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Space


Nuclear Detection System

The Nuclear Detonation (NUDET) Detection System (NDS) consists of space, control, and user equipment segments. The space segment consists of NUDET detection sensors on the GPS satellites. The Department of Defense and DOE now have a full constellation of 24 GPS satellites in 10,900-nautical-mile orbits capable of detecting and locating nuclear detonations worldwide, 24 hours a day.

The NDS provides a worldwide, highly survivable capability to detect, locate, and report any nuclear detonations in the earth's atmosphere or near space and in near real time. The NDS supports NUDET detection requirements for AFSPC (Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment [ITWAA]), USSTRATCOM (Nuclear Force Management), and AFTAC (Treaty Monitoring).

The NDS control segment consists of ground control hardware and software known as the Integrated Correlation and Display System (ICADS). The user equipment segment consists of the Ground NDS Terminals (GNT).

The Lockheed-Martin Sandia Advanced Radiation Detection Capability Data Unit (ARDU) was delivered to the Air Force during FY94 and the Integrated Correlation and Display System (ICADS) began operations for the tactical warning and attack assessment community. The ARDU processes nuclear detonation (NUDET) detection data from sensors on the Defense Support Program satellites and creates a NUDET report. ICADS correlates the ARDU report with analogous data from sensors on the Global Positioning System satellites and creates overall assessment displays for Air Force operators. These reports are forwarded to national command authorities over a wide area network.

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