|The Fourth Echelon OPSAT|
|Official Name||OPerational SATellite Uplink|
|Type||Experimental Military-type PDA Device|
Third Echelon (previous versions)
|Used By||Fourth Echelon operatives|
|Notable User||Sam Fisher|
|Appearances||All Splinter Cell games|
- "Details on your OPSAT."
- ― Irving Lambert
The main interface between a Fourth Echelon operative and their data, the OPSAT is a smaller version that can access and link to the Strategic Mission Interface. The OPSAT can be used to transmit data to mission handlers, connect to Optic Cables, display objective markers, reveal Dead Drops, and much more.
The OPSAT can provide a lot more than mission updates and data saves. It can provide streaming video from either the wired-in Optic Cable, or via the wireless Sticky Camera. The functional nature also allows the user to pick up data sticks (it isn't mentioned whether these are Sony's Data Sticks or some other Flash Memory/card chips) to read through. The most notable is that the OPSAT also has an ambient noise/sound sensitivity meter that tells how much noise Sam (or the environment he is operating in) is making, and a light visibility indicator that tells Sam how visible he is to his enemy. Splinter Cells must take note that certain cameras and enemies can see them if they're using night-vision detection.
The OPSAT version in Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow was a Sony Ericsson and contained all the previous features as the first OPSAT version, but featured a brand new display and user interface. The second version provided bright text on a green background, it also has slightly better graphics as shown by the photos downloaded.
The OPSAT in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory added the 3D map feature, able to use satellite scans to show the current building the user is in, as well as showing enemy locations and objective locations.
In Splinter Cell: Double Agent, the OPSAT also serves as a database on the intelligence Splinter Cell operatives are able to collect on their enemies and/or informants for later reference. Such intelligence includes their biographies, any criminal records, prior activities and employment, combat abilities, etc. When operatives acquire documents with any such pertinent data, they are able to use the OPSAT to download said data into its storage files, making the OPSAT an ideal investigative tool for storing and analyzing intelligence.
The OPSAT can also be used to download data directly from a computer into its files, which it accomplishes by hacking into secure data storage databases. The OPSAT normally accomplishes this through the cracking of key codes, which it must accomplish within a short time frame to avoid the risk of triggering local alarms. Third Echelon added a new feature to the OPSAT called the "SATCOM", which provides an aerial view of the user's current location, including location of hostiles and their status, in real-time. The SATCOM can also analyze hostile movement patterns that leads them to being tagged as actively moving or not. However, the SATCOM cannot refresh an image while the user is mobile, the user has to stop and wait for half a second to get the intel properly. The OPSAT also indicates how much the organization (JBA and NSA) trust him, shortly before the the Cruise ship being blown up by Red Mercury, Sam is given option to boardcast the jamming signal via the OPSAT or not. Events like this will have impact to the story and the amount of the trust from both sides, OPSAT can calculate the amount of the trust Sam will gain or loss.
Because of the story of Double Agent, the NSA cannot support Sam the way it used to be; thus the OPSAT is considerably more important to Sam than the previous installments.
The OPSAT is not actually used during the gameplay sections by Archer during the cooperative campaign, however it is seen on the Splinter Cell agents during the single player sections. The OPSAT is red, but is never mentioned during the game nor is it even seen being used.
After Third Echelon was disbanded, the newly formed Fourth Echelon initiative introduced a new version of the OPSAT. It was modified by Fourth Echelon technical specialist Charlie Cole and was calibrated to work with the Strategic Mission Interface (SMI) located on the C-147B Paladin. The OPSAT is used to hack electrical devices (such as phones), control Predator (UAVs), transmit data and much more. Originally, the OPSAT was going to have a feature that allowed players to call in airstrikes, but was removed from the final game (see Trivia for more).
- Alarm/Alert system - The OPSAT also has an alarm system, that will wake a sleeping Splinter Cell (this is mentioned in the first book of the Splinter Cell novels, written by David Michaels). The "alarm" is a T-shaped rod that protrudes from the OPSAT, the device rocks back and forth on the wrist of the sleeping Splinter Cell, nudging the pulse and awakening the agent. Sam Fisher describes it to be "similar to a device that he saw in a James Coburn film", at first he thinks it too stupid of an idea, until he uses a similar device himself.
- 3D map - The OPSAT featured a 3D map in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Splinter Cell: Double Agent that displayed real-time information regarding enemy guard locations, ally locations and objective locations. The Chaos Theory version could be confusing as its mostly black and while and there are no details about what area the player is currently at, the Double Agent version has full-color version that also includes guard locations.
- Throughout the games, Sam Fisher is also known to use different mobile devices in addition to the Palm in the first Splinter Cell game. Sam used a Sony Ericsson in Pandora Tomorrow, but it is unknown what brand Sam was using in Chaos Theory. However, in Double Agent, he used a Nokia to unlock safes.
- The interface for the OPSAT that Sam and Briggs use in Splinter Cell: Blacklist is the same as the SMI's interface, as Charlie Cole said at the start of the game - think of the OPSAT as a "SMI-lite".
- Originally, the OPSAT in Splinter Cell: Blacklist was going to feature the ability to call down airstrikes from above, however, this was removed during development. The feature can be seen during the E3 trailer for the Insurgent Stronghold mission (the older version is drastically different than the newer version).
- The OPSAT appears in one form of another in every Splinter Cell title to date.
- In Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, accessing the OPSAT happened in real-time, meaning the player would have to access it in secure or safe areas or risk being spotted by an enemy guard.