Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What is WB Quad?

This document reporting NSA travel paid for by outside organizations shows that CSEC sponsored a visit by an NSA "Project Director" from 19 to 21 August 2013 for a "Site Survey for WB Quad System" (see page 9).

I have no idea what the WB Quad System is, but the same document shows that GCHQ hosted NSA personnel to install the same system at Cheltenham in May 2013 and that the Norwegian Intelligence Service had it installed at Honefoss in September 2013.

Honefoss (Google Maps image here), also known as Eggemoen, is clearly a satellite monitoring site, although it also hosts a NATO satcom antenna, so the WB Quad System may have something to do with satellite monitoring.

No satellite collection is conducted at Cheltenham, however, so if the system was indeed installed there and not at one of GCHQ's actual monitoring sites, then it may be related to the processing of material rather than its collection.

The Ottawa visit was much shorter than the installation visits to the U.K. and Norway, and it was by a "Project Director" rather than technical personnel, so it may have been intended to assess the possibility of installing the WB Quad system at CSEC, or perhaps to plan for its installation.

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