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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 45 (1961)

Issue: 1. (January)

First Page: 131

Last Page: 131

Title: Vela Uniform--Nation's Quest for Better Detection of Underground Nuclear Explosions: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Charles C. Bates

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Negotiations between the USSR, United Kingdom, and the United States have been in progress since 1958 in an effort to achieve a treaty for cessation of nuclear weapons testing under an effective control system. To support these negotiations, the President announced in May, 1960, a major expansion of the present research and development program, VELA UNIFORM, directed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency. The program's goal is to provide a markedly improved capability in detecting and identifying underground nuclear explosions during the coming two years. Starting as a $10,000,000 effort in the fiscal year just past, spending during the present year is at the rate of about $66,000,000, making the project the largest terrestrial science effort underway within the U. S. t the present time.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency, with the technical assistance of the Air Force's Technical Applications Center, is employing several approaches for rapidly improving the state of the art in subsurface nuclear test detection. These include a several-fold expansion of the effort going into basic seismological research; procurement of instruments for a world-wide seismic research program; development of improved seismic instruments; construction and operation of prototype seismic detection stations; and an experimental program of underground explosions encompassing both high explosive and, where necessary, nuclear explosions. Already in the program are such government agencies as the Department of Defense, Atomic Energy Commission, Department of Commerce, and Department of Interio , as well as universities and private organizations, both profit and non-profit. Provision has been made for investigation of all aspects of improvement considered feasible. To this end, unsolicited proposals bearing on such improvement from both profit and non-profit organizations, domestic and foreign, are invited. Outstanding unsolved problems include development of a better global knowledge of the layering of the earth's crust, a need for improved instrumentation and data analysis capable of markedly improving signal-to-noise relationships, improvement of techniques for distinguishing at great distances the differences between earthquake and explosion-induced seismic signals, and the providing of on-site inspection techniques that are much more rapid and economical than those existin today.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists