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Evan
11-17-2011, 08:37 PM
This has been reported recently although it may be old news. The Chinese have created several indecipherable visual formations in the deep Gobi Desert. There is no obvious or even unobvious explanation of the purpose of these markings. One thing is certain, it took a lot of work to create, especially considering the very remote location. One possible clue is that Chinese weapons testing and space launch facilities are located in the region although not nearby.

As far as has been found and reported no other government has made such markings in conjunction with military programs. It certainly isn't meant to be hidden. This particular marking is big, about 1.7 km wide (about a mile) and 1km high in these images. The lines are about 8 metres (26 ft) wide, about the width of a 2 lane with parking city street.

Guesses any one?

http://ixian.ca/pics9/china1.jpg

http://ixian.ca/pics9/china2.jpg

http://ixian.ca/pics9/china3.jpg

You can check it out on Google Maps or Google Earth at these coordinates:

40.452107,93.742118

The Artful Bodger
11-17-2011, 08:49 PM
How about working on autonomous vehicle control systems?

Spin Doctor
11-17-2011, 08:52 PM
Crooked Take Off and Landing Aircraft :eek:

Evan
11-17-2011, 08:53 PM
@AB

Not a bad idea but why in the middle of nowhere? It is a very long way from anything.

Tony Ennis
11-17-2011, 08:58 PM
It looks like that because it is several overlaid images. Perhaps the autonomous vehicle is to navigate on only certain streets for a given test.

lakeside53
11-17-2011, 09:03 PM
Maybe just bad data in the Google earth db. Any verfication from an alternate system?

The Artful Bodger
11-17-2011, 09:05 PM
@AB

Not a bad idea but why in the middle of nowhere? It is a very long way from anything.


It might be the initiative of a local university?:rolleyes:

Evan
11-17-2011, 09:05 PM
Overlaid images?

It really is remote. There is nothing for hundreds of kilometres in any direction.

This is it under construction in 2005. In 2003 it didn't exist.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/china4.jpg

Tony Ennis
11-17-2011, 09:06 PM
Looking at it in Google Earth, it seems abandoned and unmaintained. And I see no trace of any buildings around it.

Tony Ennis
11-17-2011, 09:14 PM
By overlaid images, what I mean is suppose there are 10 different test tracks the vehicle should navigate. Instead if building one facility per track, they literally built them over the top of one another.

Tony Ennis
11-17-2011, 09:21 PM
Also, there is more of that white material just to the East.

Evan
11-17-2011, 09:21 PM
I was thinking it might be a message to the Rigelian Overlords...

gnm109
11-17-2011, 09:25 PM
I didn't read the whole thread so sorry if you saw the explanation on Yahoo, IIRC. The article mentioned that these are targets for spy satellites. That could be wrong too as I didn't have my tinfoil hat in place when I read the article so it's not clear if that's the correct answer. :)

Black_Moons
11-17-2011, 09:26 PM
Many more of them can be found here:
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/china-gigantic/all/1

many much stranger then already posted.

Evan
11-17-2011, 09:48 PM
The large regular array on the wired site is the easy one. That is a very long wavelength antenna array for radio astronomy. The image below is of the Dominion Royal Astrophysical Observatory near Penticton, British Columbia. The large inverted T shape is the remains of a long wavelength antenna array.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/drao.jpg

fixerdave
11-17-2011, 10:41 PM
While they certainly look odd/fake, judging by the tire tracks around the zoom-in, I'd say there's something where the lines are. If they're spy satellite targets, then I'd say they were pretty crappy satellites - they're suppose to be reading license plates these days, aren't they?

My guess is a little more magical... as in magician's trick. The best way to hide that you're doing something with one hand is to make the other hand do something very, very interesting. When 100,000 people are going "whoa, look at that..." I'm wondering what they're doing over the next hill. Either that or it's highly toxic and they'd get in trouble if they just dumped it in a pile. Paint a pretty picture with it, on the other hand, and...

Of course, there's always the mundane answer... bored base commander with too many conscripts and not enough make-work projects. Who knows, maybe the guy read a Chinese translation of "Chariots of the Gods" and is waiting for the aliens to return in 2012. Maybe if figured he would make his own Nazca drawings but the damn truck drivers kept getting drunk.

Could be a lot of things,

David...

The Artful Bodger
11-17-2011, 11:03 PM
Why not just send an email to the Chinese government and ask them?:rolleyes:

.RC.
11-17-2011, 11:34 PM
I see there is a power substation about 10km from that site.... Plus some airfields and god knows what else..

Looks to be all abandoned now... Or underground..

I now see another one of those things 30km away at a heading of 270 degrees...

.RC.
11-17-2011, 11:40 PM
[quote=fixerdavethey're suppose to be reading license plates these days, aren't they?

[/quote]

Must be special satellites... My licence plate points horizontal... Cannot see it from the air... :D

SilveradoHauler
11-17-2011, 11:48 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45323827/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/odd-patterns-chinese-desert-spy-satellite-targets/

fixerdave
11-18-2011, 12:04 AM
Must be special satellites... My licence plate points horizontal... Cannot see it from the air... :D

They're for tracking license plates on converted dirtbikes, the ones wrapped around the top of the fenders :cool:

fixerdave
11-18-2011, 12:21 AM
I got it...

everyone is saying they're for calibrating spy satellites... but I don't buy that or there would be similar ones elsewhere, like the US. Okay, there's one example from the '60s for a comparatively little target that the US used. I can't imagine that the Chinese need one that's so much bigger than everyone else.

No... just doesn't sound right... and way too boring. But, I have a better theory:

This is the result of Chinese cyber-warfare. They hacked into a secret US laboratory and stole plans for a ground-based radio-beam zappie-thingie to knock out spy satellites. They built it, and now, with Google confirmation, all the labtechs at said lab are rolling on the floor laughing their guts out... while the Chinese labtechs are looking at the plans trying to figure out which line is in the wrong place and making the thing not do the zap-zap like it's suppose to.

My theory, and I'm sticking to it... for a few minutes anyway,

David...

Tanto
11-18-2011, 12:22 AM
It's a weapons test area.

MichaelP
11-18-2011, 12:23 AM
It's a pretty basic hieroglyphics. The set of Chinese characters can, roughly, be translated as "Phu(k you all".

lugnut
11-18-2011, 12:53 AM
There is a piece written in the news about it here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2062456/Gobi-Desert-Google-Map-mystery-explained-Objects-likely-spy-satellite-targets.html?ITO=google_news_rss_feed

Tanto
11-18-2011, 01:16 AM
I hope Mr Jonathon Hill doesn't give up his day job!

Black Forest
11-18-2011, 01:30 AM
It is a subdivision! We always put in the infrastructure before we built the houses.

The Artful Bodger
11-18-2011, 02:29 AM
It is a subdivision! We always put in the infrastructure before we built the houses.

At least as credible as calibrating satellites....:)

ikdor
11-18-2011, 02:33 AM
While the spy sattelite calibration is possible, it seems a bit large for that. It could also be a weapons test site. I remember reading the US operated nukes with a radar in the nose for final corrections. It correlated a stored map of the area with a radar image and used that for final corrections.
I forgot the name of the system though.

Igor

The Artful Bodger
11-18-2011, 02:46 AM
I remember reading the US operated nukes with a radar in the nose for final corrections. It correlated a stored map of the area with a radar image and used that for final corrections.



I read the same thing, I think it was in Readers Digest :p :p

'Someone' told me that the cruise missiles fired into Afghanistan were such terrain mapping devices and that similar ones were used to attack Baghdad in the Gulf War One but Saddam's boys figured it out and shot them down by putting radar guided anti aircraft guns on the major roads which the missiles were following into town. I dont know how true all that is as one cant believe all one is told in bars in foreign lands.:)

Tanto
11-18-2011, 02:46 AM
It IS a weapons test site. The clue would be the runway to the north-west with obvious bombing damage, and the series of test sites with the usual aircraft/vehicles in the usual positions for the usual tests. On one site you can even see exactly which way the last blast was orientated! Remove tin foil hats people, nothing to see here! Meanwhile Jonathon Hill is a good reminder of why NASA keeps losing its spacecraft!

John Stevenson
11-18-2011, 04:24 AM
It's test run for their new International Chinglish manuals program.

Instead of sending manuals out with each machine you will be able to download the relevant google earth picture.

The one Evan posted reads

"Do not place in the sunshine room "

Evan
11-18-2011, 04:31 AM
Cruise missiles do use terrain mapping as part of the navigation system. That doesn't mean they follow roads. The terrain map allows the computer to update position accurately even if GPS is being jammed.


From MSN article

Satellite cameras focus on the grids, which measure approximately 0.65 miles wide by 1.15 miles long, and use them to orient themselves in space.
Sure thing. NOT. Everybody else uses star and sun trackers, far more reliable. No clouds and visible 24/7 in space.


I think it's safe to say these are some kind of paint," Hill said, noting that if they were made of white dust or chalk, the wind would have caused them to streak visibly.

Yeah right. Notice how in the 2005 image I posted the "paint" is piled up near the buildings. This guy is making it up as he goes along. Either he doesn't want to say what it really is or he doesn't know. I bet on the latter.

Then we have the example he gave which is a white Maltese Cross. The Maltese Cross is the standard marker for a helipad or heli runway. Right next to the Maltese Cross is a trap club which looks like it used to be an old, very short runway, probably for helicopters.

Complete BS.

The Artful Bodger
11-18-2011, 04:48 AM
Cruise missiles do use terrain mapping as part of the navigation system. That doesn't mean they follow roads. .


... and it doesnt mean to say they dont, roads after all often correspond with terrain. IIRC the international TV crews were right at the site where the Iraqis were reported to be shooting down incoming cruise missiles, the Iraqis claimed to have shot down about 20 or so of them. The AA gun site the TV crews went to was a major traffic intersection.

BTW, I think cruise missiles predate GPS, but having fired all those old ones at Iraq and Afghanistan I am sure they have plenty of new ones now.

EVguru
11-18-2011, 04:49 AM
They're quite obviously alien QR codes!

Perhaps the Earth is for sale?

Or mayby it's a warning sign.

'Contains Nuts'

The Artful Bodger
11-18-2011, 04:52 AM
Then we have the example he gave which is a white Maltese Cross. The Maltese Cross is the standard marker for a helipad or heli runway.


It might be in America but as far as I know the international marking for a helicopter landing area is the letter 'H' in a circle.

Kiwi
11-18-2011, 06:25 AM
Try this for explanation http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57326152/mysterious-patterns-in-gobi-desert-deciphered/ very interesting

Ian B
11-18-2011, 07:04 AM
Spy satellite calibration? Doesn't sound even vaguely plausible. What is there to 'calibrate'? And, if it's to test the resolution of the cameras, I'd hope they can pick up on detail finer than 8m across.

Add to this, every satellite would need to pass over this spot. Not especially handy.

No, this is actually a Chinese "Bandwidth Using, Gigabit Grabbing Email Rate Outage Forcing Facility". It causes vast numbers of internet users to send pictures around the world, thereby crippling data transfer rates and sending a message to the world. The acronym says it all.

Ian

vpt
11-18-2011, 07:05 AM
Its a rope a dope, meanwhile only 3 miles away the most extensive nuclear project to date is under way.

Evan
11-18-2011, 08:29 AM
@ Kiwi

That is the same story I debunked a few posts back. It's just a different site.

AB

The Maltese cross is located a safe distance away from the landing pad as a holding point. The H designates the actual pad.
http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/atc/atc0311.html


PHRASEOLOGY-
MAKE APPROACH STRAIGHT-IN/CIRCLING LEFT/RIGHT TURN TO (location, runway, taxiway, helipad, Maltese cross) ARRIVAL/ARRIVAL ROUTE (number, name, or code).


Also, the Tomahawk cruise missile has had GPS since 1993.

wierdscience
11-18-2011, 09:32 AM
It's part of a giant Ming vase they are building.


Oh and MSNBC is a front company for the Chinese military.:D

loose nut
11-18-2011, 09:37 AM
Can anyone read "Area 51" in Chinese.

dfw5914
11-18-2011, 01:06 PM
Appears to be the remains of lime stabilized roads from a mining or terrain leveling operation. Look around the flattened area, the road pattern is similar to the natural terrain features.

dshulbert
11-18-2011, 01:11 PM
... and it doesnt mean to say they dont, roads after all often correspond with terrain. IIRC the international TV crews were right at the site where the Iraqis were reported to be shooting down incoming cruise missiles, the Iraqis claimed to have shot down about 20 or so of them. The AA gun site the TV crews went to was a major traffic intersection.

BTW, I think cruise missiles predate GPS, but having fired all those old ones at Iraq and Afghanistan I am sure they have plenty of new ones now.

I believe the first production cruise missile was a Nazi V-1 buzz bomb.:)

uncle pete
11-18-2011, 01:34 PM
I was thinking it might be a message to the Rigelian Overlords...

Well I'm a little rusty with my Chinese/Rigelian translation, But I'm pretty sure it's a aliens only 20% off coupon at Harbour Freight. :D

Everyone is assuming this was just made. How about something just uncovered?

Pete

Abner
11-18-2011, 01:37 PM
You are all wrong. This is a distraction. Read the book - 'The Art of War'.
I bet you there was something they did at about the same time somewhere else.

Evan
11-18-2011, 01:40 PM
The large pile of white material present next to the buildings in the 2005 image suggest that it was applied to make the markings. There are clear tire tracks from the pile to the markings.

Evan
11-18-2011, 01:46 PM
Read the book - 'The Art of War'.

I have. I don't recall Sun Tzu ever mentioning creating large mysterious ideograms in the middle of the Gobi desert to baffle your enemy. :D

You can read the book or download it here (in English).

http://suntzusaid.com/

"We" have the resources to spy on more than one thing at a time.

RancherBill
11-18-2011, 02:17 PM
+1 for the satellite theory.

My guess is they have a new remote sensing technology or new software approach. This site has a variable surface elevation. The same thing could be accomplished with just an accurate ground survey.

Perhaps Evan might answer this. Current technology works at many different frequencies - visible, invisible, infrared etc. What frequency or sensor technology would have trouble distinguishing white on a dessert background or have trouble with a different thermal output?

In my mind it's a mapping problem

lugnut
11-18-2011, 02:59 PM
We are assuming two things,
1. It's something made by hu-man-beans
2 . the Chinese know about it:D

Evan
11-18-2011, 03:39 PM
What frequency or sensor technology would have trouble distinguishing white on a dessert background or have trouble with a different thermal output?

That depends entirely on what the "white" is made from. When my daughter was 2 years old she made a very astute observation after it had snowed. She said "White things melt, right dad?" She was in large part correct. Many materials that appear white are actually crystalline and the crystals are actually transparent. When I questioned her she had observed that sugar is white, salt is white and snow is white and they will all "melt" (or dissolve).

Such crystalline materials appear white because they scatter the ambient visible light. That doesn't mean they appear white at other wavelengths. Snow is a nearly perfect black body at deep IR wavelengths

As it happens, I like using the current satellite technology to study deserts. There is a lot to see there as it isn't obscured and it is also where governments hide many projects in plain sight. I normally use NASA Worldwind because it offers a large choice of imaging using different sensor ranges.

I have spent quite a bit of time studying the large dune desert to the immediate west of the strange markings. That desert is the Taklamakan. It has been a few years since I last looked at the region.

200- 250 km to the west of the markings on the eastern edge of the Taklamakan desert there is now a huge facility that is nuclear powered. It is large enough to be easily eye visible from low earth orbit. It appears to be a salt processing plant on an enormous scale. It is fed by a very large canal that carries water from some distant location. I didn't follow the canal as it takes a long time to download the fine details. The water doesn't necessarily come from the sea. More on that below.

The facility:

http://ixian.ca/pics9/china6.jpg

The canal station to the north 10 km:

http://ixian.ca/pics9/china5.jpg

The nuclear power plant:

http://ixian.ca/pics9/china7.jpg

The question is what are they doing with all that salt? Some will be used for domestic consumption but the road to the area isn't very well developed and I don't see a busy loading terminal. There is a fairly large collection of buildings and some small circular evaporators. I suspect that this is a rare earth refining plant and the salt is mainly a waste by product. The water may come from an area with abundant water supplies where the rare earth salts are dissolved and sent to this plant via canal. Salt deposits and salt lakes are a common source of rare earths. China is the sole supplier of 95% of all the rare earths in the world.

So, what does this all have to do with the markings?

If you need to make some very large scale white markings on the desert what do you use? In this case salt from the above facility is only 200 - 250 kilometres away and seems like an ideal material in the desert. Large salt crystals are heavy and won't easily blow away.

That at least likely answers one question, "what are the figures made from?" The probable answer is Salt.

Plant location: 40.461327 90.861669

The Artful Bodger
11-18-2011, 03:46 PM
Why does the nuke plant have the big smoke stack?

Evan
11-18-2011, 03:47 PM
To vent trace radioactive gases.

topct
11-18-2011, 03:54 PM
The design has certain elements of I-Ching earth symbols. Although I do have a basic understanding of their meaning, this particular grouping would require an advanced student of the symbols to fully understand the message. Even then they would not be able to express it in actual words. I believe it is meant to be felt rather than read.

It is also meant to be seen from space. That's most obvious.

We must also keep this in mind, that superstition has a connection to reality. And that God is a Ying-Yang.

Abracadabra.

Evan
11-18-2011, 04:00 PM
I don't see the I-Ching symbols in the formations. The I-Ching symbols are basic binary codes that represent a fixed set of possible combinations.

Abacus cadabra.

Tanto
11-18-2011, 04:35 PM
Then we have the example he gave which is a white Maltese Cross. The Maltese Cross is the standard marker for a helipad or heli runway. Right next to the Maltese Cross is a trap club which looks like it used to be an old, very short runway, probably for helicopters.

The Maltese cross is located a safe distance away from the landing pad as a holding point. The H designates the actual pad.
http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/atc/atc0311.html


Oh Dear Lord, it's amazing the crap people will publish on the internet, mainly about topics they know absolutely nothing about but like to pretend otherwise! AB is absolutely correct. The Maltese Cross is a symbol on an IFR approach plate, it marks the Final Approach Fix (FAF) for an instrument approach, below which some rules change when flying. So in the example given in the FAA rules, the helicopter would be told to approach via the FAF marked on the pilot's approach chart. There are not giant Maltese Crosses painted on the ground around the world FFS! :rolleyes:

Evan
11-18-2011, 04:41 PM
How's it hanging Pete? Nice weather in Australia?

topct
11-18-2011, 04:43 PM
I don't see the I-Ching symbols in the formations. The I-Ching symbols are basic binary codes that represent a fixed set of possible combinations.

Abacus cadabra.

I should have realized that my explanation would be futile.

I have nothing further to say.

Evan
11-18-2011, 10:31 PM
There are not giant Maltese Crosses painted on the ground around the world FFS!

http://ixian.ca/pics9/maltesecross.jpg




Floyd Bennett Field
40.590456 -73.880688

john hobdeclipe
11-18-2011, 10:34 PM
I think it's just a fun way for them to dispose of millions of pounds of duck tape that was so bad that even WalMart wouldn't take it.

Somewhere in Downtown China the Second Sub Regent Vrice Minister of Adhesive Ploduction is laughing his a$$ off reading this thread.

Mike Burdick
11-18-2011, 10:38 PM
In my opinion Google Earth has been hacked. On the site located at 40.452107,93.742118 one can see the lines overlay each other at the intersections. In addition, if one looks at the same site in ArcGis Explorer, which uses the same imagery as Google Earth, nothing is there.

Evan
11-18-2011, 10:45 PM
Here is a list of coordinates for heliports that are marked with Maltese crosses, mostly in the USA. It's a KMZ file and opens in Google Earth. There are about 100 of them.

[http://ixian.ca/server/437930.kmz

dp
11-18-2011, 10:58 PM
http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/atc/atc0311.html

Shoots - already linked.

dp
11-18-2011, 11:03 PM
That at least likely answers one question, "what are the figures made from?" The probable answer is Salt.

Old smelly drywall.

Evan
11-18-2011, 11:04 PM
In my opinion Google Earth has been hacked. On the site located at 40.452107,93.742118 one can see the lines overlay each other at the intersections. In addition, if one looks at the same site in ArcGis Explorer, which uses the same imagery as Google Earth, nothing is there.

It would be exceptionally difficult if not impossible to hack the Google Earth database. It isn't kept on just one server but many, all over the world. There is no predicting which one you will be directed to when you use Google Earth or Google maps.

Dennis, I already linked to that.

If you look for the pattern on Bing Maps it shows up there. That is from the Microsoft Terraserver database.

I checked it out with Arc GIS explorer and the reason it doesn't show up is that the imagery is too old. The salt plant doesn't show up either unless you back out a lot. As soon as you zoom in the salt plant disappears. The salt plant and the markings were built in the last 7 years. The online imagery databases are not updated near the time of the photography. That would be a little too useful for certain unfriendly organizations.

The Artful Bodger
11-19-2011, 12:42 AM
I took a peep in at PPrune (Professional pilots rumour network) where someone had asked the significance of the Maltese Cross markings..


The Maltese Cross was selected as the standard heliport marking
pattern by the Army (for military heliports) and by the FAA (for
civil heliports). In the late 1970's, however, the FAA
Administrator repealed this standard when it was charged that the
Maltese Cross was anti-semitic.

Obviously the Chinese thought they could entice American military helicopters to land at this secret base in the desert.

Evan
11-19-2011, 12:47 AM
Explains why all the examples are old. It also put the lie to the ridiculous explanation that the iron cross in Arizona is a "satellite calibration marking".

dp
11-19-2011, 02:32 AM
Explains why all the examples are old. It also put the lie to the ridiculous explanation that the iron cross in Arizona is a "satellite calibration marking".

I wouldn't bet on that. Helipad coords are known to a very high degree. Seems primitive, but then they use the Internet, too. We have a leaner, more responsive military :)

Evan
11-19-2011, 02:56 AM
Yabut, satellites don't use or need "calibration markings". That means there needs to be an alternate explanation for the existence of the crosses and there most certainly is. "Calibration markings" is a total BS explanation. There isn't anything about a satellite imaging system that requires on orbit calibration in that manner.

They also most certainly don't rely on earthly features blowing past at 5 miles per second once every 32 orbits for orientation, not even Chinese satellites.

Among many other methods that is what star and sun sensors are for. There are lots of ways to determine satellite attitude but the one thing they all have in common is that they operate continuously. This is especially the case for spacecraft tasked with photographic missions. The idea that a patch on the ground that might be viewed by the satellite every few days if it isn't cloudy would be useful for attitude control is ludicrous.

HWooldridge
11-19-2011, 10:14 AM
They may simply have dumped salt from that local mine in random streaks. It may or may not have a sinister connotation - and I don't believe it's a satellite calibration grid.

Evan
11-19-2011, 12:13 PM
There is what appears to be a "fake" airport to the west of the markings and to the west of that is another similar marking. Near the "airport" the is a large square marking full of bomb craters and many more in the vicinity.

Since it is a weapons testing area as I mentioned in the original post I am pretty sure the patterns are for testing cruise missile ground mapping guidance systems. Artful Bodger first mentioned cruise missiles in that context and with all things considered that is the most likely explanation. The patterns resemble the layout of city streets in many cities and town around the world and especially places that have been inhabited for a long time (no planning).

Optics Curmudgeon
11-19-2011, 01:34 PM
Look at 36.7848 -115.4431, and points west and north. The Chinese seem to copy everything.

Joe

Mike Burdick
11-20-2011, 12:54 AM
All kidding aside...

Here are a couple of references that discuss the need for geometric calibration of high resolution imaging satellites:

www.isprs.org/proceedings/XXXV/congress/comm1/papers/1.pdf

and

http://landsathandbook.gsfc.nasa.gov/program/

Evan
11-20-2011, 02:30 AM
Interesting reading. One thing I find from that is a difference between my concept of calibration and theirs. I understand calibration to mean checking accuracy and adjusting to insure same, such as setting the zero on an instrument so it is in a preferred known state.

In the case of the satellite optical system, the primary adjustment is focus which I do not consider to be calibration. The rest of the process as described in the Orbimage paper is characterization of the performance of the satellite so that any differences from expected performance are known.

The paper begins:

In order to produce high quality metric imagery, the on-orbit data from all of these sensors need to be combined in a calibration process to produce the geometric model parameters of the sensor system. The calibration process is also used to determine an on-orbit stochastic model for the sensors and the estimated calibration parameters. Replace "calibration" with "characterization" and it reads correctly. You don't create a model via calibration, you do it by characterization.

Some may consider it hair splitting. However, calibration is not the same as characterization.

Calibration is standardizing, characterization is describing. First you calibrate, then you characterize. Calibration is to place a device in a preferred known state. Characterizing is to determine and describe what state it is in.

In the case of the optical systems on a surveillance satellite, it is calibrated on the ground. Very few of the components of the optical system can be adjusted once launched (think Hubble). Once it is on orbit it is characterized by determining how it differs from the calibrated state.

This isn't my opinion, it is what I was taught in the course of my employment.

For an example, see the glossary in this document:

http://www.wide-format-printers.org/color_management_series/0020030801_color.pdf

The other thing that the paper reveals is that the entire satellite system is characterized using ordinary images of many well characterized ground points around the world. That is necessary to characterize the orbit and the pointing systems, something that cannot be achieved by observing one or two individual locations. In particular, it is the orbit itself and not just the satellite that needs to be very well characterized since it is changes in orbital position and altitude that determine image scale. Again, you cannot characterize the orbit accurately by observing one or two targets. The Earth's gravity field isn't globular or even ovoid. The equipotential gravitational field resembles a lumpy potato.

In fact, that illustrates the difference between calibration and characterization. One does not calibrate the shape of the earth, it is characterized.

Black Forest
11-20-2011, 05:40 AM
OH OH, Evan is doing it again!

calibration vs. characterazation

I seem to remember something about gears along that same line!

generating vs. etc. etc..

Evan go to bed and get some sleep!

Rustybolt
11-20-2011, 09:49 AM
Interesting reading. One thing I find from that is a difference between my concept of calibration and theirs. I understand calibration to mean checking accuracy and adjusting to insure same, such as setting the zero on an instrument so it is in a preferred known state.

In the case of the satellite optical system, the primary adjustment is focus which I do not consider to be calibration. The rest of the process as described in the Orbimage paper is characterization of the performance of the satellite so that any differences from expected performance are known.

The paper begins:
Replace "calibration" with "characterization" and it reads correctly. You don't create a model via calibration, you do it by characterization.

Some may consider it hair splitting. However, calibration is not the same as characterization.

Calibration is standardizing, characterization is describing. First you calibrate, then you characterize. Calibration is to place a device in a preferred known state. Characterizing is to determine and describe what state it is in.

In the case of the optical systems on a surveillance satellite, it is calibrated on the ground. Very few of the components of the optical system can be adjusted once launched (think Hubble). Once it is on orbit it is characterized by determining how it differs from the calibrated state.

This isn't my opinion, it is what I was taught in the course of my employment.

For an example, see the glossary in this document:

http://www.wide-format-printers.org/color_management_series/0020030801_color.pdf

The other thing that the paper reveals is that the entire satellite system is characterized using ordinary images of many well characterized ground points around the world. That is necessary to characterize the orbit and the pointing systems, something that cannot be achieved by observing one or two individual locations. In particular, it is the orbit itself and not just the satellite that needs to be very well characterized since it is changes in orbital position and altitude that determine image scale. Again, you cannot characterize the orbit accurately by observing one or two targets. The Earth's gravity field isn't globular or even ovoid. The equipotential gravitational field resembles a lumpy potato.

In fact, that illustrates the difference between calibration and characterization. One does not calibrate the shape of the earth, it is characterized.



I would think it is an indication that their spy satellites aren't very good. Or they want us to think they aren't very good.

I hear their space program is going well. Hope their economy holds up.

lazlo
11-20-2011, 10:21 AM
Conspiracy theorists are having a field day with new images from Google Earth showing strange patterns covering miles of Chinese desert.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/11/17/mysterious-symbols-in-china-desert-are-spy-satellite-targets-expert-says/#ixzz1eG9ngEIw

"The calibration targets are larger than might have been expected, he said, suggesting that the satellite cameras they are being used to calibrate have surprisingly poor ground resolution."



I guess the security cameras they got from DealXtreme aren't working out so well :p

Evan
11-20-2011, 11:59 AM
I would think it is an indication that their spy satellites aren't very good. Or they want us to think they aren't very good.

Or that they are really just cruise missile terrain recognition test patterns like this one in Cold Lake, Alberta/Saskatchewan where the US tested cruise missiles for many years. This is a mock airport made by cutting the trees in the Cold Lake Aerial Weapons Range. It is overgrown since that program is finished. These patterns were the final targets on the CLAWR. There are others as well although none resemble the Chinese ones. But then, there are towns in the not too distant vicinity so they don't need to provide street pattern navigational aids. Why a mock airport? It was the target.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/coldlake1.jpg

5455'12.09" N 10913'15.03" W

MrSleepy
11-20-2011, 12:26 PM
Conspiracy theorists are having a field day with new images from Google Earth showing strange patterns covering miles of Chinese desert.


It may have been the original site for a chinese F1 track before Bernie turned over the developers :)..

It looks like Austin may be left with the same scars as Bernie gets into gear.

Rob

dp
11-20-2011, 02:01 PM
I would imagine that in time of war all the birds will have been blinded, the GPS system disabled, and autonomous delivery will be the only thing left. Given that the delivery platform is all-weather 24/7, there will be a need for visual and radar analysis enroute. The objective of high def targeting is to allow smaller, cheaper conventional explosives delivered precisely. Using known terrain features to pinpoint the track is a good way to augment inertial guidance.

tdmidget
11-20-2011, 04:02 PM
Why does the nuke plant have the big smoke stack?

Good call, Bodger. There is no evidence that this a power plant and none that it is nuclear. There are no transmission lines and no switch yard. The stack for venting hydrogen is characteristic of old BWR reactors like those at Fukashima. It needs only to be a pipe a foot or so in diameter. The stack shown is much more appropriate to a fossil plant of some sort. There appears to be 3 boilers adjacent to the stack and no structures that resemble reactors .

Evan
11-20-2011, 05:11 PM
It needs only to be a pipe a foot or so in diameter.

Maybe here, but that isn't common, especially in Russian designs. Russian nuclear power plants mostly have vent stacks that look like thermal stacks.


There appears to be 3 boilers adjacent to the stack and no structures that resemble reactors .

Not all reactors have visible round dome containments.

The Artful Bodger
11-20-2011, 05:41 PM
Maybe here, but that isn't common, especially in Russian designs. Russian nuclear power plants mostly have vent stacks that look like thermal stacks.



Not all reactors have visible round dome containments.


All true but what features of this site identify it as nuclear?

tdmidget
11-20-2011, 05:44 PM
"
Not all reactors have visible round dome containments."

But they do have a containment structure of some kind , at least if built since Chernobyl. The three structures adjacent to the stack appear to be bare machinery, as boilers commonly are. Regardless, there is no switchyard or transmission lines and no visible transformers. If this is a power plant then it's output must be for site use only. I don't see any thing that might consume the output of even a modest nuclear plant. The IAEA does not show a nuke in this area.

Mike Burdick
11-20-2011, 06:41 PM
Look at the entire view - the towers are probably part of the processing of potash, not part of nuclear power generation.

Here are the coordinates for one to decide for themselves..

4027'58.57" N 9051'30.77" E

If you want to read about the site...

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=51039


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v157/MikeBurdick/processingplant.jpg

lazlo
11-20-2011, 06:57 PM
Conspiracy theorists are having a field day with new images from Google Earth showing strange patterns covering miles of Chinese desert. (http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/11/17/mysterious-symbols-in-china-desert-are-spy-satellite-targets-expert-says/#ixzz1eG9ngEIw)

"The calibration targets are larger than might have been expected, he said, suggesting that the satellite cameras they are being used to calibrate have surprisingly poor ground resolution."
It may have been the original site for a chinese F1 track before Bernie turned over the developers :).

Oh, I think most Texans knew the F1 deal was doomed when it was revealed that the state of Texas was paying Bernie a quarter of a billion dollars for the franchise, which is coming out of taxpayer money. More accurately, Perry cut the state education budget to fund the track :mad:

radkins
11-20-2011, 07:52 PM
EDIT:

OOPs too late!!

Mike Burdick
11-20-2011, 09:58 PM
Well, there is one question we can now put to rest. I was able to use some very sophisticated image enhancement programs, that uses DOS 4.2, and determine the material used to make the "white" markings!

I submit my findings...


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v157/MikeBurdick/Wal-Mart-bag_web.jpg

Evan
11-20-2011, 10:34 PM
Nice stuff Mike. The Lop Nur salt deposits are one of the largest high postassium sulphate dry salt lakes in the world with an estimated area of 5500 sq kilometres. It also contains some 38 varieties of rare earth mineral salts in various concentrations as well as ordinary sodium chloride in abundance.

As for a nuclear plant in the Lop Nur area, it wouldn't necessarily be on the IAEA list. Apparently they did have one though. Perhaps it has been upgraded.


The Israeli strike on the Iraqi nuclear plant at Osirak in 1981, and the Johnson administration's consideration of preventive strikes against China's Lop Nur nuclear plant in 1963 offer insight into the way policymakers use force as part of a counterproliferation policy.

http://www.nps.edu/Academics/centers/ccc/publications/OnlineJournal/2003/oct03/wmd.html

Abner
12-05-2011, 08:41 PM
I told you so....its a diversion - "the art of war"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/georgetown-students-shed-light-on-chinas-tunnel-system-for-nuclear-weapons/2011/11/16/gIQA6AmKAO_story.html?hpid=z2

Evan
12-05-2011, 09:42 PM
I was only able to read the first two pages before it asked for money to continue. In those pages I saw no connection between the article and the markings in the desert.

tdmidget
12-05-2011, 09:53 PM
As for a nuclear plant in the Lop Nur area, it wouldn't necessarily be on the IAEA list. Apparently they did have one though. Perhaps it has been upgraded.



http://www.nps.edu/Academics/centers/ccc/publications/OnlineJournal/2003/oct03/wmd.html

You're really off base here. The Lop Nur test site consists of 45 craters from weapons tests. No reactor, none needed. We don't have one at the Nevada test site either.

Evan
12-05-2011, 10:21 PM
Look at the above quote. I didn't make it up. The reactor was/is for making plutonium.


We don't have one at the Nevada test site either.

That you know about.

lazlo
12-05-2011, 10:34 PM
You guys are still fretting about this?

Waiting for the next Reddit headline... :rolleyes: :)

Evan
12-05-2011, 10:36 PM
1959-66: Kiwi space program reactor tests, Air Force/AEC/Los Alamos, Nevada Test Site

1965: Kiwi space program reactor transient nuclear test, Air Force/Los Alamos/U.S. Public Health Service, Nevada Test Site

http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/gao.html

tdmidget
12-05-2011, 10:58 PM
Look at the above quote. I didn't make it up. The reactor was/is for making plutonium.



That you know about.

The word "reactor does not appear in the part about China. Plutonium is mentioned in the regard that we erroneously assumed they would use Uranium.
Why would we have a reactor at the test site? The production of nuclear materials and weapons was deliberately spread all over the country to avoid having too many eggs in one basket. Uranium enrichment in Tennessee, Plutonium production in Washington and South Carolina, weapons assembly in Colorado and Texas, missile research and production in Alabama, and so on. There would be no advantage and a real disadvantage to concentrating assets in one place. Furthermore we are bound by arms reduction treaties that encourage satellite observation and require on site visits by Russian and UN inspectors. Any reactor capable of weapon material production would be impossible to hide.
Now back to your spurious reactor.
1. Look just to the South east of the boilers at a large black area. This is a coal pile. If you follow the road from it to the coal mine, Here:
4027'58.57" N 9051'30.77" E
you will see the coal piles and fleet of trucks to haul it. Trucking is expensive so:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-06/17/content_11555714.htm
The boilers are probably to produce steam/hot water to inject into the ground and recover the salts.

tdmidget
12-05-2011, 11:05 PM
1959-66: Kiwi space program reactor tests, Air Force/AEC/Los Alamos, Nevada Test Site

1965: Kiwi space program reactor transient nuclear test, Air Force/Los Alamos/U.S. Public Health Service, Nevada Test Site

http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/gao.html

Grabbing at straws again. The kiwi "reactor" was an experimental nuclear rocket engine. Of course it was tested there. Where did you expect them to test it? Manhattan? Vancouver?

Evan
12-06-2011, 01:20 AM
Here is the entire first paragraph of the article. There is no way to interpret it other than there being a reactor at Lop Nur.



The strategic push by the Bush administration to use preemptive and preventive measures to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has met with criticism since the release of the National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2002. Using preventive strikes within a counterproliferation policy cannot make the proliferation threat go away, but it can slow nuclear weapons development programs. Whether or not a preventive strike is launched, however, depends on the availability of credible intelligence; a determination that the benefits of taking action outweigh the costs of a preventive strike; and the belief that the long-term political consequences of a preventive strike can be managed. Those ideal conditions often occur when leaders identify an immediate direct threat against a state's vital interests. The Israeli strike on the Iraqi nuclear plant at Osirak in 1981, and the Johnson administration's consideration of preventive strikes against China's Lop Nur nuclear plant in 1963 offer insight into the way policymakers use force as part of a counterproliferation policy.

There is only one place in China with the name Lop Nur.

The "coal" may or may not be coal. That may just be a paved area that has overloaded the camera. It happens at many sites that have nothing to do with coal.


There would be no advantage and a real disadvantage to concentrating assets in one place.

They don't.


Any reactor capable of weapon material production would be impossible to hide.

Really? Nobody seemed to have any real idea what North Korea had.


Furthermore we are bound by arms reduction treaties that encourage satellite observation and require on site visits by Russian and UN inspectors.

If you believe that the US has revealed everything that they have I hear there is a bridge for sale... There is an area at Groom Lake operated by the Air Force that is exempt by Presidential Order from any and all inspection and reporting requirements of all US agencies. And that's the stuff they talk about.