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How U.S. Spy Satellites Predicted Russian Invasion – Part 2

Daniel Kim Views  

U.S. Spy Satellite Keyhole Identifies Objects as Small as 5cm

In reality, the KH-12, managed by the U.S. Air Force Space Command, is known to descend from about 372 miles to about 124-186 miles to photograph the target area and then return to its original position. Through this, they use a top-of-the-line optical camera with a resolution of about 5.9 inches to identify objects as small as 5.9 inches in detail, as if peeping through a keyhole.

This resolution allows them to distinguish between men and women on the ground and even read car license plates. It is reported that the improved KH-13 and KH-14 can identify objects as small as about 2 inches. Once Keyhole starts tracking and detecting, it can thoroughly capture the enemy’s movements.

The Keyhole is an optical camera that captures images of objects on the ground. KH-11 is used for daytime reconnaissance, while KH-12, 13, and 14 are used for day and night surveillance. The KH-12, launched in the late 1990s, has an infrared camera with a longer wavelength and more substantial penetration than visible light. This allows it to take pictures of targets in any weather, day or night. It overcomes the limitations of the KH-1, which couldn’t take pictures when it was cloudy or at night. During the Iraq War, it flew over Iraq several times a day to gather information, minimizing casualties of the multinational forces and helping to bring the war to a successful conclusion.

美 첩보위성 성능은…600km 상공서 5㎝ 물체도 식별[이현호 기자의 밀리터리!톡]
The structure of the Keyhole spy satellite. Photo=Namuwiki capture

A resolution of 2 inches signifies the ability to distinguish objects of that size. This means that the object’s size, corresponding to one pixel in a photo file, is 5cm. The Keyhole satellite is equipped with optical and infrared cameras, enabling it to monitor the ground even at night or in cloudy weather.

The impressive optical performance of Keyhole was revealed to the world by chance. In August 2019, a photo taken by a satellite named USA 224 became a hot topic after President Donald Trump posted it on Twitter. The image captured a rocket launch pad in Iran where an explosion had occurred. The high resolution was so impressive that it was hard to believe it was a satellite photo, clearly showing the burned vehicles and the writing on the launch pad.

Back in 1984, a photograph taken by Keyhole was leaked. It was published by Jane’s Defense Weekly, a military magazine run by the British military intelligence company Jane’s. They claimed that the photo was of the construction of a Soviet Kiev-class aircraft carrier, taken by Keyhole (KH-11). The image showed the scenery of the Soviet naval base’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier’s construction in great detail, as if taken from an aerial shot. This photo became a popular topic globally. The latest model, KH-12, is believed to cost approximately 1 billion dollars.

One military expert said, “The highest resolution among current commercial satellites is about 12 inches, but the photo posted by President Trump seems to exceed that level far, so satellite photo experts around the world judged it to be a photo taken by Keyhole.”

To Read Part 1…
To Read Part 3…
To Read Part 4…

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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