Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

North Korea: Satellite photos, Ambassador visit delayed

Other stuff first: Or, Why humor is closer to truth

Satire, and Satire and a rant which doesn't add up--the only way we can "keep up" is if we read the press that "isn't covering the story." Blog! One more reason why Kings and Court jesters are superior to democracy. -- At least they know how to get at the truth, unlike the farce judicial system in the US.

Editorials can be educational; and signs that America is the last place you want to go for timely, accurate, or reliable information. More, and More.

Problem with missile-blast theory

"The interesting thing is that we could detect sound waves from the Ryongcheon blast, but there were no sonic waves detected this time," Lee Hee-il, head of the Korea Earthquake Research Center, told Yonhap. Ref

However, the blast-detection system is designed to detect nuclear events; it is possible that a non-nuclear event would not be detected. It remains to be understood how a non-nuclear event [rail explosion] was detected, but another was not.

The sensitive but simple detection system, which officials say can pinpoint the source of a nuclear blast by noting when the pressure wave arrives at each microphone, also routinely detects giant space rocks that slam into Earth's atmosphere, vaporizing and producing a similar pressure wave. Ref

What remains unexplained is how a small object like a meteor would be detected, but an earth-moving event in Korea would not be detected. Given the ability to detect a meteor, it is problematic that there was no seismic wave detection despite blasting and effort at a level that would otherwise be detected.

Converting Richter scale to Equivalent Tons TNT

Some of the reports in the media here, which spoke of a mushroon cloud, also said the explosion triggered an earth tremor that measured 2.6 on the Richter scale.

The oscillation-detections were in terms of Richter-scale indicated a 2.6 Ref, or over 4.6 Tons of TNT Ref Which begs the question, why is North Korea, if they are making a dam, using 4 times the explosive tonnage of what is normally used to create a dam? Ref, raising the prospect that the North Koreans are actually making tunnels for a new missile. Ref. [Curiously, this is the same amount of explosives that went missing in 2002, Ref [4.6 tons of explosives are missing]; Size of 4-tons of explosives.

4 tons of TNT is about 1 ton of C4; and when we consider new propellants, the size of the explosive is much smaller to generate the effective 4-Ton yield, or 4 X [4.184 X 109Joules]

Yonhap said the explosion appeared to be stronger than an April 22 rail blast which killed more than 150 people near the border with China

This means, going by the Ricter scale alone, that the explosion exceeded the 800 Tons of TNT-equivalent at the railstation, well withing the scope of possibility for a missile explosion. Thus, we are left where we began, which stage of which missile has an equivalent 4 TNT yield when it accidentally explodes? Answer: NoDong missile, with a 12,912kg payload [28,693lb], or 14.3 Tons, 3 Times the expected value of 4-5 Tons.

Is it possible that the NoDong missile exploded, but created an effective yield of only 1/3 the expected value; or what is the method to subtract the non-explosive compoentent from the total NoDong missile weight to arrive at the total-effective explosives available. Recall, that 1-ton of explosives is not the same as the weight of the rocket since the effective strenght depends not on weight but on the fuel.

However, the NoDong missile has only 1-stage; this implies that somethingn 1/3 the size of the NoDong exploded. This makes sense considering the missile is not made up 100% of TNT-by-weight, but is both another chemical-liquid other than TNT, and the total explosives is less than the weight of the cannister around the propellant. Fuel converter.

Determine the total mass of each element in the NoDong missile

Find the most likely weight of each of the 4 elements in the NoDong missile, and then do a 100% burn on that volume of chemical. This will help identify whether the 4 elements when combined would reasonably create a 2.6 rating on the Richter scale when detonated in a mishap.

For sake of bounding the numbers, let's look at the equivalent of 4Tons of TNT in terms of each of these 4 elements, assuming each is 100% of the fuel:

Fuel TM-185   Equivalent of 4 Tons of TNT

20% Gasoline = 146,071.6454159 gallons
of aviation gasoline

80% Kerosene = 135,347.3980309 gallons
of kerosene type jet fuel

Oxidizer AK-27I
27% N2O4
73% HNO3
Iodium Inhibitor
Propellant Mass (kg) 12,912

The intersting thing about Gasoline and Kerosene, is that they're basically the same physical size per output of energy; so this means we could assume they're the same for purposes of our "propellant weight to TNT" conversion. But, the one problem we run into is to convert not the weight of the fuel, but the number of moles.

So the question becomes, "whats the ratio of fuel to Oxidizer" to yield 12.9K pounds?

C8H18 [Gasoline] + _______ [Kerosene] + N2O4 + HNO3 = 12,912 pounds Ref the Chinese weights.

st Gas to Kerosene ratio is 1:4 Converter

See calculation methodology at Example 5 [page 17/53]

Note there is no reference to "missile-tunnel digging" or "creating a new silo for a new missile" as a speculated explanation.

1 pound TNT (dynamite) would create 1 micron (one-millionth of a meter) of total horizontal displacement of a Woods Anderson Torsion Seismography at a distance of 100 km. This 1 micron/1pound TNT/100 km relationship Richter defined as a "Magnitude "0" Quake. Richter also recognized from actual studies that to create a 10 micron displacement at 100 km distance, it would take 30 pounds of TNT; so energy released increased at a rate of 30x while wave size increases on a factor of 10x (a logarithmic scale) for horizontal displacement; so: 30 pounds TNT produces a 10 micron record 100 km distance and is known as a Magnitude 1; 900 pounds of TNT produces a 100 micron at 100 km distance and is known as a Magnitude 2 ref Chart Chart Magnitude vs Explosives Distances lightning bolt Scale

Issues to consider

If the amount was greater than 6,000 Tons of TNT, then there is a problem; the existing senses should have detected this explosion. Ref

  • How many equivalent tons of TNT was involved in the North Korean "dam building" explosion?

  • If the amount of equivalent TNT used at the North Korean site was greater than 6,000 tons why was this explosion not detected?

  • What other events exceeding the design parameters of the detection system are also not going to be detected?

  • Why is a meteor entering the atmosphere detectable with seismic waves, but a "dam project" is not detectable?

  • 800 Tons of TNT corresponds to 3.6 on the Richter scale. Ref. Could there be a military-munitions-failure-explosion at a level that is below 6,000 TNT level, and below the level of the exploding train at Ryongchon, and is also not detectable with the existing wave sensors?

  • Is the seismic-wave-detection pattern consistent with such a construction effort?

  • What is the threshold TNT detection level on the existing seismic-wave detection systems that cover North Korea? Ref

  • Satellites

    They're comparing maps of different regions. Here they compare to another.

    Inconclusive results; weather to explain the cloud; are they sure they're looking at the right spot; another? map.


    Meanwhile, overcast skies continued to thwart an assessment of the explosion site by satellite photography. Pictures from a South Korean satellite were of little help in trying to assess damage in the area or give clues to the cause of the blast. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute said it would try again today. The area is too far inland for reconnaissance flights to photograph the area.
    The United States has satellites that can penetrate cloud cover and is said to be exchanging data with South Korea. North Korean defectors and Chinese residents near the border had little or no information to offer. Ref

    Confirmed: Hole in the dam theory

    Confirmation the region is not conducive to a dam:

    Dam experts say that the region of the explosion is a mountainous area with little rainfall, which is an inadequate choice for a dam site Ref

    Confirmed: Location

    Map "On Sept. 8, we detected seismic waves coming from a place far away from Ryanggang Province, and on Sept. 9, we detected more signs of an explosion from all over Kim Hyong-jik County. Ref "

    Speculation: What happened

    Speculation that a missile involved at these coordinates.

    The initial visit is delayed

    Usually a sign of progress is when things are going well and visits are occurring. One strategy is to announce 'we're open,' and then later delay with changes and details. North Korea originally looks good for being "open," but then when "the details" come out, the world focus has shifted. The on-site inspection of the explosion-site was going to happen, but there are "delays".

    the British ambassador to North Korea, who is known to have scheduled a visit to the site of the explosion in Kim Hyong-jik County with the permission of North Korean authorities, is finding his visit being delayed as itinerary discussions drag on ref

    Forthcoming satellite analysis

    Looks like fire on the ground? Analysis to follow; another helpful approach; here's a baselines> survey.. Mark your calendars for October 27-29 for Conference -- guess what they'll have as a special topic.