, Volume 167, Issue 4-5, pp 601-618
Date: 22 Jan 2010

Satellite Earth Observations Support CTBT Monitoring: A Case Study of the Nuclear Test in North Korea of Oct. 9, 2006 and Comparison with Seismic Results

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Abstract

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty prescribes the use of seismic stations and arrays as the main measure for verification of Treaty compliance. Since the inception of the Treaty, a vast amount of open source earth observation satellite data has become available. This paper investigates the potential for combining seismic and satellite data for more effective monitoring and response. With data acquired before, during and after the alleged North Korean underground nuclear test on October 9, 2006, wide area change detection techniques using medium resolution optical/infrared satellite sensors are combined with localized high-resolution imagery to attempt to pinpoint the test location within the area identified by the seismic measurements. Problems associated with the timeliness, degree of coverage and ambiguity of the remote sensing data are pointed out, however it is generally concluded that their integration into the CTBT regime would valuably complement the existing seismic observation network.