CENSIS Cooperation Project on the Extension of the Open Skies Treaty as a Contribution to European Security - Political Perspectives and Technical Options

supported by the Volkswagen-Foundation, Hannover, FRG.

Publications and Reports related to Open Skies
Open Skies Treaty Documents

Brief on the Open Skies Treaty

In this project we study the problems and options related to an extension of the Open Skies Treaty. The questions of additional membership, enhanced fields of application and inclusion of multispectral sensors are analyzed from a political, legal and technical point of view. Particular emphasis is put on the potential of multispectral sensors and image processing to military transparency and environmental monitoring.

The investigation is carried out by a cooperation of Prof. Dr. Pál Dunay, Budapest (international law and foreign relations), and the remote sensing group of the Center for Science and International Security in the University of Hamburg CENSIS). The contribution of CENSIS has been focussing on the acquisition and analysis of multispectral aerial imagery for arms control verification and environmental monitoring.

In particular the following items are being addressed:

  • Analysis of the overall contribution of the Open Skies Treaty to European security on the background of other political frameworks and rapidly changing conditions.
  • Experience with treaty implementation and questions of ratification.
  • Political and legal preconditions and implications of including additional states as parties of the Treaty.
  • Political and legal steps to be taken in order to extend the application of the Treaty to additional fields, in particular environmental monitoring and desaster monitoring. Legal provisions to be made for opening the access of information to non-state actors.
  • Evaluation of the potential of hyperspectral imagery for Open Skies applications based on analysis of the data taken by the CENSIS group and literature studies.
  • Specification and recommendation of a multispectral scanner for an enhancement of the Open Skies Treaty.

Publications and Reports related to Open Skies:

  • Hartwig Spitzer
    Open Skies Update
    Verification Technology Information Centre (VERTIC), London, Trust & Verify, No. 153, Summer 2016, pp.6-9
    [External link: www.vertic.org/media/assets/TV/TV153.pdf, 572 KB] (last accessed July 13, 2016)

  • Hartwig Spitzer
    Begrenzte Transparenz - Open Skies-Flüge und die Beobachter der OSZE in der Ukraine
    Wissenschaft und Frieden (W&F), Bonn, 4/15, November 2015, pp.38-40
    Text [External link: www.znf.uni-hamburg.de/media/documents/peacebuilding/spitzer-open-skies.pdf, 117 KB] (last accessed June 24, 2016)

  • Hartwig Spitzer
    Open Skies: transparency in stormy times
    Verification Technology Information Centre (VERTIC), London, Trust & Verify, No. 146, 2014
    Text [External link: www.vertic.org/media/assets/TV/TV146.pdf, 873 KB] (last accessed June 24, 2016)

  • Hartwig Spitzer
    Open Skies in turbulence, a well functioning treaty is endangered by outside developments
    Security and Human Rights 2011, No.4, pp.103-112
    Text [.pdf 86 KB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer
    Open Skies Review
    A report on the second Review Conference of the Treaty on Open Skies, 7-9 June 2010
    Trust & Verify 130, July-September 2010, Verification Technology Information Centre VERTIC, London
    Text [External link: www.vertic.org/assets/TV/TV130.pdf, 883 KB]

  • Leonie Dreschler-Fischer und Hartwig Spitzer
    Wie vertrauenswürdig sind Satellitenbilder im Netz?
    Wissenschaft und Frieden (W&F), Bonn, 4/09, 2009, pp.54-57
    Text [.pdf 259 KB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer
    News from Open Skies - A co-operative treaty maintaining military transparency
    Verification Technology Information Centre (VERTIC), London, VERTIC Brief no.8, Feb 2009, 16 pp.
    Text [.pdf 1.0 MB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer
    Open Skies in Europe, North America and East of the Urals and Hints for Missile Verification
    Presentation at the Third Meeting of the Multilateral Study Group on the Establishment of a Missile Free Zone in the Middle East/Gulf Region Berlin, 23 June 2008.
    Text [.pdf 1.77 MB]

  • Gordon Petrie, Hartwig Spitzer
    Open Skies - Aerial Observation to Help Prevent Conflicts Between Countries
    GEOInformatics July/August 2007, pp24-29.
    Text [.pdf 609 KB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer
    The Open Skies Treaty: Entering full implementation at low key
    Hamburg, Helsinki Monitor, Vol.17, No.1, 2006 pp. 83-91, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leienen/Boston
    Text [.pdf 71 KB]

  • Open Skies flight allocations 2006
    as decided by the Open Skies Consultative Commission on 24 October 2005
    Text [.pdf 18 KB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    A rare example of Euro-Atlantic accord: The Open Skies Review Conference 2005
    Hamburg, 16 February 2005, unpublished
    Text [.pdf 17 KB]

  • Ernst Britting, Hartwig Spitzer:
    Der Open Skies-Vertrag: Stand und Perspektiven
    aus G. Neuneck, Ch. Mölling (Hrsg.): Die Zukunft der Rüstungskontrolle, Baden-Baden 2005
    Text [.pdf 129 KB]

  • Pal Dunay, Marton Krasznai, Hartwig Spitzer, Rafael Wiemker, William Wynne:
    Open Skies
    United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), Geneva, 318 pp., January 2005, ISBN 92-9045-164-5
    Text [External link: http://www.unidir.org/files/publications/pdfs/open-skies-a-cooperative-approach-to-military-transparency-and-confidence-building-319.pdf, 4.1 MB]

  • Ernst Britting:
    Beitrag zur Vorlesungsreihe Mensch.Macht.Frieden.
    in der Universität Hamburg, 20. Januar 2005
    Text [.pdf 221 KB], Folien [.pdf 1.4 MB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    Der Vertrag über den offenen Himmel – Stand und Perspektiven
    in IFSH (Hrsg.) OSZE Jahrbuch, Baden-Baden 2004
    Text [.pdf 133 KB], Tabellen [.pdf 54 kB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    Open Skies: Implementation and Perspectives,
    Presentation at a book launch seminar, United Nations Institute for Disarmament (UNIDIR), Geneva, October 2004
    [.pdf 2.6 MB]

  • Ernst Britting, Hartwig Spitzer:
    Flying below the clouds
    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July/August 2002, p.5 and p.68.

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    Spähen mit Gespühr
    Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Juni 2002, pp.105-106.

  • Ernst Britting, Hartwig Spitzer
    The Open Skies Treaty
    in: Trevor Findlay and Oliver Meier (eds.), Verification Yearbook 2002, VERTIC, London, 2002, pp.223-238, ISBN 1-899548-35-1.
    [.pdf 123 kB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    Hörfunkmanuskript, NDR 4, Streitkräfte und Strategien, August 2001

  • Hartwig Spitzer, Rafael Wiemker:
    Perspectives for Open Skies: Technical, Operational and Political Aspects
    Fourth International Airborne Remote Sensing Conference and Exhibition, Ottawa, Canada, vol. I, pp. 27-34, 1999.
    [.ps 0.9 MB] or [.pdf 0.5 MB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    Zum Stand des Open Skies Vertrages - Januar 1998
    Hörfunkmanuskript, NDR 4, 23. Januar 1998

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    Offener Himmel über Bosnien - Politische Perspektiven und technische Optionen
    Wissenschaft und Frieden, 4/97, p.57-59, 1997
    [.pdf 15 MB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    Potential of the Open Skies Regime and Sensor Suite for Environmental Monitoring,
    Proceedings of the Third International Airborne Remote Sensing Conference and Exhibition, Copenhagen, July 1997, vol. I, p.9-16. ERIM, Ann Arbor 1997.
    [.ps 50 KB] or [.pdf 70 KB]

  • Rafael Wiemker, Hartwig Spitzer:
    Änderungsdetektion auf multispektralen Luftbildern - Perspektiven für den Open-Skies-Vertrag
    in J. Altmann, G. Neuneck (Hg.): Naturwissenschaftliche Beiträge zu Abrüstung und Verifikation, Verhandlungen der Fachsitzung auf der 60. Physikertagung der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft in Jena 1996, S.138-151. FONAS/DPG, Hamburg 1996.
    [.ps 2.0 MB] or [.pdf 1.0 MB]

  • Rafael Wiemker, Hartwig Spitzer:
    Brief on the Open Skies Treaty,
    in M. Krepon, K. Khoja (eds.): Handbook of Confidence Building Measures for Regional Security, H.L.Stimson Center, Washington 1998.
    [.html] or [.ps]

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    New developments in Open-Skies (June 1997),
    in "Trust and Verifiy", VERTIC, London 1997
    [.html] or [.ps 52 KB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    Open Skies over Bosnia (June 1997),
    [.html] or [.ps 77 KB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    Open-Skies Update (September 1997),
    in "Trust and Verifiy", VERTIC, London 1997

  • Hartwig Spitzer, Rafael Wiemker, Anja Speck, Johann Bienlein:
    Robuste unbeaufsichtigte Änderungsdetektion auf Multispektralbildern für Monitoring-Anwendungen im Rahmen des Open-Skies-Vertrages
    in J. Altmann, G. Neuneck (Hg.): Naturwissenschaftliche Beiträge zu Abrüstung und Verifikation, Verhandlungen der Fachsitzung auf der 61. Physikertagung der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft in München, March 17-21, 1997. FONAS/DPG, Hamburg 1997, in print.
    [.ps 6.8 MB] or [.pdf 3 MB]

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    The Open Skies Treaty: A Cooperative Approach to Confidence Building and Verification
    in D. Schroeer, A. Pascolini (eds.): The Weapons Legacy of the Cold War - Problems and Opportunities, p. 163-176, ISBN 1-85521-945-X, Ashgate, Aldershot 1997.

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    Perspektiven für einen Offenen Himmel - Erfolge, Blockaden, Chancen
    Hörfunkmanuskript, NDR 4, 4. April 1997

  • newspaper clip on OPEN SKIES
    seminar in Sarajevo, February 1997

  • Hartwig Spitzer:
    The Open-Skies Treaty as a tool for confidence building and arms control verification,
    in: Proceedings of the 18th ISODARCO Summer Course: The Weapons Legacy of the Cold War - Technical problems and opportunities, Certosa di Pontignano, Siena, Italy, 29th July - 8th August 1996
    [.ps 0.1 MB]

  • Johann K. Bienlein:
    Das Europäische Satellitenprojekt,
    Wissenschaft und Frieden, 1/96, S.60-61, 1996.
    [.pdf 7 MB]

  • Christian Drewniok, Carsten Schröder, Harald Lange, Leonie Dreschler-Fischer:
    Automatisierte Bildauswertung als Hilfsmittel zur Verifikation,
    in: U. Kronfeld, W. Baus, B. Ebbesen, M. Jathe (Hrsg.), Naturwissenschaft und Abrüstung - Forschungsprojekte an deutschen Hochschulen, S.46-69, Lit Verlag, ISBN 3-89473-598-8, Münster 1993.

Two of the authors (R. Wiemker, left, and H. Spitzer, right) during the American Open Skies test flight in Hungary, Tököl airfield near Budapest, October 1996.

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Impressions from OS Review Conference, 14-16 February 2005, Vienna, Austria.