Later satellites had larger mirrors, with a diameter of around 2. Also, there are indications that the satellite can take images every five seconds. The initial KH camera system offered frame and strip modes. Communication to and data downloads from KH satellites are routed through a constellation of communication relay satellites in higher orbits. A perfect 2.
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Operational resolution should be worse due to effects of the atmospheric turbulence. Not quite good enough to recognize a face". The secondary mirror is mounted on a hexapod to increase the side-viewing and ground scanning ability for the originally intended reconnaissance mission. Five generations of U.
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Block I refers to the original KH satellite, of which five were launched between 19 December and 17 November A new generation of clandestine communications satellites launched to inclined geosynchronous orbits have led to speculations that these are in support of Block V electro-optical satellites scheduled for launch in late NROL and NROL Based on the published hazard areas for the launch, an orbital inclination of 74 deg has been deduced for NROL This could indicate that NROL is targeted for a Type II Multi Sun-Synchronous Orbit ,  which would enable the satellite to study the ground at a range of local hour effects shadow direction and length, daily activities, etc.
The Misty satellite is believed to have been derived from the KH, but modified to make it invisible to radar , and hard to detect visually. The satellites are sometimes identified as KHs. Kampiles was convicted of espionage and initially sentenced to 40 years in prison. In , Morison was convicted in Federal Court on two counts of espionage and two counts of theft of government property, and was sentenced to two years in prison.
Nine KH satellites were launched between and aboard Titan -3D and D rockets, with one launch failure. For the following five satellite launches between and , a Titan IV launch vehicle was used. The two most recent launches in and were carried out by Delta IV Heavy rockets. The KH replaced the KH-9 film return satellite, among others, the last of which was lost in a liftoff explosion in All KH satellites launched between and are in either of two standard planes in Sun-synchronous orbits.
The constellation consists of two primary and two secondary satellites one primary and one secondary per plane. The orbital planes of the two primary satellites in the East and West plane are separated by 48 to 50 degrees. The orbital plane of the secondary satellite in the East plane is located 20 degrees to the east of the primary satellite, while the orbital plane of the secondary satellite in the West plane is located 10 degrees to the west of the primary satellite.
KH satellites require periodic reboosts to counter atmospheric drag , or to adjust their ground track to surveillance requirements. Based on data collected by amateur observers, the following orbital characteristics of OPS were calculated by amateur skywatcher Ted Molczan. The pictures, despite being taken with a inch aperture telescope from a range of kilometers, show major details such as dishes and solar panels, as well as some elements whose function is not known.
In April , the NRO assigned a " KH image of a Xian H-6 jet bomber operated by China.
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KH image of the Zhawar Kili camp in Afghanistan. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Archived from the original PDF on 26 January Retrieved 24 April The Space Review. Boland from William J. The Wizards of Langley. Westview Press, Boulder.
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Retrieved 2 June Richelson Keyhole Spy Satellite Program. Released by NRO on 7 March Hofmann 24 November National Reconnaissance Office. Defense News. Archived from the original PDF on 29 September Retrieved 8 September Washington Post. New York Times.
Encyclopedia Astronautica. The official said the problems were substantial and involved multiple systems, adding that U. An other source said the satellite had been described to him as "a comprehensive failure. In August the satellite has been declared a complete loss and will be allowed to decay from orbit. But when it became clear, that NROL would decay in March , the Pentagon decided to destroy the satellite to prevent larger parts reaching the earth.
Reportedly more the 80 parts of debris were detected.