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Keeping an Eye on the Islands: Cooperative Remote Monitoring of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea Vipin Gupta and Adam Bernstein Systems Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Keeping an Eye on the Islands: Cooperative Remote Monitoring of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea Vipin Gupta and Adam Bernstein Systems Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Keeping an Eye on the Islands: Cooperative Remote Monitoring of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea Vipin Gupta and Adam Bernstein Systems Research Dept Sandia National Laboratory Livermore, California

2 A Multidisciplinary Collaboration Funded by the U.S. Institute for Peace –investigate the political, practical, and technical aspects of a possible cooperative monitoring regime in the Spratlys Contributors –John C. Baker GW SPI, project director –Drs. Vipin Gupta and Adam Bernstein, image analysis –Prof. Bradford Thomas, GW Geography Dept. - regional remote sensing capabilities –David Wiencek, Intl. Security Group -political analysis –Kevin OConnell, RAND - consultant on commercial imagery –Dr. Ray Williamson, GW SPI - consultant, remote sensing –Dr. Mark Valencia, East-West Center - Spratly disputes

3 The South China Sea The Spratlys

4 Conflict and Control States with claims to some or all islands: –China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan have occupied islands and occasionally fought –Brunei, Malaysia have made claims and/or occupy islands legal status hard to determine: –a variety of applicable laws and customs –countries interpret or ignore these as they see fit.

5 Whats done, what can be seen Invisible Activities Declaration of Ownership Sale of Drilling Rights Firing on/Sinking Rivals Ships Arrest of Civilians Encouragement of Tourism Potentially Visible Occupation with Troops, Buildings, Markers Drill Rig Construction Tourist Activities Landing Strips Military/Civil Ships

6 Possible Solutions Fight it out - Naval skirmishes, arrests, potentially hostile overflights Increase reliance on cooperative remote sensing What kind of monitoring can be done with satellites and/or aerial overflights? Ideally, military and civil intrusions could be conclusively idd (1 m imagery) But - what can be done now ?

7 Selected Platforms

8 Selected Islands

9 Thitu contrast inverted Radarsat Image- 1.3 km airstrip

10 Thitu Aerial images courtesy Agence France-Presse


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