Measurement & Signature Intelligence (MASINT)

MASINT is a relatively new addition to the "INTs." It was officially recognized by the Intelligence Community in 1986, and in 1992, it joined HUMINT, SIGINT, and IMINT as "one of the four main 'INTs.'" Also in 1992, the Central Masint Office (CMO) was established in DIA. Macartney, "MASINT," Intelligencer 10.2, 10-11.

Atkins, Don [LTC/USA], and George Crawford [MAJ/USAF]. "Reprogramming Brilliant Weapons: A New Role for MASINT." American Intelligence Journal 17, no. 3/4 (1997): 45-47.

"Brilliant" weapons are a technological step beyond precision-guided weapons, and will be more autonomous from direct human intervention. The authors argue that it will be up to MASINT collectors to provide "the signature data these brilliant weapons will use to detect and positively identify targets."

Bielecki, Ed. "MASINT: The Oldest 'INT.'" INSCOM Journal, Oct.-Dec. 1997, 12-14.

Includes an outline of the INSCOM MASINT organization.

Boyd, Susan, and Dale Helmer. "MASINT Spectral Data and Processing." Communique, Jun.-Jul. 1997, 13-14.

Dizard, Wilson P., III. "New Name for MASINT." Government Computer News, 18 Mar. 2008. []

"The intelligence agencies have renamed their MASINT program and will now refer to the recondite spy discipline as the Advanced Technical Exploitation Program (ATEP). The name change ... came to light in a sources-sought notice issued by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC)."

Fulghum, David A.

1 "Growing Intelligence Operation Focuses on New Types of Signals." Aviation Week & Space Technology, 2 Aug. 1999, 50-55.

2. "Sensors Combine Data, Plumb Hidden Details." Aviation Week & Space Technology, 7 Feb. 2000, 56-58.

Humphrey, Peter. "MASINT Frontiers." American Intelligence Journal 25, no. 1 (Summer 2007): 21-28.

The author offers a "tour de horizon" of the MASINT discipline, arguing that it is necessary to recognize and understand its potential to contribute to American national security. He suggests that the discipline might be "better defined as 'forensic espionage.'"

Lum, Zachary. "The Measure of MASINT." Journal of Electronic Defense, Aug. 1998, 43-48.

The author suggests that U.S. intelligence is about technical intelligence and that MASINT may soon become the leading source of technical intelligence for U.S. commanders. The DIA's Central MASINT Office (CMO) is extensively quoted.

Macartney, John.

1. "'John, How Should We Explain MASINT?'" Intelligencer 12, no. 1 (Summer 2001): 28-34.

Good question, good answer. This is longer and with considerably more detail than the earlier brief explanation below.

2. "MASINT." Intelligencer 10, no. 2, 10-11.

In a brief prepared for his students at American University, the author gives a useful explanation of MASINT.

Moore, William K. "MASINT: New Eyes in the Battlespace." Military Intelligence 29 (Jan.-Mar. 2003): 31-34ff.

The author deals with such matters as the importance of MASINT in identifying battlespace entities; the nature of tactical MASINT; and the benefits of MASINT to the field commander.

Morris, John L.

1. "MASINT." American Intelligence Journal 17, no. 1 & 2 (1996): 24-27.

Morris is Principal Deputy Director, Central MASINT Office (CMO), Defense Intelligence Agency. MASINT -- Measurement and Signature Intelligence -- "is technically derived intelligence that detects, locates, tracks, identifies, and describes the specific signature of fixed and dynamic target sources." These include "radar, laser, optical, infrared, acoustic, nuclear radiation, and radio frequency, spectroradiometric, and seismic sensing systems as well as gas, liquid, and solid materials sampling and analysis."

2. "The Nature and Applications of Measurement and Signature Intelligence." American Intelligence Journal 19, nos. 3 & 4 (1999-2000): 81-84.

The author is Director, Central MASINT Organization.

Richelson, Jeffrey T. "MASINT: The New Kid in Town." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 14, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 149-192.

"MASINT's history as a unified discipline is in its earliest stages. Clearly, its multitude of scientific techniques can be exploited to collect and exploit data relevant to key national security issues and requirements at both the strategic and battlefield levels. How well those techniques succeed in providing needed intelligence will be a function of both scientific ingenuity and management skill."

Richelson, Jeffrey T. "Unearthing Secrets: How the U.S. Digs up Intelligence on Underground Sites," C4ISR Journal 7, no. 7 (Aug. 2008): 28-30. []

The DIA established the Underground Facilities Analysis Center (UFAC) in 1997. UFAC "is staffed by representatives of the DIA's measurement intelligence and technical collection directorates; the Defense Threat Reduction Agency; NSA, and NGA." The United States continues to work on "technologies to study underground facilities in greater detail from the air and space and with seismic sensors." For example, in June 2006, DARPA awarded "a $3.13 million contract to help develop the Low Altitude Airborne Sensor System to be tested on low-altitude UAVs and manned aircraft. The system will employ passive electromagnetic, acoustic and gravity gradiometer sensing. DARPA is also funding the Airborne Tomography using Active Electromagnetics (ATAEM) program," which "focuses on developing an active electromagnetic system for airborne imaging of subsurface structures."

Sibbert, Daniel B. "MASINT: Intelligence for the 1990s." American Intelligence Journal 11, no. 3 (Summer-Fall 1990): 23-26.

U.S. Department of Defense. Inspector General. Evaluation Report on Measurement and Signature Intelligence. Report No. 97-031. Alexandria, VA: DoDIG, 1997.

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