Strange structures in China spotted by Google Maps satellites   2 comments


 

China has always been a very secretive nation.  Especially in terms of military and technological programs.  These pictures from Google Maps would make anybody wonder, What are the Chinese up to?

New photos have appeared in Google Maps showing unidentified titanic structures in the middle of the Chinese desert. The first one is an intricate network of what appears to be huge metallic stripes. Is this a military experiment?

This structure seems to be some kind of giant targeting grid, north of the Shule river.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Thousand of lines intersecting in a titanic grid that is about 18 miles long. Another targeting grid?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Miles and miles of huge metallic strips.  What are they up to?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

This one seems like another target, this time arranged radially, with planes and obstacles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Here is a weird airport-like structure. Except it’s bright cyan. Seems full of water or made of a weird material. And look at the other airport-like structure next to it. Perhaps a decoy?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The Chinese have been building huge structures in the desert for a long time. Back in 2006, they built this 1:20 scale model of disputed border region between China and India. That’s a terrain model 0.7 kilometer wide by almost 1 kilometer tall. Uncanny. Why would they build such a model of a terrain? To play a 1:20 scale war with 1:20 scale tanks? Mind boggling.

 

I’m sure The National Reconnaissance Office that operates the super powerful American spy satellite system has zoomed in on these locations and the C.I.A analysts have poured over the images.  These intelligence analysts must have a good idea as to what is going on here.  But they won’t tell.

Update November 16, from Space.com

It turns out that they are almost definitely used to calibrate China’s spy satellites.  So says Jonathon Hill, a research technician and mission planner at the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University, which operates many of the cameras used during NASA’s Mars missions. Hill works with images of the Martian surface taken by rovers and satellites, as well as data from Earth-orbiting NASA instruments.

The grids of zigzagging white lines seen in two of the images — the strangest of the various desert structures — are spy satellite calibration targets. Satellite cameras focus on the grids, which measure approximately 0.65 miles wide by 1.15 miles long, and use them to orient themselves in space.

The existence of these calibration targets may seem suspicious or revelatory, but Hill said it really isn’t; China was already known to operate spy satellites, and many other countries (including the United States) do so as well. In fact, the U.S. also uses calibration targets. “An example I found just now is a calibration target for the Corona spy satellites, built back in the 1960s, down in Casa Grande, Ariz., [at coordinates] 32° 48′ 24.74″ N, 111° 43′ 21.30″ W,” Hill told Life’s Little Mysteries.

The 65-foot-wide white lines that make up China’s grids are not made of reflective metal as many news sites have suggested. “They have gaps in them where they cross little natural drainage channels and the lines themselves are not perfectly filled in, with lots of little streaks and uneven coverage. I think it’s safe to say these are some kind of paint,” Hill said, noting that if they were made of white dust or chalk, the wind would have caused them to streak visibly.

The calibration targets are larger than might have been expected, he said, suggesting that the satellite cameras they are being used to calibrate have surprisingly poor ground resolution.

Another strange image taken not far away shows a Stonehenge-like arrangement of objects radiating outward, with fighter jets parked at its center. “This is almost certainly a calibration/test target for orbital radar instruments,” Hill said. “Since a significant amount of radar return is due to differences in surface roughness, they’re probably testing ways of making the areas around planes ‘bumpy’ enough that the planes are partially masked.”

In other words, the Chinese military probably uses radar instruments to send signals down at the target from above, and determine how much radar bounces back to the instruments from the fighter jets, and how much gets scattered by the Stonehenge-like arrangement of bumps surrounding them. From this, the country’s radar experts can learn how best to hide China’s military operations from other countries’ satellites, and possibly get clues for how to find carefully hidden objects in other countries. However, the fact that the planes are made out of metal will increase their radar return and make it very hard to completely mask them, Hill said.

Since the initial reports of these structures became widespread, industrious readers of the gadget blog Gizmodo have spotted a few more interesting structures in China. One, Hill said, appears to be a weapons testing zone, perhaps for evaluating explosives. Elsewhere, a giant grid resembles a Yagi antenna array. Instruments like this can be used for any number of things, such as weather tracking, space weather tracking and high-altitude atmospheric research.

Hill noted that most of these structures are quite closer to each other. “I think we’re seeing some sort of military zone/test range, which explains the large amount of equipment and technology in an otherwise remote area,” he said. “Sometimes the truth can be just as interesting, if not more so, than the conspiracies that people come up with.”

Posted November 16, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

2 responses to “Strange structures in China spotted by Google Maps satellites

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: Baltų žinyčios vartai » Paslaptingi simboliai dykumoje skirti žvalgybos palydovams?

  2. Pingback: Building Paperclip Antenna

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: