Re: Vela detection

William Blair (
Thu, 18 Sep 1997 19:05:08 +0000

> Robert Fenske recently wrote, in response to the possible
> observation of the collision flash over Africa:
> "... At one time, the U.S. had several Vela satellites in orbit that
> were designed to look for missile launches and/or nuclear
> detonations.  I don't have a clue as to whether these satellites are
> still in operation (or even in orbit). 

"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/NDS satellites.  The
control segment consists of ground control software and is known as
the Integrated Correlation and Display System (ICADS).  The user
equipment segment consists of the Ground NDS Terminals (GNT).  The NDS
provides a worldwide, highly survivable capability to detect, locate,
and report any nuclear detonations in the earth's atmosphere or in
near space 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)."

This info was found at: