U.S. intelligence is testing out new ways to track down North Korean missile launchers similar to the ones used in recent missile tests. They are going to be using new algorithms to track down missile launchers according to the size and shape of the weapons.
Previously, U.S. intelligence had been trying to track down these missile launchers manually but were not efficient in finding them. The idea behind the algorithms is to automate the process. Manually, it is difficult to find the missile launchers, and to find them is a long process.
A senior defense official noted, “It’s harder to separate out the needles in a haystack because of the vast amounts of data available,”
They also said, “What was largely a manual process for intelligence analysts has to become an automated one.”
In many cases, such as the recent missile tests in North Korea, U.S. intelligence had very little warning before the tests took place.
The missile launchers are very easy to disguise, as in many cases they are perceived to be shipping containers or semi trucks.
The project is receiving $10 million in funding to make the process automated so that the computers can make analysts aware of a possible missile launch.
The focus of these computers will be to find TELs also known as transporter-erector-launchers. TELs were used during both the March 18 launch, which sent 2 Nodong missiles into the sea of Japan, and the launch in mid-April.
The main purpose of the project is to alert analysts when a “facility is moving from a benign posture to a threatening posture,” according to Deputy Defense Secretary, Robert Work.
Work mentioned that this process would be optimal at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency because they can take pictures from satellites, analyze images and provide the information to military intelligence.
Do you think this automation process is an effective method to finding TELs? Let us know in the comments below!