User:Dogue/DCEETA (old draft)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Area 58 (Aerospace Data Facility East)
NRO.svg US-NationalGeospatialIntelligenceAgency-2008Seal.svg
Part of National Reconnaissance Office - Department of Defense
Located near Fort Belvoir, Virginia, United States
Aerospace Data Facility-East logo.PNG
Coordinates 38°44′10″N 77°9′30″W / 38.73611°N 77.15833°W / 38.73611; -77.15833
Type Satelite Ground Station
Site information
Owner United States Army
Controlled by National Reconnaissance Office
Site history
Built 1977
In use 1977-Present
Events Y2K

Aerospace Data Facility, East (also known as Area 58, Defence Communications Electronic Evaluation Testing Activity, Defense CEETA, and The Mission Ground Site)[1] is a NRO ground station located in the in the Northeast of Fort Belvoir, Virginia. It is responsible for command and control of intelligence satelites, and collection, analysis, reporting and dissemination of intelligence information.[2]

Inside a large, two-story, concrete building behind a sign labeled Aerospace Data Facility East,[1] intense secrecy protects most of the installation operations. It's at ADF East where NRO and its sister organization, NGA, manage the daily operations of the US satellite imagery constellation.[3][4] The NRO confirms it is one of three installations in the Continental United States.[5]

Geography[edit]

ADF East has a separate entrance from the main base, accessable from Telegraph Road near its intersection with Beulah Road. The site is wooded, and screened on three sides by hills.[6] A satellite view is available showing the large building near two large radomes oriented on a north south axis.[7]

Panoramic view of Aerospace Data Facility East

Operations[edit]

Dceeta building.jpg

"The first SDS satellites were placed into highly elliptical "Molniya" orbits to send images from KH-11 electro-optical reconnaissance satellites back to the DCEETA/Area 58 ground station at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia."[8]

For the KH-11 and advanced KH-11 the primary ground station is the Mission Ground Site at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, about 20 miles south of Washington. It is a large, windowless, 2 story concrete building officially know as the Defense Communications Electronics Evaluation and Testing Activity (DCEETA), and also known as Area 58. While the Fort Belvoir was the only downlink for the KH-11 additional sites were added - apparantly in Hawaii and Europe."[9]

Orbiting the earth every 92 minutes at an altitude of between 170 and 320 miles, the satellite's signals are first transmitted to another satellite. The pictures are then retransmitted down to analysts at the Mission Ground Site, a large, windowless, two- story concrete building at Fort Belvoir, near Washington, with the cover name of Defense Communications Electronics Evaluation and Testing Activity. For the first time, analysts can order up detailed views of target areas virtually instantly. "You can call up the KH-11," says one person familiar with the system, "and when it comes up on its geometry to the target area, you can get a photo and have it back down here, printed out, in an hour, and have it over to the White House." "[10]

According to sources, DDS [NIMA's Defense Dissemination System] routes imagery through DISA's ATM switch at Ft. Belvoir. From the ATM switch, the intelligence products are loaded into a "pipe," like the Defense Satellite Communication System," through which they are delivered to the various warfighting commands. However, the ATM switch has a record of poor performance, and the Dec. 27 problems produced outages of 12 hours or more for Pacific Command and Central Command, according to an internal Pentagon e-mail message.[11]

Aside from the operational issues, the year-end complications with the imagery network generated a good deal of finger pointing. Lt. Gen. James King, the director of National Imagery and Mapping Agency, was reportedly furious over the imagery dissemination problems, which sources say stemmed from an unstable asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) switch at Ft. Belvoir, VA. The switch is operated by the Defense Information Systems Agency and has created problems in the past. King is demanding that DISA's leadership explain why the switch has not been repaired properly, these sources say."[12]

The installation also receives and analyzes classified satellites' signals to support the Military Intelligence Corps. Apparantly, operations run 24/7/365, with automated vehicle access control. The guard shack is manned weekdays.

In 2008, Capt. Kristin Panzenhagen, was Chief of mission engineering assigned to the Aerospace Data Facility-East, National Reconnaissance Office, Fort Belvoir, Va[13] In 2008, Col Anthony J. Cotton was Commander of the Space Operations Group.[14]

First White House Use[edit]

Dceeta-south-radome.jpg

The first documented use of material downloaded at ADF East was in 1977.

On January 21, 1977, Acting Director of the CIA, Mr. E. Henry Knoche met with and delivered reconnaissance satellite photographs to President Carter, that had been downloaded at DCEETA. It was the beginning of real-time imaging.[15]

"Of course," Jimmy Carter said as he turned to Brzezinski, "this will also be of value in our arms control work." The KH-11 had made its White House debut, and on that hopeful note the meeting in the Map Room came to an end.[16]

Y2K[edit]

Dceeta-windowless-building.jpg

During Y2K, there were some problems downloading there:

Early on Jan. 1, NRO's Defense Communications Electronics Evaluation Testing Activity (DCEETA) at Ft. Belvoir was capable of capturing, on average, no more than 70 percent of the planned coverage by the imagery satellites. DCEETA, known within intelligence circles as Area 58, is a highly secure facility, and defense officials do not discuss operations at the complex. According to the Washington, DC-based Federation of American Scientists, however, Area 58 is responsible for the tasking and primary processing of national imagery acquired through overhead systems, like the Keyhole and Lacrosse satellites. It's at Area 58 where NRO and its sister organization, NIMA, manage the daily operations of the imagery network.[17][18]

Deputy Sec Def John Hamre held a press conference about Y2K and the outage at ADF East.[19].

The problem wasn't with the satellite system - they were under positive control at all times," Hamre said. "The problem was on the ground in the processing station."[20]

Richard Oborn, the NRO's director of corporate communications, declined comment on the location of the ground system hit by the Y2K glitch:

We don't talk about ground locations. [21]

The Federation of American Scientists had an article on the facility written by Mr John E. Pike.[22].

Construction[edit]

Dceeta-north-radome.jpg

In 1999, Beulah Street was realligned at the cost of $8 million dollars. A sign entitled Defense CEETA was erected at the new entrance, (the old Beulah Street). In 2004, a fuel farm was built there.[23] In 2004, a 1.5 million gallon water tank was built there.[24] A parking garage has been completed: "The project would increase the parking at DCEETA from 200 to 500 vehicles."[25] Maintenance Manuals have been posted online, addressed to: Facility Engineer, DCEETA, Attn: Greg Hopfer.[26] DCEETA has registered as a company on the Cotera website, using the address 8201 Beulah St. Fort Belvoir, VA 22060. [27]

Fort Belvoir and HEC apply the DoD’s Unified Facilities Criteria 4-010-01; Antiterrorism Standards for Buildings. The DoD criteria recommends minimum standoff distances of 45 meters (148 feet) for new and existing buildings as a distance from public access roadways without a controlled perimeter. This standoff distance offers what DoD defines as a “low” level of protection. Other facilities, which require a higher level of protection and which have their separate controlled perimeter, seek a 400-meter standoff distance. [28]

ADF East has a separate mail facility where there was an apparant false alarm of anthrax.[29] Currently, a Remote Delivery Facility budgeted for $17 million dollars is under construction.[30] AECOM provides planning, architecture, engineering, construction management.[31]

Software Legal Case[edit]

In 1998, in a rare appearance in open court, DCEETA was found to have broken the procurement laws, but without prejudice barring relief, in the matter of Candle Corporation, versus the United States, and Boole & Babbage, Inc:

The procurement at issue involves MQSeries system management software. MQSeries is messaging software developed by IBM which allows business applications to integrate and communicate across desktop and mainframe systems, overcoming inconsistencies with different network protocols and all major commercial platforms. "[32]

U.S. Government Position on Area 58[edit]

Mission Ground Station declassification.pdf

Effective 15 October 2008, the NRO has declassified its three Mission Ground Stations: Aerospace Defense Facility, East; Colorado; Southwest.[33][34]

The NRO had classifed the location of Area 58:

1.3.3.e. (U)[Unclassified] The term "Area 58" or "A-58" [may be released] when limited to the context of a very general association with the NRO, intelligence activities, imagery intelligence, or satellite reconnaissance but not revealing any geographic location information."[35] [36]

But as Mr. Bamford, in The New York Times previously noted:

The irony is that the Soviet security and intelligence organization K.G.B. probably knows more about America's spy-satellite operations than all but the few most highly cleared people in the United States. The reason for this is an abominable track record in security on the part of the C.I.A. and the satellite intelligence community as a whole."[37]

The Russian language journal News of Cosmonautics, had known about the location:

In May, June, and December 2000, at the request from the USA, Great Britain, and Australia in accordance with resolution 58 (WRC-2000) of the ITU, entered the demands for the coordination of frequency ranges for the ground receiving stations, of the fixed communication service, provided by satellites on GSO. As for the ground stations proposed to register that are already known to the reader, Menwith Hill, Buckley (both under their own designations), and Pine Gap (under the conditional designation JDFPG, that obviously indicates Joint Defense Facility Pine Gap), and also a certain station under the conditional designation DCEETA in the territory of the USA. It is possible that by the name DCEETA is hidden the secret base NRO (Ft. Belvoir), known in reconnaissance circles as Area 58. On this base, according to data of the Federation of American Scientists, is performed processing of the specific reconnaissance information, obtained from the satellites KH and Lacrosse. The abbreviation DCEETA is deciphered as Defense Communications Electronics Evaluation Testing Activity, and serves as the designation of the subdivision NRO, where is employed the method and information processing from the reconnaissance satellites."[38]

This is confirmed by the ITU spreadsheet showing ground stations of DCEETA and JDFPG.[39]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Richelson, Jeffrey (1999). "7". The U.S. Intelligence Community: Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. p. 171. ISBN 0813368936. 
  2. ^ http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/eb/Mission_Ground_Station_declassification.pdf
  3. ^ Lardner, Richard (January 13, 2000). "Technical woes were not disclosed by DOD. Pre-Y2K problems undercut operations of U.S. satellite imagery network". Inside Washington Publishers. 16 (2). Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  4. ^ Lardner, Richard (January 13, 2000). "Technical woes were not disclosed by DOD. Pre-Y2K problems undercut operation of U.S. satellite imagery network". insidedefense.com. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  5. ^ "Mission Ground Station Declassification Mandatory Training", NRO Director of Security and Counterintelligence Note 2008 - 05, 23 October, 2008
  6. ^ "8201 Beulah Road, Alexandria, VA". Google Maps. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  7. ^ "8201 Beulah Road, Alexandria, VA". Google Maps. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  8. ^ "Encyclopedia > Quasar (satellite)". NationMaster. 2005.  Text "nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Quasar-(satellite)" ignored (help);
  9. ^ Richelson, Jeffrey (1999). The U.S. Intelligence Community: Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. pp. 170–171. ISBN 0813368936. 
  10. ^ Bamford, James (January 13, 1985). "America's Supersecret Eyes In Space". The New York Times. New York: The New York Times. 
  11. ^ Lardner, Richard (January 13, 2000). "Technical woes were not disclosed by DOD. Pre-Y2K problems undercut operations of U.S. satellite imagery network". Inside Washington Publishers. 16 (2). Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  12. ^ Lardner, Richard (January 13, 2000). "Technical woes were not disclosed by DOD. Pre-Y2K problems undercut operation of U.S. satellite imagery network". insidedefense.com. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  13. ^ http://www.afspc.af.mil/outstandingairmenoftheyear/index.asp
  14. ^ http://www.malmstrom.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?id=12670
  15. ^ Burrows, William (1986). Deep Black: Space Espionage and National Security. New York, New York: Random House. pp. 225–227. ISBN 0394541243.  Text "author-link William E. Burrows" ignored (help)
  16. ^ Burrows, William (1986). Deep Black: Space Espionage and National Security. New York, New York: Random House. p. 229. ISBN 0394541243.  Text "author-link William E. Burrows" ignored (help)
  17. ^ Lardner, Richard (January 13, 2000). "Technical woes were not disclosed by DOD. Pre-Y2K problems undercut operations of U.S. satellite imagery network". Inside Washington Publishers. 16 (2). Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  18. ^ Lardner, Richard (January 13, 2000). "Technical woes were not disclosed by DOD. Pre-Y2K problems undercut operation of U.S. satellite imagery network". insidedefense.com. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  19. ^ John Hamre (January 4, 2000). "DoD News Briefing". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  20. ^ Garamone, Jim (January 3, 2000). "Y2K has little effect on military operations". American Forces Press Service. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  21. ^ Jim Wolf (03 January 2000). "U.S. Recovers Spy System Hit by Y2K Glitch". Space.com. Retrieved May 4, 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  22. ^ John E. Pike. "Area 58". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2003-09-11. 
  23. ^ "DCEETA Fort Belvoir Fueling Facility". Shirley Contracting Co. 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  24. ^ "DCEETA Fort Belvoir Water Tank". Shirley Contracting Co. 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  25. ^ "National Capital Planning Commission Actions" (PDF). 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-10.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  26. ^ Headquarters, Department of the Army (15 April 2001). [www.wbdg.org/ccb/ARMYCOE/COETM/tm_5_692_2.pdf "TM 5-692-2"] Check |url= value (help) (PDF). Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  27. ^ "DCEETA Fort Belvoir Fueling Facility". website. 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-09. In 2008, the Defense CEETA sign was replaced by a Aerospace Data Facility East sign.
  28. ^ Richmond Highway/Telegraph Road Connector, Chapter 3, July 2006, Federal Highway Administration, Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division
  29. ^ Wayne V. Hall. "2 Belvoir mailrooms closed for testing". Fort Belvoir News. Retrieved 2006-06-04. 
  30. ^ www.deq.state.va.us/export/sites/default/permitap/documents/VWPGP-Sep2008.xls
  31. ^ http://www.aecom.com/What+We+Do/Government/Integrated+Mission+Support/_carousel/Aerospace+Data+Facility,+Virginia,+U.S.A.
  32. ^ "No. 97-851C". Find Law. April 3, 1998. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  33. ^ "Mission Ground Station Declassification Mandatory Training", NRO Director of Security and Counterintelligence Note 2008 - 05, 23 October, 2008
  34. ^ "Look! Up in the air! No, down on the ground! The NRO’s domestic ground stations", The Space Review, Dwayne Day, June 1, 2009
  35. ^ "National Reconnaissance Office Review and Redaction Guide" (PDF). 2006: 31.  Unknown parameter |vol= ignored (|volume= suggested) (help)
  36. ^ "Security News". FAS Project on Government Secrecy. June 7, 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-07.  Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  37. ^ Bamford, James (January 13, 1985). "America's Supersecret Eyes In Space". The New York Times. New York: The New York Times. 
  38. ^ Agapov, V. (2003). "USA-171:new «hearing» in orbit". News of cosmonautics. 17: 250. Retrieved 2008-10-15.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  39. ^ "Space Services Department Query Result". ITU website. 2/9/2008. Retrieved 2008-10-10.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External References[edit]

38°44′10″N 77°9′30″W / 38.73611°N 77.15833°W / 38.73611; -77.15833