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How has commercial remote sensing influenced the framing of public narratives about nuclear programs and weapons of mass destruction? This article examines an early and formative case: In 2002, a Washington-based nongovernmental organization used commercial satellite images to publicly identify the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran. The episode helped inaugurate the 'Iran nuclear crisis' as we have known it since. But it also played a role in fomenting a commercial market for remote sensing, adjusting the role of 'citizen scientist' in the nuclear arms-control community, visualizing a new television journalism beat of 'covering the intelligence community', legitimizing a transforming role of nuclear safeguards inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency, and solidifying Iran's nuclear program as 'clandestine'. This article follows the images as they pass through these social worlds and examines how heterogenous actors incorporated remote sensing into their identities and commitments to global transparency.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Social studies of science
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Composition of images of EARTH or other planets from data collected during SPACE FLIGHT by remote sensing instruments onboard SPACECRAFT. The satellite sensor systems measure and record absorbed, emitted, or reflected energy across the spectra, as well as global position and time.
Uranium. A radioactive element of the actinide series of metals. It has an atomic symbol U, atomic number 92, and atomic weight 238.03. U-235 is used as the fissionable fuel in nuclear weapons and as fuel in nuclear power reactors.
Consultation via remote telecommunications, generally for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of a patient at a site remote from the patient or primary physician.
Observation and aquisition of physical data from a distance by viewing and making measurements from a distance or receiving transmitted data from observations made at distant location.
Plutonium. A naturally radioactive element of the actinide metals series. It has the atomic symbol Pu, atomic number 94, and atomic weight 242. Plutonium is used as a nuclear fuel, to produce radioisotopes for research, in radionuclide batteries for pacemakers, and as the agent of fission in nuclear weapons.