MEASUREMENT AND SIGNATURE INTELLIGENCE (MASINT) is a technical branch
of intelligence gathering , which serves to detect, track, identify or
describe the signatures (distinctive characteristics) of fixed or
dynamic target sources. This often includes radar intelligence,
acoustic intelligence, nuclear intelligence, and chemical and
William K. Moore described the discipline: "
It can be difficult to draw a line between tactical sensors and
As with many intelligence disciplines, it can be a challenge to integrate the technologies into the active services, so they can be used by warfighters.
* 1 Understanding "measurement" and "signature"
* 2 National and multinational
* 2.1 China * 2.2 Germany * 2.3 Italy * 2.4 Russia * 2.5 United Kingdom
* 2.6 United States
* 2.7 Multinational counterproliferation
* 3 Military uses
* 3.1 Non-cooperative target recognition * 3.2 Unattended ground sensors * 3.3 Research programs: Smart Dust and WolfPack
* 4 Disciplines
* 5 Basic interaction of energy sources with targets
* 5.1 Classes of sensor
* 5.1.1 Passive sensing * 5.1.2 Active sensors
* 5.2 Quality of sensing * 5.3 Cueing
* 6 References * 7 External links
UNDERSTANDING "MEASUREMENT" AND "SIGNATURE"
In the context of MASINT, "measurement" relates to the finite metric
parameters of targets. "Signature" covers the distinctive features of
phenomena, equipment, or objects as they are sensed by the collection
instrument(s). The signature is used to recognize the phenomenon (the
equipment or object) once its distinctive features are detected.
While there are specialized
Another possible definition calls it "astronomy except for the
direction of view." The allusion here is to observational astronomy
being a set of techniques that do remote sensing looking away from the
earth (contrasted with how
NATIONAL AND MULTINATIONAL
There has been work on developing standardized
Numerous countries produce their own antisubmarine warfare sensors, such as hydrophones , active sonar, magnetic anomaly detectors , and other hydrographic sensors that are frequently considered too "ordinary" to be called MASINT.
China is not reported to be pursuing the more specialized MASINT technologies, although it does produce its antisubmarine sensors.
Following the first successful launch on December 19, 2006, about a year after the intended launch date, further satellites were launched at roughly six-month intervals, and the entire system of this five-satellite SAR Lupe synthetic aperture radar constellation achieved full operational readiness on 22 July 2008.
Italy and France are cooperating on the deployment of the dual-use Orfeo civilian and military satellite system.
Orfeo is a dual-use (civilian and military) earth observation satellite network developed jointly between France and Italy. Italy is developing the Cosmo-Skymed X-band polarimetric synthetic aperture radar , to fly on two of the satellites.
Russia does have nonimaging infrared satellites to detect missile launches . Russia produces, of course, a wide range of antisubmarine warfare sensors.
UK developed the first successful acoustic system, sound ranging to detect hostile artillery and anti-submarine acoustic detection in World War I. In the 1990s, an improved acoustic system for artillery location acoustic artillery location system was introduced, which complements Counter-battery radar .
Within the US Intelligence Community the Directorate of
National Reconnaissance Office and National Security
Agency work in collecting MASINT, especially with military components.
Other intelligence community organizations also have a collection role
and possibly an analytic role. In 1962, the Central Intelligence
Agency , Deputy Directorate for Research (now the Deputy Directorate
for Science and Technology), formally took on
The consolidation of the
* Research, development, testing, and production of
CIA's Office of Research and Development was formed to stimulate research and innovation testing leading to the exploitation of non-agent intelligence collection methods. ... All non-agent technical collection systems will be considered by this office and those appropriate for field deployment will be so deployed. The Agency's missile detection system, Project based on backscatter radar is an example. This office will also provide integrated systems analysis of all possible collection methods against the Soviet antiballistic missile program is an example.
It is not clear where
CIA took on a more distinct
NON-COOPERATIVE TARGET RECOGNITION
UNATTENDED GROUND SENSORS
Another strong need where
In the U.S., much of the Igloo White technology came from Sandia
National Laboratories , which subsequently designed the Mini Intrusion
Detection System (MIDS) family, and the U.S. Marine Corps's AN/GSQ-261
Tactical Remote Sensor System (TRSS). Another major U.S. Army
initiative was the Remotely Monitored Battlefield Sensor System
(REMBASS), which it upgraded to Improved REMBASS (IREMBASS), and now
is considering REMBASS II. The REMBASS generations, for example,
increasingly intertwine interconnections of infrared
The UK and Australia also are interested in UGS.
ADAS sensors were in a U.S. program, Army Rapid Force Projection Initiative advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD), using OASIS acoustic sensors and central processing, but not the electro-optical component. ADAS sensors are emplaced in clusters of three or four, for increased detection capability and for triangulation. Textron says that the ADAS acoustic sensors can track fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and UAVs as well as traditional ground threats.
ACTD added Remote Miniature Weather Station (RMWS), from System Innovations. These RMWS measure temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, visibility and barometric pressure, which can then be sent over commercial or military satellite links.
Employing UGS is especially challenging in urban areas, where there is a great deal more background energy and a need to separate important measurements from them. Acoustic sensors will need to distinguish vehicles and aircraft from footsteps (unless personnel detection is a goal), and things such as construction blasting. They will need to discriminate among simultaneous targets. Infrared imaging, for the urban environment, will need smaller pixels . If either the targets or the sensor is moving, micro-electromechanical accelerometers will be needed.
RESEARCH PROGRAMS: SMART DUST AND WOLFPACK
Still more of an UGS research program, under DARPA, is Smart Dust , which is a program for developing massively parallel networks of hundreds or thousand "motes," on the order of 1 mm3.
Another DARPA program is WolfPack, a ground-based electronic warfare
system. WolfPack is made up of a "pack" of "wolves." Wolves are
distributed electronic detection nodes with location and
classification capability, which may use radiofrequency MASINT
techniques along with
INTELLIGENCE CYCLE MANAGEMENT
INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION MANAGEMENT
An example of the interaction is "imagery-defined
As with many branches of MASINT, specific techniques may overlap with
the six major conceptual disciplines of
A different set of disciplines comes from DIA:
* nuclear, chemical, and biological features; * emitted energy (e.g., nuclear, thermal, and electromagnetic); * reflected (re-radiated) energy (e.g., radio frequency, light, and sound); * mechanical sound (e.g., engine, propeller, or machinery noise); * magnetic properties (e.g., magnetic flux and anomalies); * motion (e.g., flight, vibration, or movement); and * material composition.
The two sets are not mutually exclusive, and it is entirely possible
that as this newly recognized discipline emerges, a new and more
widely accepted set will evolve. For example, the DIA list considers
vibration. In the Center for
BASIC INTERACTION OF ENERGY SOURCES WITH TARGETS
Remote sensing depends on the interaction of a source of energy with a target, and energy measured from the target. In the "Remote Sensing" diagram, Source 1a is an independent natural source such as the Sun. Source 1b is a source, perhaps manmade, that illuminates the target, such as a searchlight or ground radar transmitter. Source 1c is a natural source, such as the heat of the Earth, with which the Target interferes. Remote sensing—relationships between radiation source, target and sensor
The Target itself may produce EMITTED RADIATION, such as the glow of a red-hot object, which Sensor 2 measures. Alternatively, Sensor 1 might measure, as REFLECTED RADIATION, the interaction of the Target with Source 1a, as in conventional sunlit photography. If the energy comes from Source 1b, Sensor 1 is doing the equivalent of photography by flash.
Source 3a is under the observer's control, such as a radar transmitter, and Sensor 3b can be tightly coupled to Source 3. An example of coupling might be that Sensor 3 will only look for BACKSCATTER RADIATION after the speed-of-light delay from Source 3a to the target and back to the position of Sensor 3b. Such waiting for a signal at a certain time, with radar, would be an example of electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) , so that a signal jamming aircraft closer to Sensor 3b would be ignored.
A BISTATIC REMOTE SENSING SYSTEM would separate source 3a from sensor 3b; a multistatic system could have multiple pairs of coupled sources and sensors, or an uneven ratio of sources and sensors as long as all are correlated. It is well known that bistatic and multistatic radar are a potential means of defeating low-radar-observability aircraft. It is also a requirement, from operations personnel concerned with shallow water operations.
Techniques such as synthetic aperture have source 3a and sensor 3b colocated, but the source-sensor array takes multiple measurements over time, giving the effect of physical separation of source and sensor.
Any of the illuminations of the target (i.e., Source 1a, 1b, or 3a), and the returning radiation, can be affected by the atmosphere, or other natural phenomena such as the ocean, between source and target, or between target and sensor.
Observe that the atmosphere comes between the radiation source and the target, and between the target and the sensor. Depending on the type of radiation and sensor in use, the atmosphere can have little interfering effect, or have a tremendous effect requiring extensive engineering to overcome.
First, the atmosphere may absorb part of the energy passing through it. This is bad enough for sensing if all wavelengths are affected evenly, but it becomes much more complex when the radiation is of multiple wavelengths, and the attenuation differs among wavelengths.
Second, the atmosphere may cause an otherwise tightly collimated energy beam to spread.
CLASSES OF SENSOR
Sensing systems have five major subcomponents:
* Signal collectors, which concentrate the energy, as with a telescope lens, or a radar antenna that focuses the energy at a detector * Signal detectors, such as charge-coupled devices for light or a radar receiver * Signal processing, which may remove artifacts from single images, or compute a synthetic image from multiple views * Recording mechanism * Recording return mechanisms, such as digital telemetry from satellites or aircraft, ejection systems for recorded media, or physical return of a sensor carrier with the recordings aboard.
Sensors may be passive or coupled to an active source (i.e., "active sensor"). Passive sensors receive radiation from the target, either from the energy the target emits, or from other sources not synchronized with the sensor.
Figure "Remote Sensing Geometry" illustrates several key aspects of a scanning sensor. Remote sensing geometry—relationships between scanning sensor and target
The instantaneous field of view (IFOV) is the area from which radiation currently impinges on the detector. The SWATH WIDTH is the distance, centered on the sensor path, from which signal will be captured in a single scan. Swath width is a function of the ANGULAR FIELD OF VIEW (AFOV) of the scanning system. Most scanning sensors have an array of detectors such that the IFOV is the angle subtended by each detector and the AFOV is the total angle subtended by the array.
PUSH BROOM sensors either have a sufficiently large IFOV, or the scan moves fast enough with respect to the forward speed of the sensor platform, that an entire swath width is recorded without movement artifacts. These sensors are also known as SURVEY or WIDE FIELD devices, comparable to wide angle lenses on conventional cameras.
WHISK BROOM or SPOTLIGHT sensors have the effect of stopping the scan, and focusing the detector on one part of the swath, typically capturing greater detail in that area. This is also called a CLOSE LOOK scanner, comparable to a telephoto lens on a camera.
Passive sensors can capture information for which there is no way to generate man-made radiation, such as gravity. Geodetic passive sensors can provide detailed information on the geology or hydrology of the earth.
Active sensors are conceptually of two types, imaging and
non-imaging. Especially when combining classes of sensor, such as
In MASINT, the active signal source can be anywhere in the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to X-rays, limited only by the propagation of the signal from the source. X-ray sources, for example, must be in very close proximity to the target, while lasers can illuminate a target from a high satellite orbit. While this discussion has emphasized the electromagnetic spectrum, there are also both active (e.g., sonar) and passive (e.g., hydrophone and microbarograph ) acoustic sensors.
QUALITY OF SENSING
Several factors make up the quality of a given sensor's information acquisition, but assessing quality can become quite complex when the end product combines the data from multiple sensors. Several factors, however, are commonly used to characterize the basic quality of a single sensing system.
* SPATIAL RESOLUTION defines the correspondence between each recorded pixel and the square real-world area that the pixel covers. * SPECTRAL RESOLUTION is the number of discrete frequency (or equivalent) bands recorded in an individual pixel. Remember that relatively coarse spectral resolution from one sensor, such as the spectroscopic analyzer that reveals a "bush" is painted plaster, may greatly enhance the ultimate value of a different sensor with finer spectral resolution. * RADIOMETRIC RESOLUTION is the number of levels of energy recorded, per pixel, in each spectral band. * TEMPORAL RESOLUTION describes the intervals at which the target is sensed. This is meaningful only in synthetic imaging, comparison over a longer time base, or in producing full-motion imagery. * GEOSPATIAL RESOLUTION is the quality of mapping pixels, especially in multiple passes, to known geographic or other stable references.
CROSS-CUEING is the passing of detection, geolocation and targeting
information to another sensor without human intervention. In a system
of sensors, each sensor must understand which other sensors complement
it. Typically, some sensors are sensitive (i.e., with a low incidence
of false negatives) while others have a low incidence of false
positives. A fast sensitive sensor that covers a large area, such as
When combining sensors, however, even a quite coarse sensor of one type can cause a huge increase in the value of another, more fine-grained sensor. For example, a highly precise visible-light camera can create an accurate representation of a tree and its foliage. A coarse spectral analyzer in the visible light spectrum, however, can reveal that the green leaves are painted plastic, and the "tree" is camouflaging something else. Once the fact of camouflage is determined, a next step might be to use imaging radar or some other sensing system that will not be confused by the paint.
Cueing, however, is a step before AUTOMATIC TARGET RECOGNITION , which requires both extensive signature libraries and reliable matching to it.
* ^ North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Nato Standardization Agency
AAP-6 - Glossary of terms and definitions, p 156.
* ^ A B Interagency OPSEC Support Staff (IOSS) (May 1996), "Section
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* ^ US Army (May 2004). "Chapter 9: Measurement and Signals
Intelligence". Field Manual 2-0, Intelligence. Department of the Army.
* ^ William K. Moore (January–March 2003). "MASINT: new eyes in
the battlespace". Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin.
* ^ Ives, John W. (9 April 2002). "Army Vision 2010: Integrating
Measurement and Signature Intelligence". US Army War College.
* ^ Lum, Zachary (August 1998). "The measure of MASINT". Journal of
Electronic Defense. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
* ^ A B C Center for