No mas to speak of. No charge. They just fly out at nearly the speed of light. Since they don't interact with anything, hey also have extreme penetration. Think "all the way through the earth" penetration. However, since they don't interract with anything, they cannot be detected, since radiation detectors rely on some sort of interaction to detect radiation.

Where this would be useful is, if you did develop a neutrino detector, and you could put it on a satellite, you would be able to see every bit of radioactive material on earth, even from the other side of the planet. More important than that, every operating nuclear reactor would light up like a Christmas tree. All the power plants and, most important, all the ones on warships, surface, and submarines. Basically, the US submarine force would be put out of business.




That reminds me of something I read a couple of years ago:



As found at Eyeballing Sandia


A. writes:
Odd facility 1 is a 2-reactor facility; I spent a week there while I worked for the lab. The inner
facility is the SPUR, Sandia Pulse reactor. Plates of enriched uranium, basically, with a
negative temperature coefficient. It's used to irradiate military stuff (or used to be, I have no
idea when it was last used) as a simulation of an atomic explosion. According to the people
who had been there a while, when SPUR fired you could be in the parking lot on the left with
your eyes closed, and the blue flashes you'd see were fast neutrons zipping through your
eyeballs.
Nice, eh?

Anyway, SPUR uses 'weapons grade' material, thus the safeguards. None of this was classified
when I was there, by the way.

The other area inside the main fence is ACRR, (Annular core research reactor), a 2MW toy
reactor used for various tests. We used it to play with diffractive optics; fun project. There's
also GIF, the gamma irradiation facility, inside the same building.

Amusingly, the office building on the left was a minor scandal at the time; major cost overruns.

Link Posted: 2/2/2006 7:41:29 PM EDT
What are you hiding???
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 7:48:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CAR-10:

Classic response. I seriously considered going to work for the NRO, but I'd have to move to DC, which i'd rather not do.



Most of those guys are contractors and they make some damn good bank. Except the poor DoD saps. There are other, better, more lucrative ways to find interesting jobs.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 8:16:00 PM EDT
I had a neutrino detector listed for sale on ebay, but they suspended my account because it violatated ebay's policy.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 8:23:43 PM EDT
I read that they were able to detect nuclear material and even specific characteristics that allowed them to identify the origin of the material (like a fingerprint).

-Foxxz
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