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Nuclear site under construction in Iran: Janes produces ground-breaking data-driven study in partnership with Stanford

LONDON (7 July 2021) - Janes, the trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence, has worked in partnership with the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University, California; the global monitoring company BlackSky; and the data analysis company Orbital Insight to produce a comprehensive assessment of a nuclear site under construction in Iran using next-generation ‘structured observation management’ techniques.

In the Janes Intelligence Review study, the new site – a likely underground centrifuge assembly facility located southwest of Iran’s existing Uranium Enrichment Complex at Natanz – was analysed between mid-2020 and early 2021 to enable an assessment of the pace of construction.

The study applied next-generation ‘structured observation management’ techniques to enable large amounts of data to be collected and interpreted, and then processed as intuitive visualisations.

In this ground-breaking data-driven study, Janes has for the first time used high-cadence satellite imagery from BlackSky, notably ‘burst imagery’ that allows a rapid succession of intra-minute images to be spliced together as a single, video-style animation. Further collaboration with Orbital Insight provided AI-driven machine-learning software to enable the automated identification and processing of ground targets. The analysis was further enhanced by structured observation over time of road network construction and spoil piles.

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