Sunday, July 28, 2013

NSA Utah Data Center

Not much publicly available on the cabling and emanations protection of the NSA Utah Data Center. Surely highly advanced measures are being applied.
Google Earth shows a couple of stages of construction, Bing Maps a couple more. AP has published a dozen or so hi-rez photos of construction.
A lot of earthwork was done to create a flat site on a mountain side (preceded by a small air field).
No indication of underground construction except pits and trenches under the buildngs. With none on the surface there must be trenches for power and signal cable.
No antenna have appeared on the site for transceiving data like those of other of its data gatherers, so presumably it is done by UG fiber optic (or antenna are hidden or remote).
Photos of construction progress of the two data buildings show windowless envelopes made of panels (which may conceal masonry or concrete walls) and flat roofs without various rooftop ductwork, grilles, piping and the like which appear on roofs of other NSA and TLA facilities which might emanate signal although not likely. (Some are littered with the stuff which might be decoy.)
Steel structural framing is shown at Utah despite its known transmittal of inadvertent signal, compared to say, reinforced concrete, metalized fabric or synthetics. although ample countermeasures are available.
The pairing of structures at Utah, two data centers, four generator buildings, paired AC arrays and fuel tanks, etc., show redundancy also not seen elsewhere.
Not much to see of protection against missiles and aerial attack but that is the same at other NSA facilities. Wonder what supports that confidence.
The odd bent shape of the site plan, with buildings not parallel to one another is intriguing. Could be aesthetic but may have another role, say to disperse richochet of inadvertent emanations.
Quite a few recent government buildings avoid the traditional rectilinear site planning of buildings long considered to be most cost effective and authoritarian. Some like NGA HQ, NSA Utah, NSA Hawaii and several at Ft. Meade look almost byzantine in layout, if not a shrewd design to limit echo, amplification, richochet, or best, to befuddle satellite peepers.

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