Satellite data used to locate site of 1998 Indian nuclear test



Together with traditional seismic methods, commercially available satellite imagery is becoming increasingly recognized as an attractive, open source of additional information for monitoring nuclear activities. Unlike seismic arrays, observations from space can be used to detect preparations, clandestine or otherwise, for weapons testing. Before-and-after-comparisons (so-called change detection methods) can be used to locate precisely where an underground nuclear explosion has occurred within an extensive site area. This article describes the use of commercial satellite imagery, in particular change detection, to locate the site of nuclear tests carried out in India in 1998.