• Bundeswehr baut eigenes Satellitennetzwerk aus und verschmäht Starlink
    https://www.heise.de/news/Kein-Bedarf-an-Starlink-Bundeswehr-bestellt-Kommunikationssatelliten-bei-Airbu
    Les militaires allemands ne font pas confiance à Elon Musk. Ils préfèrent s’équper de leurs propres satellites de communication. Et plouf 2.1 milliards de nos impôts disparaissent dans les eaux profondes de l’industrie de l’armement pendant qu’on fait encore des économies au dépens des pauvres.

    1.7.2024 von Stefan Krempl - Die Bundeswehr zahlt Airbus 2,1 Milliarden Euro für die Weiterentwicklung des militärischen Kommunikationssystems, das unabhängig und kriegstüchtig sein soll.

    Die Bundeswehr hat Airbus Defence and Space einen Großauftrag im Umfang von 2,1 Milliarden Euro erteilt, damit der Rüstungs- und Weltraumkonzern die Satellitenkommunikation der Streitkräfte (SATCOMBw) auf die nächste Stufe heben kann. Das deutsche Militär soll damit weiterhin nicht auf die Verfügbarkeit kommerzieller Satellitennetzwerke wie Starlink von Elon Musks Konzern SpaceX angewiesen sein. Der Auftrag umfasst Airbus zufolge die Entwicklung, Integration, Erprobung und Auslieferung in der Umlaufbahn von zwei neuen Telekommunikationssatelliten. Die militärischen Erdtrabanten sollen geostationär fliegen, also auf einer Kreisbahn 35.786 Kilometer über der Äquatoroberfläche.

    Die Airbus-Satelliten der neuen Generation basieren auf der Plattform Eurostar Neo, teilte das Münchner Unternehmen mit. Sie sollen rund 6 Tonnen wiegen und „über umfangreiche Fähigkeiten verfügen, um mit dem raschen Wandel in der Digitalisierung und dem ständig steigenden Datenübertragungsvolumen Schritt zu halten“. Für die Bundeswehr unterhält Airbus aktuell die Erdtrabanten COMSATBw 1B und 2B, die Basis der SATCOMBw der Stufe 2 sind. Der Konzern betreibt in diesem Rahmen auch eine große Bodenstation in Weilheim. Sie dient – wie die beiden militärisch betriebenen Pendants an den Standorten Gerolstein und Kastellaun – als Ankerstation für die Datenübertragung zu und von den Satelliten und als Schnittstelle zu den terrestrischen Kommunikationsnetzen.

    Mit dem neuen Auftrag für die 3. Stufe ist auch die Aufrüstung des bestehenden Bodensegments für zunächst weitere 15 Jahre mit der Option für eine weitere Verlängerung verknüpft. Das Verteidigungsministerium sieht in der damit gegebenen Verfügbarkeit eigener Übertragungskapazität eine „Grundvoraussetzung für die Landes- und Bündnisverteidigung“. Die Bundesregierung betonte jüngst, die hiesigen Streitkräfte bräuchten die von der EU geplante Satellitenkonstellation für hochverfügbares Breitband-Internet IRIS2 sowie private Alternativen wie Starlink dank SATCOMBw nicht unbedingt.
    OHB aus Bremen ist mit eingebunden

    Außer Airbus sind auch der Bremer Raumfahrtkonzern OHB und mittelständische hiesige Unternehmen an dem Projekt beteiligt. Zentrale Elemente wie die Führung und Integration der Nutzlasten, die Solaranlagen und der Gesamtbetrieb des benötigten Raumfahrzeugs sollen aus Deutschland kommen. Der Haushaltsausschuss gab im Juni einem Bericht zufolge 2,1 Milliarden Euro für Bundeswehr-Satelliten frei. Demnach soll OHB auch einen Frequenzsicherungssatelliten ins All schicken und betreiben. Dabei geht es darum, sich die von der Internationalen Fernmeldeunion ITU zugewiesenen Kanäle weiter verfügbar zu halten.

    Der Chef von Airbus Defence and Space, Michael Schöllhorn, freute sich, mit der Bestellung „eine deutlich verbesserte und bis in die 2040er-Jahre zukunftssichere Militärsatcom-Fähigkeit“ bieten zu können. Langfristige Partnerschaften seien „von entscheidender Bedeutung für die Gewährleistung wesentlicher Souveränität und Fähigkeiten sowie für den Schutz unserer Streitkräfte in einem zunehmend instabilen geopolitischen Umfeld“. Ralph Herzog, Vizepräsident des Bundesamts für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr, hob hervor, mit SATCOMBw der Stufe 3 werde das hiesige Militär über ein kriegstüchtiges Kommunikationssystem verfügen. Bei zwei von drei Ende 2023 ins All beförderten Satelliten des Spionageprogramms Sarah von OHB musste das Verteidigungsministerium dagegen jüngst technische Probleme einräumen: Sie können bisher keine Radarbilder liefern. Grund: Die Antennenmasten mit der Sensorik lassen sich nicht ausklappen.

    #Allemagne #militaire #satellites #armwment #surveillance

  • The automated Fortress Europe : No place for human rights

    29,000 people have died in the Mediterranean over the past ten years while trying to reach the EU. You would think that the EU wanted this tragedy to stop and scientists across Europe were working feverishly on making this happen with the latest technology. The opposite is the case: With the help of so-called Artificial Intelligence, digital border walls are being raised, financed with taxpayers’ money.

    Drones, satellites, and other digital monitoring systems: For decades, the EU’s external borders have been upgraded with state-of-the-art surveillance technology to create so-called smart borders. Now, algorithms and Artificial Intelligence are increasingly adding to the wall.

    Their development is funded with millions of euros by EU research programs with names like Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe. The funded projects read like a catalog of surveillance technologies. Instead of trying to save people from losing their lives, they put all of us in danger.

    It doesn’t come as a surprise that most initiatives are kept secret. The public learns next to nothing about them. Law enforcement and border authorities prefer not to be bothered with giving insights into their work. They try to avoid a democratic debate about the research and development of this sort of AI-driven surveillance technology.
    WE FOUND OUT ABOUT WHAT THE EU PREFERS TO KEEP OUT OF THE PUBLIC’S EYE

    When we asked for information on research projects in which such systems are being developed, we received many responses that wouldn’t give us any substantial information.

    The European Research Executive Agency (REA) is mandated by the EU Commission to fund and manage innovative projects in virtually all areas of research, including Horizon 2020. Still, the REA isn’t particularly outspoken about their research projects.

    We had tried, for example, to obtain details about the ROBORDER project‘s “methodology applied for the evaluation of the system performance” through access to information requests. At first, we were denied it in reference to the “protection of the public interest as regards public security.” The identity and affiliation of individuals involved in the ethics review process would also not be shared, to protect their “privacy and integrity.” REA also cited “commercial interests” and the protection of intellectual property as lawful grounds to refuse disclosure: “releasing this information into public domain would give the competitors of the consortium an unfair advantage, as the competitors would be able to use this sensitive commercial information in their favour.” These reasons given to us to avoid disclosure were common reactions to all the requests we sent out. But in the end, REA did provide us with information on the methodology.

    More transparency is urgently needed. ROBORDER aims at developing unmanned vehicles to patrol EU borders, capable of operating in swarms. Such capabilities would most likely be of interest to the military as well. In fact, research by AlgorithmWatch and ZDF Magazin Royale shows that in a market analysis conducted within the ROBORDER project, “military units” have been identified as potential users of the system. Documents we obtained show that members of the research team met with prospective officers of the Greek Navy to introduce the ROBORDER system.

    Military applications would exclude ROBORDER from Horizon 2020 funding, which is reserved for civilian applications. However, an EU Commission’s spokesperson said that the mere fact that a “military audience” was also chosen to disseminate the project does not “per se call into question the exclusively civilian application of the activities carried out within the framework of this project.”

    The ROBORDER project was executed as planned until its scheduled end in 2021. Its output contributed to later projects. At a national level, one is REACTION, which is funded by the EU’s Border Management and Visa Instrument and coordinated by the Greek Ministry of Immigration and Asylum. AlgorithmWatch and ZDF Magazin Royale tried to ask the Greek research center CERTH – which coordinated ROBORDER and is now working on REACTION – what results or components exactly were adopted, but we didn’t get an answer.

    Due to our persistence, we managed to obtain documents for various EU-funded projects. Some of them we received were so heavily redacted that it was impossible to get an idea what they were about. The grant agreement and the annexes to the NESTOR project contained 169 consecutive redacted pages.
    JUST ANOTHER BRICK IN THE AUTOMATED WALL

    An automated Fortress Europe would also impact everyone’s rights, since the technology it facilitates allows governments to find out everything about us.

    How do they do it, you ask? By using face recognition, for example, and by reducing your identity to your face and other measurable biometric features. Faces can be captured and analyzed by increasingly sophisticated biometric recognition systems. In the D4FLY project, they combine “2D+thermal facial, 3D facial, iris and somatotype biometrics.” In projects such as iBorderCtrl, they examine emotions and “micro-expressions,” fleeting facial expressions that last only fractions of a second, to assess whether travelers are lying to (virtual) border officials. That way, risk assessments are automatically created, which could lead to stricter security checks at EU borders.

    Such EU-funded projects are designed to digitalize, computerize, and automate human mobility. The EU envisions a future where law-abiding travelers enjoy uninterrupted freedom, while “risky” people are automatically flagged for further checks.

    As Frontex’ deputy executive director, Uku Särekanno, put it in a recent interview: „What comes next is a very serious discussion on automation. We are looking into how, in the next five to ten years, we can have more automated border crossings and a more seamless travel experience.”

    According to various scientists, this is the result of over two decades’ work, ultimately leading to total remote surveillance and thus to a perfect panoptic society, in which we are utterly dominated by such digital technologies and the underlying logic of security policy.

    WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? SKIMMING THROUGH THE SURVEILLANCE CATALOGUE

    Checking people requires time and resources. Therefore, some projects aim to automatically “relieve” border officials, which means make them auxiliaries for automated systems that are falsely assumed to be more objective or reliable.

    Automated systems are supposed to detect “abnormal behavior,” increase “situation awareness,” and derive real-time information and predictions ("nowcasts") from multiple sensors attached to individuals, groups, but also freighters or other vehicles. Migration movements are to be predicted algorithmically, by analyzing Google Trends data, content on social media platforms such as Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), and “quantitative (geo-located) indicators of telephone conversations.” But such automated systems can’t replace political decisions by taking available data and leaving the decision to algorithms. The decisions have to be justified. Political decisions are also not only a byproduct of technological solutions and have to be put first.

    Risks become apparent by looking at the ITFLOWS project’s EuMigraTool. It includes “monthly predictions of asylum applications in the EU” and is supposed to “identify the potential risks of tensions between migrants and EU citizens” by providing “intuitions” on the “attitudes towards migration” in the EU using “Twitter Sentiment Analysis model data as input”. The very project’s Users Board, in which organizations such as the Red Cross and Oxfam are represented, warned in a statement against misuse, “misuse could entail closing of borders, instigating violence, and misuse for political purposes to gain support and consensus for an anti-migration policy.” The tool was developed nonetheless.

    In these EU-funded projects, people on the move are constantly portrayed as a threat to security. The FOLDOUT project explicates this core premise in all frankness: “in the last years irregular migration has dramatically increased,” therefore it was “no longer manageable with existing systems.” Law enforcement and border agencies now assume that in order to “stay one step ahead” of criminals and terrorists, automation needs to become the norm, especially in migration-related contexts.

    FRONTEX: IT’S EVERYWHERE

    A driving force in border security is also one of the main customers: Frontex. Founded in 2004, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency has played an increasingly important role in the EU’s research and innovation projects in recent years. The agency’s budget has increased by 194 percent compared to the previous budget, and by an incredible 13,200 percent in the last 20 years. But Frontex’ influence goes far beyond the money at its disposal. The agency intervened to “help,” "actively participate in," and “push forward” several Horizon 2020 projects, addressing “a wide spectrum of technological capabilities critical for border security,” including Artificial Intelligence, augmented reality, or virtual reality.

    In 2020, the agency formalized their collaboration with the EU Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG-HOME). It allowed Frontex to provide assistance to DG-HOME “in the areas of programming, monitoring and the uptake of projects results.” The agency is now responsible for “identifying research activities,” evaluating research proposals, and the supervision of the Horizon Europe research projects’ “operational relevance.”

    The agency therefore joined EU-funded projects trials, demonstrations, and workshops, held events involving EU-funded projects, and even created a laboratory (the Border Management Innovation Centre, BoMIC) to help implement EU-funded projects in border security. This is complemented with Frontex’s own “Research Grants Programme”, whose first call for proposals was announced in November 2022, to “bring promising ideas from the lab to real applications in border security.”
    HOW IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BECOME REALITY?

    The NESTOR project promises “an entirely functional, next-generation, comprehensive border surveillance system offering pre-frontier situational awareness beyond sea and land borders.” The system is based on optical, thermal imaging, and radio frequency spectrum analysis technologies. Such data will be “fed by an interoperable sensors network” comprised of both stationary installations and mobile manned or unmanned vehicles (that can operate underwater, on water surfaces, on the ground, or in the air). The vehicles are also capable of functioning in swarms. This allows for detecting, recognizing, classifying, and tracking “moving targets” such as persons, vessels, vehicles, or drones. A “Border Command, Control, and Coordination intelligence system” would adopt “cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence and Risk Assessment technologies”, fusing “in real-time the surveillance data in combination with analysis of web and social media data.”

    The key term here is “pre-frontier awareness.” According to the EU, “pre-frontier” refers to “the geographical area beyond the external borders which is relevant for managing the external borders through risk analysis and situational awareness.” Or, to put it bluntly: the very notion of “border” ultimately dissolves into whatever the authorities want it to mean.
    CONCLUSION: ONLY FEW BENEFIT FROM THE AUTOMATED EU FORTRESS AND YOU ARE DEFINITELY NOT ONE OF THEM.

    The list of projects could go on and on (see the box below), but you get the EU’s gist: They perceive migrants as a threat and want to better protect their borders from them by constantly improving automation and ever-increasing surveillance − far beyond existing borders. The EU conjures up the image of a migration “crisis” that we can only hope to end through technological solutions.

    This belief is extensively and increasingly affirmed and shaped by the border and coast guard community in lockstep with the surveillance and security industries, as has been well documented. But it threatens social justice, non-discrimination, fairness, and a basic respect of fundamental rights. “Ethics assessments” only scratch at the surface of the complexity of automating migration. The systems will be developed anyway, even if the assessments fundamentally question whether the systems’ use can be justified at all. Many of these projects should not have been funded in the first place, so they should not be pursued.

    https://algorithmwatch.org/en/automated-fortress-europe
    #AI #IA #intelligence_artificielle #migrations #réfugiés #contrôles_frontaliers #mur_digital #frontières_digitales #technologie #drones #satellites #frontières_intelligentes #smart_borders #Horizon_2020 #Horizon_Europe #surveillance #complexe_militaro-industriel #European_Research_Executive_Agency (#REA) #recherche #ROBORDER #REACTION #Border_Management_and_Visa_Instrument #CERTH #Grèce #NESTOR #biométrie #D4FLY #iBorderCtrl #Frontex #ITFLOWS #risques #EuMigraTool #FOLDOUT #pré-frontière

    ping @reka

  • Déchets dans l’espace : douze pays européens ont signé la Charte Zéro débris
    https://www.euractiv.fr/section/economie/news/dechets-dans-lespace-douze-pays-europeens-ont-signe-la-charte-zero-debris

    L’Autriche, la Belgique, Chypre, l’Estonie, l’Allemagne, la Lituanie, la Pologne, le Portugal, la Roumanie, la Slovaquie, la Suède et le Royaume-Uni ont signé la charte pour un espace sans débris, lors du sommet de l’UE avec l’ESA.

    Cependant, la France, dotée d’une industrie spatiale importante, ne s’est pas encore engagée à signer l’accord.

    En pratique, cette charte stipule que les pays qui ont signé s’engagent, lors du lancement d’un satellite, à le faire redescendre ou le désorbiter à la fin de sa durée de vie, et ce à partir de 2030.

    [...] Selon l’agence, plus de 100 organisations ont promis de signer la charte « dans les prochains mois ».

    [...] Selon l’#ESA, plus d’un million d’objets d’une taille supérieure à 1 cm sont actuellement en orbite autour de la Terre, et leur nombre ne cesse de croître.

    [...] Josef Aschbacher, Directeur général de l’ESA, insiste auprès de la Commission européenne pour qu’elle propose une législation visant à stimuler les efforts de l’industrie pour développer des méthodes de désorbitation, et ce depuis plusieurs mois.

    #satellite #débris_spatial

    • Le premier satellite météorologique européen en orbite polaire, Metop-A, a été désorbité avec succès aujourd’hui [15 novembre 2021] par EUMETSAT, l’agence européenne de satellites météorologiques, avec le soutien d’Airbus.

      À compter d’aujourd’hui, ce satellite va entamer une descente en spirale qui le conduira sur des orbites de plus en plus basses jusqu’à ce qu’il se désintègre en rentrant dans l’atmosphère terrestre. Ce processus, qui devrait s’étaler sur les prochaines 25 années, s’effectuera conformément aux normes internationales en matière de réduction des débris spatiaux.

      https://www.eumetsat.int/fr/desorbitation-reussie-pour-le-premier-satellite-meteorologique-europeen-en
      Ma carrière dans la recherche s’est désorbitée un peu avant l’instrument sur lequel j’ai fait ma thèse.
      #désorbitation

      edit
      Ah en fait la désorbitation c’est pas bon non plus.

      Les nombreux vieux satellites désorbités sont conçus pour brûler intégralement dans l’atmosphère afin de minimiser le risque d’impact au sol. Ainsi décomposés en poussières dans la haute atmosphère, ils y constituent une forme nouvelle de pollution d’autant plus problématique qu’elle est persistante, la stratosphère étant plus stable et surtout non « lessivée » par les pluies. Ces particules, dont la masse totale ne représente qu’une infime fraction du flux de matière extraterrestre tombant sur Terre (plusieurs milliers de tonnes par an) diffèrent par leur composition chimique (essentiellement des oxydes d’aluminium, de lithium, de cuivre et de plomb), et peuvent ainsi dégrader la couche d’ozone et modifier l’albédo de la Terre.

      https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9bris_spatial

  • Avoir Internet par satellite vaut-il autant de pollution ? - Numerama
    https://www.numerama.com/sciences/1545346-avoir-internet-par-satellite-vaut-il-autant-de-pollution.html

    Les constellations de satellites, utiles pour fournir l’accès à un Internet haut-débit, représentent une menace pour l’environnement en raison du nombre de fusées nécessaires pour les déployer. Une étude révèle que le bilan carbone serait près de 100 fois supérieur à ce que réclament les besoins actuels en bande passante.

  • #High-Altitude_Pseudo-Satellites : A technological assessment report

    Do high-altitude pseudo-satellites, also known as #HAPS, have the potential to enhance law-enforcement operations, border surveillance and communication? Frontex has just released a technological assessment report that tackles these questions.

    Frontex’s research into HAPS

    Frontex is currently leading a research study on HAPS, flying devices mirroring closely the capacity and operability of satellites. While this technology is still in the early stages of development, it represents significant potential uses in the context of surveillance, internal security, and border control.

    As part of the research, the agency has been working on a technological assessment of the platforms. Throughout nine months, the study aimed to explore whether HAPS can potentially be used in law enforcement operations to further enhance existing surveillance, communications, and navigation capabilities.

    What are HAPS?


    HAPS are advanced unmanned flying aircraft systems that operate in the stratosphere at an altitude typically between 18-22 km (59,000-72,000 ft). Given the high altitude, HAPS must withstand harsh stratospheric conditions, such as temperatures falling down to minus 90°C, high solar, UV and cosmic radiation and low atmospheric pressure. While this environment poses an enormous challenge for aircraft engineers, the potential applications and use cases are highly promising not only for commercial operators and service providers, but also for institutional stakeholders, such as security agencies, that would be able to leverage the new technology and its associated applications and services.

    Main findings of the report

    The report looks at the technological readiness, assessing the technology of HAPS as such, but also its potential use to help tackle challenges faced by Frontex and other members of the EU Innovation Hub for Internal Security.

    The authors of the report looked at particular case studies to see how HAPS can be used in such activities as earth observation, telecommunication and navigation, search and rescue missions, remote sensing and operations and provision of ad-hoc telecom and satellite navigation (GNSS).

    The study includes the following elements:

    – an overview of balloons and airships (LTA – lighter-than-air) and with fixed-wing aircraft (HTA - heavier-than-air);
    - an analysis of individual HAPS technologies, including a comparison of the platforms, payload analysis, technological challenges, infrastructure demands, and regulatory barriers.

    Innovation hub platform

    The project is carried out under the EU Innovation Hub for Internal Security, a cross-sectorial EU platform which ensures collaboration between internal security innovation actors, formed by the EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies, European Commission (Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs and Directorate-General for Joint Research Centre), the Council General Secretariat and the EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator.

    https://frontex.europa.eu/innovation/eu-research/news-and-events/high-altitude-pseudo-satellites-a-technological-assessment-report-ypR

    Pour télécharger le rapport (#assessment) :
    https://frontex.europa.eu/assets/EUresearchprojects/2023/FX_HAPS_WP2_-_Technological_Assessment_Consolidated.pdf

    #Frontex #frontières #surveillance #technologie #contrôles_frontaliers #Frontex #satellites #stratosphère #EU_Innovation_Hub_for_Internal_Security #lighter-than-air (#LTA) #heavier-than-air (#HTA)

  • Les conquistadors de l’espace - Regarder le documentaire complet | ARTE
    https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/105563-000-A/les-conquistadors-de-l-espace

    Alors que nos sociétés sont toujours plus dépendantes de l’#Internet à haut débit et des données transmises par #satellite, une nouvelle course à l’espace bouleverse l’équilibre géopolitique mondial. À 550 kilomètres de la Terre, l’entrepreneur américain Elon Musk déploie progressivement sa #constellation #Starlink, déjà constituée de plus de trois mille satellites destinés à apporter Internet jusqu’aux endroits les plus reculés de la planète. Mais à mesure que Musk met en place son maillage, la pression monte pour les États : laisseront-ils un acteur privé rafler la mise sur ce marché encore largement dérégulé, et menacer leur souveraineté numérique et leur indépendance technologique ? Tandis que Jeff Bezos, le PDG d’Amazon, réclame lui aussi sa part du gâteau, la Chine et l’Union européenne - avec le projet Iris, annoncé fin 2022 - se sont engagées à leur tour dans cette course.

    #espace #orbite_basse #course

  • Après le gaz, Poutine va-t-il nous couper le GPS ?
    https://theconversation.com/apres-le-gaz-poutine-va-t-il-nous-couper-le-gps-194508

    Initialement conçu pour des applications militaires, le Global Positioning System est un système de positionnement par satellites appartenant au Pentagone, également utilisé pour de très nombreuses applications civiles.
    Que ce soit en matière de logistique, de transport, d’agriculture, de finance, d’industrie, de défense ou de sécurité, le GPS garantit aujourd’hui un positionnement et un horodatage précis n’importe où dans le monde.
    Dans le contexte actuel, marqué par des menaces sans cesse croissantes de la part de la Russie à l’égard des Occidentaux, ces infrastructures cruciales sont-elles en danger ?

    #GPS #localisation #satellites #technologies #guerres

    • Tu vois, tu peux faire toutes les sanctions possibles contre n’importe quel petit pays, c’est bien normal et c’est de bonne guerre (la première frappe nucléaire de décapitation aussi), mais que ce petit pays rende la pareille, et c’est le signe que le petit pays est dirigé par un fou dont il convient de psychologiser tous les actes et propos.

      L’article, qui passe son temps sur des banalités à propos du croque-mitaine, lâche tout de même le morceau :

      Conscients de la fragilité du système, la Russie, puis l’UE et enfin le Japon et la Chine ont mis en place leurs propres constellations de satellites : respectivement Glonass en 1993, Galileo en 2011, QZSS et Beidou en 2018.

      Les signaux GPS peuvent être chiffrés pour rendre plus difficile de flouer les terminaux conçus pour être en mesure de déchiffrer ces signaux. Tout comme la précision de la position, qui n’est pas accessible à tous les terminaux, les signaux les plus précis sont réservés aux militaires. Tous les terminaux ne supportent pas ces signaux plus précis ou plus chiffrés.

      N’empêche qu’hier, ça rigolait sur les russes qui utilisent des cartes en papier... Les américains y penseront-ils au moment où ?

      https://seenthis.net/messages/983896

      (je souris à la référence du SR-71, avion de 1964, qu’on te ressort de la naphtaline et du musée, tout en critiquant les GPS scotchés dans les avions russes...)

    • Les signaux GPS peuvent être chiffrés pour rendre plus difficile de flouer les terminaux conçus pour être en mesure de déchiffrer ces signaux. Tout comme la précision de la position, qui n’est pas accessible à tous les terminaux, les signaux les plus précis sont réservés aux militaires. Tous les terminaux ne supportent pas ces signaux plus précis ou plus chiffrés.

      En fait, c’est toujours la propagande par l’épouvantail ... Pas de danger qu’on se trouve confronté à ça rien qu’à cause du grand-méchant-loup du Kremlin :-))

      Le 1er janvier dernier, le chauffeur de ce semi-remorque a vécu une histoire vraiment terrifiante. Et cette fois c’est à cause de la technologie que ce dernier s’est retrouvé dans un véritable guêpier.

  • Planet prepares to launch hyperspectral satellites called Tanager
    https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/21/planet-prepares-to-launch-hyperspectral-satellites-called-tanager.html

    "Les satellites Tangara collecteront 420 bandes de spectre, a déclaré Schingler, notant que la détection du méthane nécessite de détecter seulement quatre bandes.

    « Nous avons décidé de construire un spectromètre d’imagerie à gamme complète », a déclaré Schingler, avec des cas d’utilisation allant au-delà du méthane vers des marchés tels que « le renseignement militaire, comme voir une terre perturbée - des choses comme enterrer quelque chose ou creuser un tunnel »."

    Tanager satellites will collect 420 bands of spectrum, Schingler said, noting that detecting methane requires detecting just four bands.

    “We decided to build a full-range imaging spectrometer,” Schingler said, with uses cases beyond methane to markets like “defense intelligence, like seeing disturbed earth – things like burying something or digging a tunnel.”

  • un peu de pub pour un ancien collègue: (un papier original)

    #Cloud cover and its impact on #Brazil's #deforestation #satellite_monitoring program: Evidence from the #cerrado biome of the #Brazilian_Legal_Amazon -
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0143622822000224#!

    The findings support the hypothesis that more deforestation occurs during years with higher cloud cover. In addition, the results indicate that improved satellite monitoring technologies, such as the DETER-C/DETER INTENSO testing phase policy instrument, may have a substantial effect on deforestation rates.

  • Raumfahrt: China schleppt defekten Satelliten ab
    https://www.golem.de/news/raumfahrt-china-schleppt-defekten-satelliten-ab-2201-162777.html

    Einer weniger in einer überfüllten
    Umlaufbahn: Ein chinesischer Satellit hat einen defekten Satelliten eingefangen und in einen sogenannten Friedhofsorbit transferiert. Ein solches Manöver ist bisher nur den USA gelungen.

    Der nicht funktionsfähige Navigationssatellit Beidou-2 G2 befand sich in einer geostationären Umlaufbahn in etwa 36.000 Kilometern Höhe über dem Äquator. Da diese von vielen Satelliten genutzt wird, bestand die Gefahr einer Kollision. Deshalb wurde im Oktober 2021 der Satellit Shijian 21 gestartet, um das Problem zu lösen.

    Ende Dezember 2021 näherte sich Shijian 21 seinem Ziel und dockte an dieses an. Am 22. Januar 2022 startete er seine Triebwerke und brachte den defekten Satelliten in einen rund 3.000 Kilometer höheren, gefahrlosen Orbit. Das ist ungewöhnlich: Üblicherweise werden geostationäre Satelliten nur etwa 300 Kilometer hoch in einen Friedhofsorbit transferiert.
    Das Manöver wurde beobachtet

    Am 26. Januar koppelte sich Shijian 21 ab und kehrte in einen geostationären Orbit zurück. Das Manöver wurde von dem auf Satellitenüberwachung spezialisierten Unternehmen Exoanalytic verfolgt.

    Der Satellit Beidou-2 G2 war im April 2009 für das chinesische Satellitennavigationssystem Beidou ins All geschossen worden. Allerdings blieb er nicht auf seiner vorgesehenen Position, sondern fing an zu driften. Deshalb wurde der Satellit nicht in Betrieb genommen.

    Shijian 21 wurde von dem staatlichen Raumfahrunternehmen China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) entwickelt. Über den Satelliten ist wenig bekannt: Von offizieller Seite verlautete, sein Zweck sei, das Problem des Weltraumschrotts zu verringern.

    Dass so wenig über den Satelliten bekannt sei, könne dafür sprechen, dass auch das chinesische Militär an der Mission beteiligt sei, spekulierte die US-Wochenzeitung Space News. Darauf deute auch hin, dass Shijian 21 zudem mehrere Annäherungsmanöver an Objekte in der Erdumlaufbahn durchführte, bevor er Kurs auf den Beidou-Satelliten nahm.
    Weltraumschrott ist gefährlich

    Weltraumschrott, zu dem auch defekte Satelliten und Raketenstufen gehören, stellt eine Bedrohung für andere Raumfahrzeuge dar. Die Raumfahrtnationen suchen deshalb nach Möglichkeiten, Satelliten wiederzuverwenden oder dorthin zu transferieren, wo sie keine Gefahr darstellen: Aus niedrigen Umlaufbahnen werden sie abgesenkt, damit sie in der Erdatmosphäre verglühen, aus höheren Orbits werden sie in Friedhofsorbits verbracht.

    Schließlich gibt es noch die Möglichkeit, die Betriebsdauer eines Satelliten zu verlängern: Das US-Rüstungs- und Raumfahrtunternehmen Northrop Grumman dockte 2020 einen Versorgungssatelliten an einen Kommunikationssatelliten an, der kaum noch Treibstoff hatte. Dadurch sollte Letzterer noch letzterer fünf weitere Jahre im Einsatz bleiben.

    #Chine #espace #satellite

  • Ondes électromagnétiques, mot barbare Babelouest
    https://www.legrandsoir.info/ondes-elctromagnetiques-mot-barbare.html

    Hélas, l’électromagnétisme n’est pas d’un abord facile. C’est pourtant une des composantes les plus présentes du quotidien de nos concitoyens, mais aussi des habitants du monde entier. Y réchappent encore les Peuples Premiers, isolés semble-t-il dans des déserts, des jungles difficilement pénétrables, ou des montagnes quasi infranchissables.

    C’était sans compter sur des multimilliardaires complètement accros à la technique, qui ont oublié consciencieusement qu’il existe des humains. Ceux-ci ont commencé (oui, déjà) à mettre en orbite dans un ciel déjà bien chargé des dizaines de milliers de satellites de communication en orbite basse. leur but : permettre à des personnes déjà bien argentées de se connecter aux réseaux mondiaux directement, quelle que soit leur position dans le monde : en plein Time Square, comme au sommet de l’Everest, au centre du désert du Sahara, dans la fourmilière de Hong Kong ou leur baignoire douillette. Pour couvrir ce défi énorme, il est prévu un chiffre allant jusqu’à cent mille satellites en orbite basse... dont selon les derniers chiffres quarante deux mille chez Elon Musk.

    Ne nous y trompons pas. Cela oblige déjà à installer de très grandes paraboles partout dans le monde, dont rien que pour Starlink la filiale de Musk trois en France (celle de Bordeaux est déjà opérationnelle). Cela oblige à considérablement renforcer la production électrique, car si ces stations vont consommer, les mini-terminaux que seront les téléphones directs, par milliards, devront recharger leurs batteries. Cela oblige à augmenter encore l’extraction de ressources rares où dans des conditions relevant de l’enfer opèrent même des enfants. Un ami revenant du Kivu, paradis sur Terre il y a cinquante ans, peut en témoigner. Cela oblige à augmenter la production des modules nécessaires. Cela oblige à augmenter le transit de ces matières premières vers les lieux peu nombreux où ils sont traités (souvent avec des produits extrêmement toxiques), en Chine principalement. Malheureux Chinois ! Mais le transit se fait grâce à d’immenses navires, utilisant un fioul tellement lourd et polluant qu’il est nécessaire de le préchauffer avant de l’introduire dans les moteurs. Cerise sur le gâteau, un satellite en orbite très basse ne tient en l’air que deux ans, ensuite il retombe en polluant consciencieusement, donc il faut le renouveler. Il y a généralement du mercure dans les combustibles pour fusées. Hum...

    Nous n’avons traité ici que l’une des utilisations de ces ondes. De plus en plus hautes en fréquences, pulsées comme la plupart des ondes artificielles, donc de plus en plus percutantes sur les êtres vivants (même les plantes), elles sont là, partout, invisibles mais actives. C’est au point que par un plaisir malin les « micro-cells » de la 5G en cours de déploiement (on parle au moins de sept cent mille rien que pour la France) auront le loisir de concentrer, selon le trafic, leurs faisceaux sur de nombreuses personnes possédant un « portable », ou sur une seule : saturation bien au-delà de normes déjà inadéquates, sachant que chaque émetteur, lui, ne dépassera pas ce seuil déjà contestable. Vicieux, non ? Il est prévu que chaque « micro-cell » comporte en fait 64 mini-émetteurs. Houille ! On n’ose imaginer le résultat, surtout sur des locuteurs jeunes et seuls, se connectant le soir avec des copains pour de longues durées.

    Ajoutons à ce bilan « intéressant » le fait que chaque locuteur puisse être contrôlé, observé, même si le contenu de ses conversations est théoriquement protégé. Que reste-t-il de l’intimité ? Rien.

    Pour illustrer tous ces dires, les références abondent : d’où le choix de n’en mettre aucune ou presque. Il suffira de demander : même des livres très pertinents, assez nombreux, existent, au point d’en être gênants pour les Grands Décideurs. Ici, le choix a été d’être assez court, pour que tous en profitent. En revanche, pourquoi en parle-t-on si peu ?

     #satellite #espace #surveillance #satellites #internet #pollution #musk #elon_musk #ondes #réseaux #starlink #smartphones #micro-cell #5G

  • Le maire de Gravelines refuse le permis de construire pour les antennes relais d’Elon Musk Mercredi 28 avril 2021 - Par Romane Porcon
    https://www.francebleu.fr/infos/societe/le-maire-de-gravelines-refuse-le-permis-de-construire-pour-les-antennes-r

    Le maire de Gravelines refuse d’accorder le permis de construire pour les antennes relais au sol que la société d’Elon Musk, SpaceX, veut implanter dans sa commune pour son projet Starlink d’internet par satellite.

    Après avoir dans un premier temps accepté le permis de construire de la base terrestre de Starlink, le maire de Gravelines refuse finalement d’accorder le permis de construire pour les antennes relais au sol que la société d’Elon Musk, SpaceX, veut implanter dans sa commune. Une décision prise par Bertrand Ringot au motif que l’entreprise partenaire, Centurylink, n’a pas répondu aux demandes de prise en charge financière du raccordement au réseau public d’électricité des 9 antennes de télécommunications qui seraient installées, selon l’arrêté municipal daté du 26 avril. 

    Dans un courrier du 5 mars, M. Ringot avait par ailleurs demandé à l’entreprise de fournir des documents « prévus par les textes », en français, sur l’exposition aux champs électromagnétiques générées pour les personnes travaillant ou vivant à proximité. Il n’a pas obtenu de réponse. L’élu avait rendu en novembre un avis favorable, avant de se raviser avec un avis défavorable en mars. Centurylink pourra soit redéposer un permis modifié, soit contester en justice l’arrêté, selon Monsieur Ringot. 

    La société SpaceX, dirigée par Elon Musk, voudrait installer sur cette commune du littoral proche de Dunkerque, neuf dômes de 1,5 m de diamètre dans un enclos de 240 m2. Ils communiqueraient avec les satellites privés que le milliardaire est en train de mettre en orbite à une altitude relativement basse pour fournir un internet haut débit, partout sur le globe, avec un temps de réponse très rapide. Les fusées SpaceX ont à ce jour mis en orbite autour de la Terre environ un millier de satellites pour ce projet d’envergure mondiale baptisé Starlink. En France, l’Agence nationale des fréquences en a autorisé trois, à Villenave d’Ornon (Gironde), Gravelines et Saint-Senier-de-Beuvron (Manche), mais dans ce dernier village de 350 habitants, la mairie s’y oppose par principe de précaution. 

    #spacex #starlink #elon_musk #5g #tesla #espace #satellite #technologisme #saloperies #Dunkerque #technologie #internet #antennes_relais #champs_électromagnétiques #Centurylink

  • Internet par satellite : la nouvelle bataille de l’espace
    https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2021/04/02/internet-par-satellite-la-nouvelle-bataille-de-l-espace_6075300_3234.html

    La course s’accélère pour diffuser l’Internet haut débit dans les zones inaccessibles partout sur la planète. Elon Musk s’impose avec Starlink, un projet de constellation de 42 000 satellites. Vostothni, au sud-est de la Sibérie, dans la nuit du jeudi 25 mars. Sur le pas de tir de ce cosmodrome russe, une fusée Soyouz opérée par l’entreprise européenne Arianespace décolle. Sa mission, mettre en orbite 38 satellites de la société anglo-indienne OneWeb. Ils vont rejoindre les 110 autres gravitant déjà autour de la Terre, premiers éléments d’une constellation de 648 satellites destinée à diffuser l’Internet haut débit partout sur la planète.

    La veille, à Cap Canaveral, en Floride (Etats-Unis), une fusée Falcon 9 ajoutait 60 satellites aux 1 300 lancés en moins de deux ans par Elon Musk, dirigeant de Tesla et fondateur de l’entreprise spatiale SpaceX, pour former sa propre constellation, Starlink. Mais là, il s’agit d’une tout autre échelle : ce maillage spatial devrait être composé, à terme, de 42 000 satellites.

    Ces lancements n’en sont donc qu’à leurs débuts. Ils vont se poursuivre avec la régularité d’un métronome, à raison de 34 à 36 satellites une fois par mois pour OneWeb, et de 60 tous les quinze jours pour Starlink, jusqu’à ce que leur réseau soit tissé. Dans les années à venir, les mises en orbite vont s’intensifier avec la concrétisation des projets de l’opérateur de satellites canadien Telesat, ainsi que de ceux du patron d’Amazon, Jeff Bezos, et de l’Union européenne.

    Engouement pour l’orbite basse

    Hormis les Chinois, très secrets, ils sont donc cinq acteurs à vouloir connecter les zones isolées, les voies maritimes et aériennes, en plaçant des satellites entre 550 kilomètres et 1 200 kilomètres d’altitude. Cet engouement récent pour l’orbite basse est lié à la multiplication des services nécessitant des temps de réponse quasi instantanés, que ce soit dans les transports, la finance, la défense ou même les jeux vidéo. Or, à la différence de l’orbite géostationnaire à 36 000 kilomètres, où gravitent des satellites de télécommunications, la basse altitude offre le double avantage d’un débit très élevé et surtout d’un temps de latence infime.

    Mais le ticket d’entrée pour former une constellation est élevé : entre 2 milliards et 10 milliards de dollars (entre 1,7 milliard et 8,5 milliards d’euros). Un investissement considérable pour des perspectives encore floues, mais espérées prometteuses. Aujourd’hui, les communications par satellites représentent moins de 1 % du marché mondial du transport de la donnée, 6 milliards de dollars sur les 800 milliards annuels.

    « Les besoins sont tels que ce pourcentage devrait doubler rapidement », estime Hervé Derrey, PDG du fabricant franco-italien de satellites Thales Alenia Space (TAS). « Ce que cherche un opérateur de satellites, ce n’est pas de concurrencer la fibre, mais d’occuper la niche où elle ne pourra jamais aller », résume le directeur général d’Eutelsat, Rodolphe Belmer. Dans cette perspective, « rien que pour l’Europe, nous estimons à 3 ou 4 millions le nombre de foyers à connecter à l’horizon 2030, et 5 millions en Afrique ».
    « The winner takes all »

    Cependant, la compétition s’annonce inégale face à Elon Musk, devenu l’acteur spatial le plus actif de la planète. « Il faut avoir en tête qu’il possède plus de 40 % des satellites opérationnels, relève Stéphane Israël, président exécutif d’Arianespace, l’entreprise chargée du lancement des fusées Ariane, Soyouz et Vega. Qu’un seul acteur privé ait autant de poids soulève de nombreuses questions, surtout quand on sait que les constellations peuvent aussi être des infrastructures de souveraineté. »

    Après s’être imposée en quelques années sur le marché des lanceurs, sa société SpaceX fabrique des satellites pour les besoins de sa constellation. Ces derniers sont alors envoyés par ses propres fusées, dont le premier étage revient après chaque mission se poser sur une barge dans l’Atlantique pour être réutilisé. Etant le seul à maîtriser l’ensemble de la chaîne et le premier sur le créneau des constellations, le milliardaire américain impose ses conditions aux autres arrivants, selon l’adage « the winner takes all » .

    Depuis octobre 2020, plusieurs milliers de Nord-Américains participent aux tests d’accès à Internet dans des régions rurales isolées. Tout avance très vite. Au début du mois de mars, SpaceX a déposé un dossier auprès de la Commission fédérale des communications pour connecter son réseau aux camions, bateaux et avions. L’entreprise a aussi ouvert les précommandes au public. Il en coûtera 499 dollars pour l’achat d’un terminal, et un abonnement mensuel de 99 dollars. Mais la couverture sera limitée au départ à l’Amérique du Nord et au Royaume-Uni. Le seul qui pourra rivaliser, à cette échelle, sera Jeff Bezos, avec son projet Kuiper de 3 200 satellites, encore à l’étude.

    « La constellation la moins chère »

    A coté de ces méga-constellations, un autre entrepreneur américain, Greg Wyler, a choisi une stratégie différente. Fournir avec l’entreprise OneWeb, qu’il crée en 2012, l’Internet haut débit partout dans le monde à destination des professionnels, des collectivités locales ou des gouvernements, sans aller jusqu’au particulier comme le prévoient Starlink et Kuiper. A l’origine, il avait convaincu Coca-Cola d’entrer au tour de table de sa start-up, pour que dans des endroits inaccessibles de la planète les distributeurs de boissons soient équipés de relais.

    Autre différence, les satellites sont placés sur une orbite polaire plus haute que celle de Starlink, 1 200 kilomètres au lieu de 550 kilomètres, ce qui permet d’en avoir moins, leur couverture de la Terre étant plus large. Trois lancements sont effectués entre 2019 et 2020, mais la société connaît des problèmes de financement qui la contraignent en 2020 à se placer sous la protection du chapitre 11 de loi américaines des faillites. Elle sera reprise en juillet par le gouvernement britannique, associé à l’entrepreneur indien Bharti.

    « Nous sommes la constellation la moins chère du monde, 2 milliards de dollars », apprécie le directeur technique de OneWeb, Massimiliano Ladovaz, qui prévoit une mise en service partielle avant la fin de l’année. « Il nous faut encore trois lancements pour arriver à couvrir le Nord de l’Europe, le Royaume-Uni, l’Alaska et le Canada. Ce sera fait à l’été. Nous aurons une couverture globale fin 2022. » Pour cela, OneWeb poursuit avec Airbus la fabrication de ses satellites de 150 kg, « de la taille d’une très grosse machine à laver américaine », au rythme de deux par jour dans leur usine de Cap Canaveral. « 70 % du développement est français », souligne-t-il.

    C’est aussi un européen, TAS, qu’a choisi en février le canadien Telesat pour fabriquer les 298 satellites de sa constellation Lightspeed. Comme OneWeb, elle évoluera à 1 000 kilomètres et ne s’adressera pas aux particuliers. « Cela fait deux ans que nous travaillons sur la conception et le design », souligne Hervé Derrey. « Nous savons ce que nous avons à faire, et les premiers satellites seront lancés en 2023, le réseau constitué en 2025 », affirme-t-il pour relativiser l’impression de retard face aux autres projets.

    « Nos satellites seront interconnectés et chacun pourra parler à quatre autres par laser, ce qui permettra par exemple aux passagers en croisière ou en avion de communiquer instantanément où qu’ils soient dans le monde », décrit-il. Le gouvernement canadien sera le premier client pour vendre des capacités aux communes rurales isolées et lutter contre les zones blanches.

    L’UE joue « le coup d’après »

    « Derrière chaque constellation, il y a un Etat en soutien », souligne Luigi Scatteia, expert espace chez PWC. Face aux Etats-Unis, au Royaume-Uni et au Canada, le commissaire européen chargé de l’espace, Thierry Breton, a annoncé en décembre 2020 un projet européen de réseau de satellites. L’objectif est d’être indépendant, comme pour la géolocalisation avec Galileo face au système GPS américain, ou pour l’observation de la Terre avec le service Copernicus.

    « Ne cherchons pas à copier les Américains ou les Chinois, mais jouons le coup d’après avec une constellation nouvelle génération permettant d’échanger en toute sécurité partout dans le monde », lance-t-on à Bruxelles. Une manière de transformer le retard en avantage pour cette constellation déjà surnommée « Bretonicus » en raison de l’implication de son promoteur. Fin avril, neuf industriels – dont Airbus, Eutelsat, Arianespace et TAS – publieront leur étude de faisabilité de réseau, dont l’investissement est estimé à 5 milliards d’euros.

    L’impératif sera d’aller vite car l’enjeu est de taille. Il en va de la souveraineté numérique, face à des opérateurs privés non européens dont certains, comme Amazon, sont déjà leaders de l’hébergement dans le cloud – l’informatique dématérialisée. Or, certains acteurs du secteur s’inquiètent du risque de saturation de l’espace. Et pointent le fait que le nombre de fréquences disponibles proposées par l’Union internationale des télécommunications, basée à Genève, est restreint, ce qui limite le nombre de constellations possibles.

    La course de vitesse engagée suscite des inquiétudes multiples. « Nous assistons à une sorte de colonisation de l’orbite basse qui ne pourra pas accueillir sans limite et sans dommages des dizaines de milliers de satellites », alerte régulièrement Stéphane Israël. Le patron d’Arianespace ne veut pas d’un espace « Far West » et plaide pour « une régulation urgente ».

    Dominique Gallois et Alexandre Piquard

    #Tesla #satellite #technologisme #domination

  • Avec Starlink, Elon Musk privatise et pollue l’espace.
    https://reporterre.net/Avec-Starlink-Elon-Musk-privatise-et-pollue-l-espace-L-enquete-de-Report

    Le projet du milliardaire Elon Musk de vendre une connexion haut-débit à internet par une constellation de satellites se concrétise. Inabordable pour une grande partie de la population mondiale, ce réseau de 42.000 engins spatiaux va générer une pollution considérable de l’espace et de la Terre. La privatisation de l’espace commence sans débat.

    #SpaceX #Tesla #satellite #écologie #5G

  • Starlink, le plan géant d’Elon Musk pour occuper l’espace
    https://reporterre.net/Le-plan-geant-d-Elon-Musk-pour-occuper-l-espace

    ENQUÊTE 1/3 - Le projet du milliardaire Elon Musk se concrétise. Son offre d’une connexion haut-débit à internet sur toute la planète via une constellation de satellites est déjà en fonctionnement aux États-Unis. Et ses antennes domestiques sont désormais disponibles en France en précommande. 550 kilomètres nous séparent des premiers satellites de SpaceX, la société d’Elon Musk. En plus de les voir rayonner parmi les vraies étoiles de notre ciel une fois la nuit tombée, les 12.000 satellites prévus à (...)

    #ARCEP #SpaceX #satellite #WiFi #5G #technologisme #domination #Starlink

  • China’s Camps Have Forced Labor And Growing US Market, by Alison Killing and Megha Rajagopalan (BuzzFeed)
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/alison_killing/xinjiang-camps-china-factories-forced-labor

    China built its vast network of detention camps to do more than simply keep people behind bars.

    A BuzzFeed News investigation identified factories right inside many of Xinjiang’s internment compounds.

    These long, rectangular buildings with blue roofs are capable of putting thousands of Muslim detainees to work against their will.

    #satellite #narration_cartographique

  • Un nouveau satellite de surveillance qui peut voir jusque dans votre salle de bain
    https://www.franceculture.fr/sciences/un-nouveau-satellite-de-surveillance-qui-peux-voir-jusque-dans-votre-s

    Une nouvelle génération de satellites commerciaux sur le marché et autres actualités science-fictionnesques. L’entreprise californienne Capella Space - dont le PDG est un ancien ingénieur de la NASA - a présenté des images satellitaires assez impressionnantes. Ce nouveau satellite lancé au mois d’août peut scruter les bâtiments, de nuit comme de jour, qu’il pleuve ou qu’il fasse beau, avec une image si nette que l’on peut même voir à l’intérieur des pièces d’un immeuble. Sur les nombreux satellites de (...)

    #satellite #CCTV #aérien #vidéo-surveillance #surveillance

  • #ICARUS – Tracking animals from space

    With the help of the ICARUS satellite system initiated by #Martin_Wikelski it will be possible to observe even small animals constantly and around the world, an improvement over the simple marking of birds with rings. ICARUS, which is short for #International_Cooperation_for_Animal_Research_Using_Space, consists of an on-board computer and a large antenna attached to the #ISS space station that receives data from the animal’s sensors and then sends it back to earth for analysis. This data is not only available to researchers in Konstanz but to the entire scientific community worldwide. It ushers in a new era in both animal research and animal protection.

    ICARUS will make it possible to track animal migrations across all continents - in real time and 3-D. Furthermore, researchers will be able to collect data on the environment (like wind strength and direction) as well as on the distribution of virus strains with the help of these tagged animals and the ICARUS system. ICARUS will thus not only give us a better understanding of the interplay between animal migration and the global ecosystem, but it will also help us to predict natural disasters.

    https://www.campus.uni-konstanz.de/en/science/icarus-tracking-animals-from-space#slide-1

    –-----
    Animal Tracker #App

    Mit den Miniatursendern können die Wissenschaftler die Position der besenderten Tiere auf wenige Meter genau bestimmen. Sie wissen aber nur selten, was die Tiere an diesen Positionen machen. Fressen sie und wenn ja, was? Oder ruhen sie sich aus? Sind sie alleine, oder mit vielen Artgenossen? Gibt es Interaktionen zwischen den Tieren? Solche Beobachtungen sind für die Interpretation der Bewegungsdaten sehr wichtig.


    https://www.icarus.mpg.de/4331/animal-tracker-app

    –-> ielles cherchent des volontaires...
    https://www.campus.uni-konstanz.de/en/science/icarus-tracking-animals-from-space#slide-11

    #animaux #mobilité #mouvement #déplacement #base_de_données #satellite #migrations

  • Les envahisseurs atterrissent en Gironde
    http://www.piecesetmaindoeuvre.com/spip.php?page=resume&id_article=1383

    Un article de Sud-Ouest du 24 octobre 2020 signale l’implantation de deux stations à terre de la société SpaceX en Gironde. SpaceX appartient au transhumaniste Elon Musk, et prévoit d’envoyer des milliers de satellites pour développer les connexions Internet et téléphone mobile. Pour lire l’article, ouvrir le document ci-dessous. #Service_compris

    http://www.piecesetmaindoeuvre.com/IMG/pdf/spacex_a_villenave_d_ornon.pdf

  • Open-source #satellite data to investigate #Xinjiang concentration camps

    The second part of this series discusses techniques on how to analyse a dire human rights situation in and around Xinjiang’s re-education and detention facilities.

    A pressing need to investigate characteristics of Xinjiang’s detention camps

    The story has been widely covered. Calls by human rights advocates to define China’s practices as ‘genocide’ grow louder. Hundreds of thousands of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslims detained in internment camps. Many still are.

    “Inmates undergo months or years of indoctrination and interrogation aimed at transforming them into secular and loyal supporters of the party”, the New York Times wrote and published documents that unmistakably prove a dire human rights situation in the west of China.

    First China denied the camps ever existed. Then the Chinese consulate doesn’t bother anymore to play a smoke and mirror game and admits: “Xinjiang has set up vocational education and training centres in order to root out extreme thoughts…”. Their purpose: ‘compulsory programs for terrorist criminals’.

    Now, the language changed again. China’s President said the ‘strategy for governing Xinjiang in the new era is completely correct.’

    Unacceptable (and unwise) of some to deny it. Social media commentators, some who are frequently quoted by large media organisations, keep casting doubt on the tragic story. Margaret_Kimberley tweeted — after an ITV news report emerged — “These are lies. There is no evidence of Uighur concentration camps. More hybrid war against China” (it received 2,000 likes).

    While there is no room left to doubt that these camps do exist, there remains vast uncertainty whether investigative journalists and human rights advocates located all facilities spread out across the province.

    Researchers/journalists who made it their beat to find them, like Nathan Ruser at Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), says “we don’t believe that we have found them all”, after posting 380 facilities online.

    Germany’s chancellor last week said China’s President Xi offered delegates to send envoys to visit Xinjiang province [and camps] to see for themselves. Chances increase to see more of the so-called ‘show camps’ for a short period of time or as long as the visits take (the BBC encountered it when it visited last time). Xi also ensured that there will be an ‘ongoing human-rights dialogue’. But Ursula von der Leyen tweeted “a lot remains to be done .. in other chapters of our relations”.

    Satelite investigations exposing more and more evidence. OSINT journalists rely on them. It’s one reason why some open-source intelligence journalism colleagues keep hearing rumours that some of the camps may have moved underground (e.g. detention in under-surface facilities) to hide from the spying eyes and scrutiny of satellite data analysts (we don’t have proof for this thesis but I encourage you to reach out if you have evidence).
    Mounting number of facilities

    The number of confirmed facilities steadily grew. A 2018 BBC investigation looked at 101 campsites, which got pinpointed via various media reports and academic research, the author says.

    Most recently, Buzzfeed investigated 268 compounds, many from previous lists I worked on too. In February, the list of ‘confirmed re-education camps’, so lower-security sites, mainly for indoctrination purposes, was limited to mere 50 facilities. ‘Confirmed’ in this context means they have been validated by eye-witness reports. Back then, there were another 170 that had yet to be confirmed.

    It is of vital importance to keep this investigation rolling. This means to forensically document the changes in these camps and to spend more time on characterizing each detail. ASPI just dropped a new list and we are going to work with that one instead of the original 50 we received (the list can be downloaded here and geodata that can be simply dragged and dropped into QGIS and Google Earth Pro, it is available here).

    Finally, news broke via Reuters (and research by Adrian Zenz) that evidence of forced labour is mounting also in Tibet (we will look into this later, too).
    List of ‘expanded camps’ extended

    Earlier in the year US-based Uighure group ETNAM shared a list with around 50 confirmed sites. We and others scrutinised this list on increased activity on the ground via aggregated satellite remote sensing data (link). The list was shared as klm. file. It helped enormously with going through them one by one. All the coordinates as well as the Chinese names of the places are accessible via Google Earth Pro. Now that ASPI dropped a new list with coordinates and updated 2020 records, some of the work we have started can be extended and match.

    Because we are most interested in the camps that got expanded (so buildings or features were added), we will concentrate on the list of facilities that were developed. It includes a list of 61 sites.

    Why is the onus on expanded camps? In addition to the characteristics ASPI added as classifiers, the extended camps might tell us where the local administration invests and where forced labour in the firm of Uighur prisoners went. We added a few more details for each facility that we thought was worth looking at (see sheet above).
    We will go through various ways to characterise/investigate facilities and their surroundings

    First significant markers includes the size of the camps. That includes quantitative details such as the number of buildings on the premise and adjacent to it. We will go through how to compare them. There are the walls of camps that are usually quite straight-lined. Their height, which we will define and validate, and the walls’ thickness may tell us something about recent developments (e.g. how secure the sites are, or were meant to be).

    Guard towners are also a quantifiable element. ASPI and others counted them. Because they can be seen from outside they may act as a signal to local residents. That is also likely the reason why those facilities that have some or all of their towers removed recently tend to locate closer to residential buildings (see my stats below).

    These changes are further revealing as they may tell us something about how the local government in various parts of the region varied in their response to international pressure (or not, by keeping them in place). ‘A lot [camps] had their security features removed in the second half of 2019’, Zenz explained. Some remained in place (important to add here, it remains doubtful that conditions improved inside of the camps, even if towers or security features were removed).

    Zenz has an explanation for some of the changes: “On the same time they invited all these delegations and visitors, they released a lot of people. If you release a lot of people, you can afford to run with fewer security features. That can still be run like an internment camp, I’m sure”. We will look closer at what has changed ourselves.

    Including those features above, there are a number of other aspects to take into account. We put them into the list below — each will be discussed separately:

    What blue factory buildings in and around camps can tell us
    What typical ‘prison features’ tell us
    What cars in parking lots tell us about personnel working at the facilities during Covid-19
    What walls can tell us
    What guard towers can tell us
    What sports facilities can tell us
    What the shapes/types of buildings and location can tell us
    What agricultural space (e.g. fields) around the camps can tell us
    What potential crematory sites reveal
    What Xinjiang’s export tell us
    What population/urbanisation numbers tell us about internment and surveillance
    What Baidu maps can tell us

    Blue-roofed factory buildings

    In satellite images, they are very pronounced with their blue coating. They may also heat up in the summer.

    Most of them are factory buildings, has been reported. You can see them added in and around camp facilities, whether they are low or high security premises.

    We can quantify them by counting them or via quantifying the space they take up. ASPIT decided to count them, though some buildings are smaller and other are massive. Google Earth has a polygon area measuring tool. A third option is to write a statistical model to calculate square meters factory floor space. If you are lazy you can consult a service that helps you with that via a visual detection algorithm — it calculates the area and records the number of blue roof buildings for a given satellite image.

    One of the camps that expanded in the past two years is the tier 1 low-security re-education facility in Bugur in Bayingolu (41.808855284.3005783). It has a dense network of factory buildings nearby (around 23) and within its own walls there are eight. We used ASPI’s data to confirm this that noted: ‘considerable room for expansion’.

    Let’s run the classification system over it and classify how much blue-roofed buildings that scatter around the camp can we count (importantly not all are factory spaces but many will be).

    On the AI model: I downloaded the images with their highest resolution from Google Earth. To make the image a bit clearer for the model, I adjusted the brightness, upped the contrast and tinkered with the exposure. We can see the blue buildings, roughly in a radius of 1.5 to 2 miles (see image), account for about 1,464.9 m² (0.15ha). The number of little blue buildings expanded considerably since 2014 where they accounted for 1,022m2 (0.10 ha) — sadly we only have an image for 2014 and one for 2019.

    Short intersection on the availability of images available in Google Earth:

    Some of the important images to document the progression of these camps are missing. Some camps have a mere handful of publically available images (as in the case above). This is appalling and private satellite image companies need to be nudged to make more images public. Especially for the latest developments, this is urgently needed. Researchers noted down the latest dates for which images are available at the time of writing. Below we see them grouped by months, and then by facility category (tier 1 to 4).

    What about bias to provide fewer updates on higher-security facilities? We don’t have much to go in here (there is no direct evidence that western satellite companies are being pressured into not publishing their images for camps on Google). Despite only a few camps that didn’t get updated at all over the past two years, we can see at the time of writing that Google and others hold more images for lower tier facilities (1 and 2) than for higher-security facilities (tier 3 and 4):

    Continuing on the factories, another example is the facility in Maralbeshi County (39°49’7.84"N, 78°31’4.37"E). It was erected around 2017/2018. In Google Earth, you can see how the blue-roofed buildings surround the internment complex. Note, how the larger blue factory complexes to the left and right were there before the camp was erected.

    In other words, the camp was planned and embedded into existing factory operation. It further corroborates a thesis that factory work by prisoners (in the form of forced labour), was part of a grander plan all along (though, to be certain, looking at satellite images alone does not suffice).

    Adrain Zenz thinks blue roof factories is something that warrants looking into in more detail. A bunch of these blue roof factory building were erected in 2018, especially in the second half. Zenz explains it’s important timing because the policy documents on forced labour, as explained in his post from last December, shows that a lot of this kind of policy was released in the first half or mid of 2018.

    A recent Buzzfeed investigation did mention blue roofs but surprisingly didn’t pay more attention to the matter. The factories grow in importance as the forced labour of imprisoned groups is being increasingly ‘commercialised’.

    ASPI’s data recorded the distance (measured in km I assume) between the 380 facilitates and the local/nearest industrial parks — where some of the forced labour could have moved to put to work. The data categorizes facilities in four areas of security (ranging from Tier 1= re-education camp to Tier 4= prison facility). Tear two and tier three camps tend to be located more closely to the industrial centre of the towns, the data suggests (see chart below):

    Zenz adds: “what’s significant is the sudden increase of blue roof, single story, flat type factory buildings. It’s consistent with policy, and also release, the Karakax list also talks about people being released into forced labour. A lot of that took place in 2019.”

    The blue metal barracks found in Dabancheng shining light yellow in the sentinel IR images as they are being reflected. Low res Sentinel 2 data also suggests that these metal-like structures in the south of the Payzawat camp (Payzawat County, 39.538372, 76.713606) may also heat up in the summer. SWIR (short-wave infrared imagery) and NIR can be used for heat monitoring.

    Prisons features: camps that imprisoned people become more ‘secure’ not less:

    Among the around 60 camps that have expanded recently, half of it are tier 3 or tier 4 facilities —detention centers and prisons with high security features.

    While it is true that some camps removed some of the towers and other security features (labelled ‘desecuritisation’ by ASPI’s records), others increased theirs. Those happened to be facilities that are detention centres and prison. In the context that Chinese authorities moved prisoners to these more secure facilities with less transparency and harsher treatments, this is cause for concern.

    Let’s look at an example. From the list of expanded camps, there is the camps Yarkant Facility in the Kashgar prefecture (38.351531177.3055467). Since 2018, we saw a nearly 10,000 m2 large factory compound built (compare images from 5/8/2018 with 1/21/2018). Then, a year later, watch downers got added. There are now 8 towners. For such a small facility that’s quite conspicuous. The reason it’s a high-security prison facility.

    Newly built detention/prison facilities created between 2018 and 2020 are of special interest. Camps like the tier 3 (detention) camp of Sanji Facility (#3, 44.102764,86.9960751), a with several watchtowers and an external wall is important as we can follow the progression of each step of the building process with high-resolution images.

    The location was probably chosen because of a lower-security area nearby, north of the facility (3/7/2018). Building must have started in the summer. A couple of months after the last shot (8/11/2018) the blue-roofed factory gets built-in the north-west of the camp (a reason to assume a direct relationship there) and within two weeks in August the main building takes shape. At the same time, the walls get erected and we can make out the layout of the facility with its heavy concrete structures.

    We can see, those are fundamentally different from building built in other lower-security camps. Then two months later it’s almost completed.

    The speed of building is noteworthy (better trackable if we had access to a more continuous stream of images). From the few images we have above and those from Sentinel 2, below, we can assume that it took the developers between three to four months in pure building time to pull it up — an astonishing pace. China is renowned for its fast building pace. For many other areas, such as coal plants and artificial island-building its cookie-cutter approach — where blueprints are being re-used over and over again - it permits building more quickly.

    Other who looked at the situation in Xinjiang reported that many Uighurs held in lower-tier facilities could have been moved/transferred to higher-tier prisons. In other words, despite some re-education camps have experienced ‘de-securitisation’, half of the camps that expanded are higher security facilities, so tier 3 (detention) or tier 4 (prison) camp facilities.

    What parking lots tell us about the camps during Covid-19

    I believe this topic has largely remained unexplored. Busy parking lots are one way to tell how many staff members are on site. Especially interesting it this for the recent month that were affected by coronavirus. We dont know much about the conditions inside of the facilities.

    But with fewer staff members around (and fewer visitors allowed — previous reporting has revealed that detention centres have ‘small visitor centres’), the lives of inmates may have worsened. There was some reporting that Covid-19 cases spiralled in the province of Xinjiang and some expressed concern that cases could spread within camps. It’s possible, no doubt. With only a few cases in the whole region, though, the risk is lower.

    Pandemic related fears may have affected the material and food supply. Sick imprisoned detainees may go without healthcare treatment for weeks or months. All these are assumptions for which we have little evidence. But the possibility alone raises concerns. If it is true that prisoners remained in the facilities during Covid, they could have suffered from the absence of staff and proper care.

    From satellite images, it is hard to know — though there is some evidence from an eyewitness account shared by a historian, a Georgetown professor on his Medium page.

    We might be able to tell how many temporary people were on sites (those that use their car to leave for the night). Counting vehicles at nearby car parks is one way.

    At some facilities, we can clearly see the parking lot. An example is Ghulja City (43°58’37.52"N, 81° 8’18.98"E). It’s a fairly large car park. We can use Picterra system (there is a 10 day free trial version) to check the satellite images for May 23 — thought there isn’t much to count, the car park is empty.

    Seven months earlier, on October 24th of 2019, we count around 120 cars (with some false positives, but that’s good enough for us). The algo gives you a count so you don’t have to count the red boxes one by one. Once trained, we can run it on subsequent images.

    Let’s walk you through how to train and count the cars. I simplify here (a more complete tutorial can be found here and in their platform). First, we use one of the images to train the algorithm on the cars in the car park. Then we run it on the other pictures. It’s neat and simple (and quick if you don’t have time to run your own statistical model in python).

    The number of vehicles dropped during the heights of Covid-19.

    We could do this for other confirmed location such as the facility in Chochek City (Tǎchéng Shì, 46°43’3.79"N, 82°57’15.23"E) where car numbers dropped in April. We see this in many other facilities (for those that expanded).

    Hotan City Facility #1 (37.1117019, 79.9711546) with 81 cars in the parking lot at the end of 2019 dropped to 10 during the height of the pandemic. Similar developments have been perceived at Hotan County Facility 1 (37.2420734 79.8595074), Ghulja Facility 1 (43.9756437 81.5009539) and a number of others.
    Calculating rooms and capacity

    How many people fit in a facility. If we take the example of the re-education camp in Chochek City ( 46°43’3.79"N, 82°57’15.23"E), we have high res Google images for the end of March and end of April of 2020. We can see the thin middle part is three stories high and in earlier images (Jul 18, 19) we can see the southern part is four stories high. In 2018, we got an image of the foundation when it was built. This provides enough detail to calculate that the facility has around 367 rooms — for the total t-shaped building with the arms.

    –—

    –—

    In the example above, we shouldn’t be too sure that alls detainees were kept in the facility during Covid. Some reports claim that some of the other lower security re-education centres kept people ‘only during the day for indoctrination classes’ (it’s certainly different for the high-security prison facility that is also on the premise of the Payzawat facility, see in the south, with their towers).

    Comparing camp sizes

    The total size of the camps matters, especially when they get extended. Most of the camps have clear wall frames build around them. It’s one of the most important and simple characteristics. The wall frames makes it relatively easy to draw shapes in your geolocation system of choice (the sheer size of the walls, might be less ideal to gauge the number of prisoners).

    Some have vast empty space in between might suggest that other faculty sections or factory buildings are due to be added. Some are cramped with building.

    Tracing and calculating the area of wall frames in Google Earth for some of the largest camps, we get what we already knew:

    To emulate the work ASPI’s data was posted here. A number of track and trace tutorials for Google Earth (one here on measuring property space) are available on YouTube.
    Staking out camp size:

    The Qariqash County/قاراقاش ناھىيىسى‎ /墨玉县(Mòyù Xiàn, 37° 6’44.88"N, 79°38’32.71"E) sits in the South of the large stretch of desert.

    We use the polygon tool in Google Earth to stake out the clearly marked walls. You usually end up with a rectangle. Under measurements (right-click on the item) you can see the perimeter is around 1.65 km and the area is roughly 16.7 hectares (0.17 square km).

    Now we can compare it with another one on the list, the camp in Aqsu City (41°11’27.12"N, 80°16’25.08"E). It’s markedly smaller, with a perimeter of 1.1km and only an area of 5.65 hectares. There are other ways to do this in QGIS, a geoinformation system more efficiently.
    What can walls and towers tell us?

    How tall are walls at some of the camps? The answer varies across the vast variety of facilities. Height may tell us something about who built the camp and the level of security. It’s unsurprising to find different heights at different camps built by different planners.

    Where we don’t have shades available, we can check the two images above and reference them with the people in the image and define the height this way. Another standard way to calculate height is using the shades by the walls and towers and calculate the height via Google Earth and SunCalc.

    The shade of the southern wall in the satellite image from 03/19/2020 for the Dabancheng camp is around 7.62 meters long. The towers on the southern wall for those dates result in a height of around ~8meters.

    But the images in the Reuters shots look different. That’s why they were taken a year or two earlier. Satellite images from 4/22/2018 show clearly the octagonal shapes of the tower shades. If we calculate again, the shade of the tower is around 9 meters long, translating into around 14 meters in height.

    We do this for the wall as well. What we find is that, although the towers disappeared (though, some are still there, just not protruding so visibly), the only thing that really changed is the height of the walls — now around 13.5m tall, compared with 9.5m in 2018. The same towners, removed from one Dabancheng camp, then re-emerged half a kilometre south-east at the other newly built one (2019).

    Why are we even bothering measuring height? On one hand we want to answer how security changed across the camps. Are walls getting higher? Do they change in their layout. It helps to classify the type of camps. The higher the walls, the more secure they probably were meant to be. Higher wall might mean higher chance that prisoners are held at facilities over night. It also may help to disprove claims by XJ denialists.

    We can verify the Suncalc analysis with images. Cherchen County, for which we reviewed images for 12/14/19 shows roughly the same height. Explainer how to measure the height of an object from satellite image available here and here.

    The number of press images of the camps is limited. Most are by Reuters or AFP/Badung Police. It is this one here (37°14’29.78"N, 79°51’35.00"E). More local street footage, though not of camps, might be obtainable via Mapillary.

    Buildings shapes/outlines and location of camps

    Let’s start with the location of the facilities first. ASPI recorded the type of security for its 380 odd facilities, and for many the distance to populated areas such as residential buildings. When local administration planned on where to place the facilities they might have taken into account how the neighbouring public should (or shouldn’t) perceived them. More secluded camps are more hidden from public scrutiny. Those near people’s homes or schools may be placed there to have the opposite effect.

    What’s immediately apparent when running a few inferential statistics on the records is that the more secure detention centres tend to be kept further away from buzzing residential areas — meaning, further away than for instance Tier 1 re-education camps, which are often nestled between residential parts of cities, or occupying old schools.

    Agriculture/fields around the camps — investigating forced labour by detainees

    Identifying agricultural fields near or around facilities may reveal some potential aspects of how forced labour in the camps were used in close vicinity.

    Especially for secluded faculties, with not much else urban life going on (so reducing the possibility that other local farmers were involved in working the them), the chance increases that Uighurs detained were used.

    One example is the facility near Yingye’ercun, in Gulja, with a 0.16km2 large campground (43°58’37.52"N, 81° 8’18.98"E). The farming area that was developed since 2018 (shortly after the multistorey buildings was built in the core of the facility) spans 1.7km2 and is clearly marked (which includes the facility itself, see in red below).

    In other words, once the camp was built the fields surrounding it got worked and developed— unlikely to be only a convenient coincident. The nearby factory complex was also extended.

    Often it warrant also checking with Sentinel 2 images on EO browser. In this case, it’s useful because it allows us to visualise agricultural development via its invisible light remote sensing capabilities. Additional bands (which Google images lack) give access to the invisible spectrum and shows the agricultural expansion (here shown in red via the false colour composite, commonly used to assess plant density and health, “since plants reflect near-infrared and green light, while they absorb red”. Exposed ground are grey or tan, vegetation is red).
    Image for post

    Another camp in this regard is the Maralbeshi Facility (#6) in Kashgar (39.7406222 78.0115086) with lots of fields surrounding it.

    Why is the forced labour aspect in Xinjiang’s agriculture so important in this debate? For one, it’s part of the human rights abuse that more and more governments and industry leaders recognise (such as Swedish company H&M, who profited from cotton supplies and other kinds within their supply chain). Some decided to cut ties with suppliers in the region. It may the answer for the short term. In the long run, western businesses much apply pressure to get suppliers on their own to dissuade local forced labour practices (see example on ads that emerged to sell Uighur forced labour online).

    According to the ILO Forced Labour Convention from 1930, forced or compulsory labour is defined as ‘all work or service which is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily’.
    Sports grounds: (basketball and other sports courts)

    Some found value in observing their development. BBC’s John Sudworth found that just before a press tour organised for his press teams two years ago the appearance of recreational areas altered. In some of the places they were taken to, satellite images and the internal security fencing — and what looked like watchtowers- where taken down shortly before the tours for journalists began. Specifically on sports grounds, they noticed that empty exercise yards have been transformed into sports facilities.

    The reporters asked: if the journalists have been presented with mere ‘show camps’, what may this say about the places they were not taken to. Sport facilities are quite easy to spot from satellite. The BBC travelled to Kaxgar in the very east of the region, about 100km south of Kazakhstan’s border. Their footages shows how the camp put up courts shortly before the press trip. But they didn’t last long. We found evidence that these very courts disappeared again in early 2020 (see below).

    In one of the camps in Qariqash (37°15’32.54"N, 79°44’52.08"E) the sports facilities were made unavailable as recently as July. Now big brown sheets, what looks like blankets with knobs on them, cover them. Those have never appeared on satellite images before and extend to the soccer field in the north and the big parking lot next to the sports courts.

    I have mixed feelings about recreational activities. We must strongly doubt that they benefit people held for indoctrination. So are they only a smoke and mirror game to show the friendliness of re-educational camps? Or are they actually benefiting the imprisoned? It is hard to say. In recent time, they are more likely to be added than removed. In around 37 facilities on the ASPI list basketball courts, running tracks or other sports fields were noted to have been added or extended.

    When we compare the average distance of residential building for these places (1.2km) with the average distance of all the places where we have a record on the distance to buildings (1.8km), we find the recreational activities might be used as an element to signal the locals that the facilities have those recreational features.

    Dabancheng has one court in the western block and a number of other ones in the centre part. In the eastern wing, there is nothing. We haven’t got any further high res satellite images on Dabancheng (other than those until March 2020, that leaves only checking Sentinel 2 images or commercial images).

    I am going to stop here. The analysis of recreational areas yielded rather little, for me and the folks at ASPI. “I don’t think the sports grounds mean much in the detention regime”, Nathan Ruser says. If you have more info do reach out or leave a comment.
    Crematories

    The New York Times followed the lead of findings (that emerged last year, also mentioned in the state.gov report) and check the extent of description of religious sites and burial grounds. In September, the team reported that ‘thousands of religious sites’, such as mosques, shrines and other sites were bulldozed or replaced.

    As many burial grounds disappeared and people within camps families have never heard from again, the question of how Uighurs’ life proceeded became more pressing. Crematories may be one aspect. Some anecdotal evidence by a source spoke of a nascent growth of crematory sites in the areas near camps. This appears important in the context of how prisoners are treated in facilities and what happens if they die and at what rates.

    High prevalence of tuberculosis in facilities worries insiders. TB is spread via droplets through the air by someone who is infected. It’s especially deadly when the immune system of those who caught it, can’t cope with it. With the conditions reported by some of the eyewitnesses, it is feasible that the hard conditions prisoners are being subjected to, could enhance the deadliness of TB.

    The think tank which produced a previous list of facilities searched and found a handful of crematories (I don’t think they concluded the research and it continues, perhaps with your help of OSINT research).

    The reason why crematories are of interest is that Uighur are Muslim, Muslims don’t burn the bodies of their dead. They bury them (creation is strictly forbidden). Seeing more crematories pop up might be a first clue on whether dead bodies from detention facilities are being burned. We have to stress here, we have to be extremely careful with drawing quick conclusions, the base of evidence is thin. One would need to check local statistics and cross-examine them with other data source.

    We will concentrate only on the sites itself. The ‘unconfirmed sample of crematory’ consists of ten sites. These are listed below. Just a word of warning. Feel free to investigate them further — either via additional satellite footage or on-site visits. Nonetheless, these get us started. The first three are confirmed by eyewitness accounts or local records (as far as I was told, this is sadly only secondary research).

    Cr_Gholja_01 (Existed, 44° 0’17.86"N, 81°13’40.43"E); Cr_Artush_01(Existed, 39°44’35.47"N, 76°12’7.49"E); Urumchi 2 Funeral Parlor (Existed, 43°54’55.20"N; 87°36’9.01"E)

    Cri_Hotan01_(Suspected)
    Cr_Artush_02 (Suspected)
    Cr_Hotan_02(Suspected)
    Cr_Urumqi_02 (Suspected)
    Cr_Urumqi_01 (Suspected)
    Cr_Urumqi_01(Suspected)
    CrArtush_02 (Suspected)

    Now let’s take a look at the characteristics of the confirmed crematories. They have some distinctive shapes, including a rectangular architecture, walls or a treeline that fence the premises (framed in black). Where marked ‘burial grounds’, I was unable to confirm this but checked with a few other sites mentioned in the coverage that was exposed in 2019 and it looked similar (in short, more time needs to be spent on this).

    What helped the researchers identify the confirmed ones? According to the source, the Chinese called them ‘burial management facilities’. It’s apparently a euphuism for ‘crematories’. The Chinese government bulldozed some burial grounds with the justification that they would take up too much space which was covered in the 2019 reporting.

    The other aspect is whether relatives receive the body of loved ones that die in the camps. Salih Hudayar (now Prime Minister of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile) says he had a relative who died in a facility (he don’t know whether in the camps or the prison) and his family was not able to have his body returned. He thinks that many other Uighurs have not had the body of a deceased family members returned to them. He assumes they are being cremated as no record exists of a burial site.

    More crematories are only possible if you have employees who staff and run them. The Chinese government tried to find those employees online. “We assume they are being cremated because the government ran job ads and offering high salaries to work on these [crematory] sites”, he added.

    The suspected crematory facilities were then modelled upon the layout of the existing/confirmed ones — e.g. compared with buildings in and around the area. “We found a couple, but we are not 100% sure”, the source admits. Here OSINT journalists could become useful (let me know if you have intel on this matter to follow up with).

    On the description in 2019: evidence surfaced that 45 Uighur cemeteries have been destroyed since 2014, including 30 in just the past two years (research was carried out by AFP and satellite imagery by Earthrise Alliance, here reported by the SCMP).
    What population/urbanisation numbers tell us about internment

    Salih Hudayar explained that what worries him is that population statistics don’t square. An often-cited figure of 7 million Uighurs in the province is much lower than the official estimates of the Uighur people.

    The number often used is 12 million Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighurs. The number could be higher. Especially in the villages — Uighurs are allowed to have only three kids — some families have more than that and don’t register their offspring, as a result, many kids lack birth certificates. Other figures on the number of Uighur population is much taller (larger than twice of the 12 million figure, but remains hard to confirm that. The closes figure the Chinese government will have internally after the government’s extensive and invasive security and surveillance campaigns, in part to gain information regarding individuals’ religious adherence and practices).

    The rising number of orphanages and kindergartens is also of interest. A satellite and local administrative data analysis should track them. The premise here: the more aggressive the detention of families are in XJ (moving Uighurs from low to higher security facilities), demand for places that house children increases. More orphanages and child-caring facilities could be revealed.
    What can exports tell us about forced labour?

    The type of exports of a region can help to figures out what to look for when it comes to forced labour. Increasingly, the international textile and fashion industry wakes up to reputational damage if supply chains incorporate Xinjiang forced labour. EU leaders held a meeting with China’s president Xi last week where Xi ‘rejected’ foreign [political] meddling in his nation’s affairs. But businesses have more leverage. Xinjiang is busy trading with foreign powers. The Chinese province accounted for a large part of the world’s supply in cotton. Exports amounted to $19.3bn according to export documents (export data for the west of China can be found in China’s official data stats, Stats.gov.cn, customs.gov.cn, or mofcom — this might be useful. Comparing what the government reports and what’s happening on the ground might reveal discrepancies, as it did before).

    Exports (to Europe, across the silk road to the west) is directly connected at A busy train station connecting to the neighbouring country of Kazakstan in the northeast (the export route is called Ala Pass. A short promotional video here). Given the rebound of the Chinese economy, the shipments/trainloads must have increased in May after the effects of the pandemic subsided. What’s unclear is to what extent and whether that matches what the government said.

    Satellite images might reveal discrepancies when train containers at the Dzungarian Gate (the Dzungarian Alatau mountain range along the border between Kazakhstan and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) are analysed. It’s the main connection between China and the west.

    The main railway station in Xinjiang for the Alataw pass is the Alashankou railway station (situated here: 45°10′13″N 82°34′13″E). It’s the last resort for export containers before entering Kazakhstan.

    OSINT journalists may be able to gauge Xinjiang export traffic by counting the number of containers on rail tracks. It might be laborious effort, not sure if it yields anything.

    More useful would it be to monitor the use of agriculture and factories in the nearby vicinity of camps, as shown before. Or perhaps they can be linked up.
    Baidu maps: Checking what the Chinese tech companies are ‘hiding’:

    The Chinese government may have little interest to showcase their human-rights violations which they deem as justified (Xi’s statement). Satellite images on Baidu Maps show maps that hide most of the facility. What to make of it? Google Earth lets you upload so-called ‘overlays’. If you stretch them to the right size you can compare the uploaded screenshot (we took from Baidu) with those present in Google Earth. For Tumshuq City/تۇمشۇق شەھىرى/图木舒克市(Túmùshūkè Shì) (39°54’40.02"N, 79° 1’26.09"E), see below.

    Why is Baidu’s involvement increasing relevant? On one hand, it is important to see the connection between private sector companies and the government. Chinese satellites are able to update and provide high-resolution images to the maps on Baidu. But they don’t. We had a similar debate on Twitter, that some government used to press companies to blur our images. But because images are available on other platforms ‘unblurred’, the practice was largely discontinued (there are still examples but they are getting fewer). One reason is that if a blurred area appears, it signals others to be extra vigilant and look out for other images. Instead, what increasing happens is that companies with private satellite are ordered not to release them (read more about the debate here).

    Baidu map’s decision to not show images on certain facilities have backfired. It can be reverse-engineered. Areas where images are unavailable became extra interesting. In this way Buzzfeed used Baidu Maps to their advantage. They located/confirmed some of the camps because of it. This way, they turned shortcoming into an opportunity. You may want to be quick in replicating this principle for other parts of the country where forced labour/detention camps are expected (e.g. Tibet). Such loopholes will usually be fixed swiftly.

    Bit more on the tech. According to a 2019 report by Human Rights Watch, Baidu’s map function used in the IJOP app, a controversial system used by the police and the state that generates “a massive dataset of personal information, and of police behaviour and movements in Xinjiang (it is not known how the authorities plan to use such data): The IJOP app logs the police officer’s GPS locations and other identifying information when they submit information to the IJOP app. The IJOP app uses a map functionality by Baidu, a major Chinese technology company, for purposes including planning the shortest route for police vehicle and officers on foot, according to the app’s source code.
    https://miro.medium.com/max/653/1*umOMbKghZDqPPiy0TpGZ7w.png

    What can the camps in Tibet tell us about the camps in Xinjiang?

    Reuters reported just last week that forced labour expanded to Tibet (south of XJ). Reuter’s own reporting corroborated the findings obtained by Adrian Zenz. It would take another post to go into how to investigate the state of transferred Tibetan labourers. The quick and dirty check on the situation shows the merit of using satellite images to investigate grows as foreign journalists are being barred from areas, such as entering the Tibet region (foreign citizens are only permitted on government-approved tours). OSINT lessons from investigating XJ should be applied to Tibet too.

    How does Xinjiang link to Tibet? The former Tibet Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo was chosen for the same job in Xinjiang in 2016 and headed the development of Xinjiang’s camp system, Reuters reported.

    Mass incarceration started before Quanguo came onto the scene: A fanghuiju work team was dispatched to a village in Guma wherein 38 individuals were allegedly detained in a government campaign, in early 2016 — it’s true however that Party Secretary Quanguo, appointed in August 2016, who waged a ‘Strike Hard Campaign’ against violent activities and terrorism increased repression.

    In an article last year, The Print used satellite images to prove that at least three Tibetan “re-education camps” are currently under construction. The author of the survey was Vinayak Bha, an ex-colonel retired from the Indian military intelligence unit.

    Col Vinayak Bhat (@rajfortyseven on Twitter) found three camps in 2018/2019 and share them. One of them is the one in Botuocun (see below). Bha writes about Chinese military deployment dynamics. The temple of Tibetan Buddhism is a ‘concentration camp’ that is surrounded by high walls and guard towers and has the same structural design as a prison. It is feasible that China’s mass detention to spread to Tibetans. Methods will likely base on the model executed in XJ.

    https://miro.medium.com/max/221/1*ln7TsCnetV75EKNcv4LBJg.png
    https://miro.medium.com/max/221/1*DtJKKnYJUH1K7p1_Pyyicw.png
    https://miro.medium.com/max/221/1*4dU7K9DK9agNbitNmLBT4g.png

    The reports of the three camps emerged in 2019. “Small-scale versions of similar military-style training initiatives have existed in the region for over a decade, but construction of new facilities increased sharply in 2016, and recent policy documents call for more investment in such sites”, one report stated. Looking at the three sites, some of them are quite old but the one below is less than three years old.

    https://miro.medium.com/max/221/1*xFr73HSkbxVqDGNgicuVCQ.png
    https://miro.medium.com/max/221/1*Ylxp6Hk1Nj8AAkvvxXI21Q.png
    https://miro.medium.com/max/278/1*a4UgMAeLCBp9LvRfOuf6Tw.png
    The allegation is that these facilities are now be used as detention centres for political indoctrination. “The detainees are allegedly used as forced labour in government factories and projects during the day time or as per shift timings”. It is something that rings true under the light of camps in Xinjiang but we lack evidence from the satellite images.

    There is some evidence that additional factory buildings were added. For the facility above, buildings in the upper east wing, with red roofing was added recently. Their layout reminds us of the blue-roofed buildings in and scattered around Xinjiang facilities, which we also have present: “This architecture is bang on a XJ prison, [though] with a different style roof”, Ruser said.

    https://miro.medium.com/max/512/1*GL1DwZmaqVdgUtaWsZHWdA.png

    https://miro.medium.com/max/303/1*Jr03h6ADK4_iNNfYP5YLkA.png
    https://miro.medium.com/max/328/1*RyzDtEa9SjE0WsBSwUaMfA.png

    The prison layout from the older prison facility above — with its long and vertically arranged wings and the rippled features — is similar to prisons seen in Xinjian, such as the two portrayed below (one at Qariqash County at 37° 6’44.88"N, 79°38’32.71"E and the other facility in 39°25’54.60”N, 76° 3’20.59"E).
    https://miro.medium.com/max/389/1*w01GGfJZZlcNCWm5MR4csQ.png

    Closing remarks:

    There is a mountain of stuff not included here. This is a training post and not an investigation with full-rested conclusion. This post should encourage other open-source investigative journalists to look into the facilities, follow their own reporting and help monitor developments/details that others may have missed.

    At present there are only a handful of OSINT journalists looking into it. Even fewer have the time to continuously keep this rolling, e.g. analysing the camps as other stories press them to move on.

    We need more eyes on this. The alleged human right abuse must receive all the international scrutiny it can get. People like Shawn Zhang and others with Nathan Ruser and APSI) started the journey. Other journalists must continue and expand on it.

    Also, the more open we are about sources and the analysis (hopefully) the fewer people might try to cast doubt on the existence of the camps (good thread here)

    OSINT techniques used must master the skill to help others to replicate the findings, step by step. That’s the reason this post resulted more in a hands-on tutorial than an explanatory post. I encourage anyone to start looking into the human rights abuse (though, I must stress, be careful to draw quick conclusions. Instead, share what you see on satellite images with the community of serious journalists and OSINT investigators).

    One last thought on commercial satellite imagery companies. It is crucial to get their support on this. For more than 100 camps mentioned in the latest update of the ASPI list (nearly 80 of them high-security detention facilities — classified as tier 3 or 4), we have no updated record of satellite images. This leaves researchers and journalists only to low-resolution devices, by Sentinel 2 images, or beg for images from Maxar or Planet Labs. That’s not good enough. Transparency requires companies inc to make those high-resolution images available, to anyone. Intelligence services should also consider making their high-resolution images available to the public for scrutiny, though, that unlikely to happen.

    https://medium.com/@techjournalism/open-source-satellite-data-to-investigate-xinjiang-concentration-camps-2713c
    #camps_de_concentration #architecture_forensique #images_satellitaires #rééducation #ré-éducation #camps_de_rééducation #Chine #droits_humains #droits_fondamentaux #Tibet

    ping @reka @isskein @visionscarto

    • I scripted a screen capture of 8000 xinjiang satellite images and uploaded them to here

      Detention Facilities in Xinjiang China : Google Earth Satellite Timelapse : 2002-2020 : 新疆看守所卫星延时摄影
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmoXVvU8G0c

      you can play them fast or find a location by latitude/longitude and step through one image at a time

      later i posted an addendum with another 20 sites, and showing China’s rebuttal to satellite evidence
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHc-TdusgaI

      other possible relevant sites not in ETNAM or ASPI datasets, that I saw in Google Earth
      46.917, 87.837
      43.958, 87.555
      43.450, 82.738
      40.594, 81.111
      40.567, 81.525
      40.563, 81.252
      40.069, 79.471
      39.947, 79.415
      39.270, 88.906
      39.269, 88.849
      39.247, 88.963
      38.197, 85.384
      37.004, 81.617

    • Cette région, c’est que des vergers et des champs entouré de semi-desert et irrigué par la Tarim et l’Hotan. Ca ne donne pas très envie d’y vivre. Donc je ne suis pas sur que des gens libres y travaillent. Donc tout ce qu’on y voit est potentiellement un camp de travail.

  • EU pays for surveillance in Gulf of Tunis

    A new monitoring system for Tunisian coasts should counter irregular migration across the Mediterranean. The German Ministry of the Interior is also active in the country. A similar project in Libya has now been completed. Human rights organisations see it as an aid to „#pull_backs“ contrary to international law.

    In order to control and prevent migration, the European Union is supporting North African states in border surveillance. The central Mediterranean Sea off Malta and Italy, through which asylum seekers from Libya and Tunisia want to reach Europe, plays a special role. The EU conducts various operations in and off these countries, including the military mission „#Irini“ and the #Frontex mission „#Themis“. It is becoming increasingly rare for shipwrecked refugees to be rescued by EU Member States. Instead, they assist the coast guards in Libya and Tunisia to bring the people back. Human rights groups, rescue organisations and lawyers consider this assistance for „pull backs“ to be in violation of international law.

    With several measures, the EU and its member states want to improve the surveillance off North Africa. Together with Switzerland, the EU Commission has financed a two-part „#Integrated_Border_Management Project“ in Tunisia. It is part of the reform of the security sector which was begun a few years after the fall of former head of state Ben Ali in 2011. With one pillar of this this programme, the EU wants to „prevent criminal networks from operating“ and enable the authorities in the Gulf of Tunis to „save lives at sea“.

    System for military and border police

    The new installation is entitled „#Integrated_System_for_Maritime_Surveillance“ (#ISMariS) and, according to the Commission (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2020-000891-ASW_EN.html), is intended to bring together as much information as possible from all authorities involved in maritime and coastal security tasks. These include the Ministry of Defence with the Navy, the Coast Guard under the Ministry of the Interior, the National Guard, and IT management and telecommunications authorities. The money comes from the #EU_Emergency_Trust_Fund_for_Africa, which was established at the Valletta Migration Summit in 2015. „ISMariS“ is implemented by the Italian Ministry of the Interior and follows on from an earlier Italian initiative. The EU is financing similar projects with „#EU4BorderSecurity“ not only in Tunisia but also for other Mediterranean countries.

    An institute based in Vienna is responsible for border control projects in Tunisia. Although this #International_Centre_for_Migration_Policy_Development (ICMPD) was founded in 1993 by Austria and Switzerland, it is not a governmental organisation. The German Foreign Office has also supported projects in Tunisia within the framework of the #ICMPD, including the establishment of border stations and the training of border guards. Last month German finally joined the Institute itself (https://www.andrej-hunko.de/start/download/dokumente/1493-deutscher-beitritt-zum-international-centre-for-migration-policy-development/file). For an annual contribution of 210,000 euro, the Ministry of the Interior not only obtains decision-making privileges for organizing ICMPD projects, but also gives German police authorities the right to evaluate any of the Institute’s analyses for their own purposes.

    It is possible that in the future bilateral German projects for monitoring Tunisian maritime borders will also be carried out via the ICMPD. Last year, the German government supplied the local coast guard with equipment for a boat workshop. In the fourth quarter of 2019 alone (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/19/194/1919467.pdf), the Federal Police carried out 14 trainings for the national guard, border police and coast guard, including instruction in operating „control boats“. Tunisia previously received patrol boats from Italy and the USA (https://migration-control.info/en/wiki/tunisia).

    Vessel tracking and coastal surveillance

    It is unclear which company produced and installed the „ISMariS“ surveillance system for Tunisia on behalf of the ICPMD. Similar facilities for tracking and displaying ship movements (#Vessel_Tracking_System) are marketed by all major European defence companies, including #Airbus, #Leonardo in Italy, #Thales in France and #Indra in Spain. However, Italian project management will probably prefer local companies such as Leonardo. The company and its spin-off #e-GEOS have a broad portfolio of maritime surveillance systems (https://www.leonardocompany.com/en/sea/maritime-domain-awareness/coastal-surveillance-systems).

    It is also possible to integrate satellite reconnaissance, but for this the governments must conclude further contracts with the companies. However, „ISMariS“ will not only be installed as a Vessel Tracking System, it should also enable monitoring of the entire coast. Manufacturers promote such #Coastal_Surveillance_Systems as a technology against irregular migration, piracy, terrorism and smuggling. The government in Tunisia has defined „priority coastal areas“ for this purpose, which will be integrated into the maritime surveillance framework.

    Maritime „#Big_Data

    „ISMariS“ is intended to be compatible with the components already in place at the Tunisian authorities, including coastguard command and control systems, #radar, position transponders and receivers, night vision equipment and thermal and optical sensors. Part of the project is a three-year maintenance contract with the company installing the „ISMariS“.

    Perhaps the most important component of „ISMariS“ for the EU is a communication system, which is also included. It is designed to improve „operational cooperation“ between the Tunisian Coast Guard and Navy with Italy and other EU Member States. The project description mentions Frontex and EUROSUR, the pan-European surveillance system of the EU Border Agency, as possible participants. Frontex already monitors the coastal regions off Libya and Tunisia (https://insitu.copernicus.eu/FactSheets/CSS_Border_Surveillance) using #satellites (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-003212-ASW_EN.html) and an aerial service (https://digit.site36.net/2020/06/26/frontex-air-service-reconnaissance-for-the-so-called-libyan-coast-guar).

    #EUROSUR is now also being upgraded, Frontex is spending 2.6 million Euro (https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:109760-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML) on a new application based on artificial intelligence. It is to process so-called „Big Data“, including not only ship movements but also data from ship and port registers, information on ship owners and shipping companies, a multi-year record of previous routes of large ships and other maritime information from public sources on the Internet. The contract is initially concluded for one year and can be extended up to three times.

    Cooperation with Libya

    To connect North African coastguards to EU systems, the EU Commission had started the „#Seahorse_Mediterranean“ project two years after the fall of North African despots. To combat irregular migration, from 2013 onwards Spain, Italy and Malta have trained a total of 141 members of the Libyan coast guard for sea rescue. In this way, „Seahorse Mediterranean“ has complemented similar training measures that Frontex is conducting for the Coastal Police within the framework of the EU mission #EUBAM_Libya and the military mission #EUNAVFOR_MED for the Coast Guard of the Tripolis government.

    The budget for „#Seahorse_Mediterranean“ is indicated by the Commission as 5.5 million Euro (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2020-000892-ASW_EN.html), the project was completed in January 2019. According to the German Foreign Office (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/19/196/1919625.pdf), Libya has signed a partnership declaration for participation in a future common communication platform for surveillance of the Mediterranean. Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt are also to be persuaded to participate. So far, however, the governments have preferred unilateral EU support for equipping and training their coastguards and navies, without having to make commitments in projects like „Seahorse“, such as stopping migration and smuggling on the high seas.

    https://digit.site36.net/2020/06/28/eu-pays-for-surveillance-in-gulf-of-tunis

    #Golfe_de_Tunis #surveillance #Méditerranée #asile #migrations #réfugiés #militarisation_des_frontières #surveillance_des_frontières #Tunisie #externalisation #complexe_militaro-industriel #Algérie #Egypte #Suisse #EU #UE #Union_européenne #Trust_Fund #Emergency_Trust_Fund_for_Africa #Allemagne #Italie #gardes-côtes #gardes-côtes_tunisiens #intelligence_artificielle #IA #données #Espagne #Malte #business

    ping @reka @isskein @_kg_ @rhoumour @karine4

    –—

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765330

    Et celle-ci sur le lien entre développement et contrôles frontaliers :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701