Author Topic: KH-11 KENNEN  (Read 59050 times)

Offline Star One

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KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #40 on: 04/13/2014 08:45 PM »
This business with the images of it taken by that gentlemen & linked to up thread, all seems to have gone very quiet on that front, I wonder if we can we draw any conclusions from this lack of news on the issue?
« Last Edit: 04/13/2014 08:49 PM by Star One »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #41 on: 04/13/2014 10:17 PM »
This business with the images of it taken by that gentlemen & linked to up thread, all seems to have gone very quiet on that front, I wonder if we can we draw any conclusions from this lack of news on the issue?

No. Why would you draw any conclusions from the lack of anything happening?

He put some stuff out in public, it got discussed, then people moved on to other issues. Until some event happens that stirs up the pot again, things will probably remain quiet.

Offline Star One

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #42 on: 04/14/2014 09:55 AM »

This business with the images of it taken by that gentlemen & linked to up thread, all seems to have gone very quiet on that front, I wonder if we can we draw any conclusions from this lack of news on the issue?

No. Why would you draw any conclusions from the lack of anything happening?

He put some stuff out in public, it got discussed, then people moved on to other issues. Until some event happens that stirs up the pot again, things will probably remain quiet.

Going by this thread it appears there were requests made to him at the time for further data on the matter, as far as I can see there doesn't seem to have been any outcome on that at least in public.

Offline Hoonte

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #43 on: 04/14/2014 09:57 AM »
Is there a succesor to KH-11?

Offline Blackstar

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #44 on: 04/14/2014 11:04 AM »

Going by this thread it appears there were requests made to him at the time for further data on the matter,

Why don't you ask him?

Offline Star One

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #45 on: 04/14/2014 12:08 PM »
His website hasn't been updated in over ten months, he looks to be no longer active online.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #46 on: 04/14/2014 12:55 PM »
Is there a succesor to KH-11?

NASA has two new optics that where supposed to go on the now canceled successor ;)

FIA-I (Future Imaging Architecture -  Imaging) was supposed to be a new generation replacing the current block of KH-11's (though there is some debate if they are still called KH-11, you see some claims the late 80's major upgrade is called KH-12, you also have the "MISTY" mystery).

The KH-11* replacement contract has since been handed from Boeing (FIA-I) back to Lockheed. They managed to build and launch two KH-11's* from leftover parts. What they are doing to meet future needs is up to debate, but Lockheed is believed to be working on a new generation. If it is a new design or an upgrade to the KH-11* remains to be seen. 

I think the answer will come out when the NRO next places something in the KH-11's traditional orbit. If it doesn't use a Delta IV Heavy, it is something new.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2014 12:59 PM by kevin-rf »
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Offline Star One

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KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #47 on: 04/14/2014 01:12 PM »
Is there a succesor to KH-11?

NASA has two new optics that where supposed to go on the now canceled successor ;)

FIA-I (Future Imaging Architecture -  Imaging) was supposed to be a new generation replacing the current block of KH-11's (though there is some debate if they are still called KH-11, you see some claims the late 80's major upgrade is called KH-12, you also have the "MISTY" mystery).

The KH-11* replacement contract has since been handed from Boeing (FIA-I) back to Lockheed. They managed to build and launch two KH-11's* from leftover parts. What they are doing to meet future needs is up to debate, but Lockheed is believed to be working on a new generation. If it is a new design or an upgrade to the KH-11* remains to be seen. 

I think the answer will come out when the NRO next places something in the KH-11's traditional orbit. If it doesn't use a Delta IV Heavy, it is something new.

I wonder where the giant unfolding telescope design that DARPA are prototyping that can see something like 40% at one time fits into this.

http://www.wired.com/2013/12/giant-folding-satellite/

But to answer your question I suppose the easy option is just to keep evolving the KH-11, it's not like they can shrink it much as its design is restricted by the need for a telescope of a certain size.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2014 01:16 PM by Star One »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #48 on: 04/14/2014 02:47 PM »
But to answer your question I suppose the easy option is just to keep evolving the KH-11, it's not like they can shrink it much as its design is restricted by the need for a telescope of a certain size.

I believe FIA-I was supposed to launch on an Atlas and not require the Delta IV Heavy. It also used a 2.4m primary.

In my book, that means they have shrunk the mass of required support equipment without shrinking the optics.

Things like lighter spacecraft bus, electronics, controls, maybe switching from Hypergolic  to Ion propulsion, switched from magnetic to solid state data storage, lighter sat com link, more efficient solar panels, electronics that require less power thus smaller panels, ect...

While all of those could be evolutionary upgrades, it could also result in a redesign.
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Offline Star One

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KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #49 on: 04/14/2014 03:04 PM »
But to answer your question I suppose the easy option is just to keep evolving the KH-11, it's not like they can shrink it much as its design is restricted by the need for a telescope of a certain size.

I believe FIA-I was supposed to launch on an Atlas and not require the Delta IV Heavy. It also used a 2.4m primary.

In my book, that means they have shrunk the mass of required support equipment without shrinking the optics.

Things like lighter spacecraft bus, electronics, controls, maybe switching from Hypergolic  to Ion propulsion, switched from magnetic to solid state data storage, lighter sat com link, more efficient solar panels, electronics that require less power thus smaller panels, ect...

While all of those could be evolutionary upgrades, it could also result in a redesign.

I would wonder though how many of these would already feature on the KH-11. I find it hard to believe that the last two at the very least in the series would still be using magnetic storage.

I can see what you are driving at. For comparison though resolution wise they aren't as capable the WorldView satellites can use Atlas & that must make them cheaper to launch & on top of that WorldView 3 cost $650 million whereas the KH-11 are alleged to cost $1.2 billion a time. In both cases I am not sure if those costings include launcher cost.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2014 03:10 PM by Star One »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #50 on: 04/14/2014 03:14 PM »
In my book, that means they have shrunk the mass of required support equipment without shrinking the optics.

They lightweighted the optics for FIA. Go back and read some of the stuff that came out when the donation of the optics was offered. I think that was discussed here. They apparently shaved a lot of mass off of them too.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #51 on: 04/14/2014 03:19 PM »
I wonder where the giant unfolding telescope design that DARPA are prototyping that can see something like 40% at one time fits into this.

Probably not at all.

I've been talking to some people who are really familiar with DARPA. Understanding how DARPA works and how they pick projects is kinda like understanding Eastern philosophy--it's weird stuff, very Zen. Essentially, a lot of what DARPA does is not clearly connected to any military requirement, and even when it is successful it doesn't lead to anything directly but might create some odd offshoot. Sometimes it is directly related to a requirement, but often it's just some neat idea that somebody has and they have gotten people to fund it (and those funders might change their minds after a couple of years). In fact, I've been surprised at the number of very knowledgeable people that I've met (in other words, retired senior military and civilian officials who worked in R&D) who are rather negative about DARPA and think that it often focuses on the wrong projects and wastes money.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #52 on: 04/14/2014 06:31 PM »
In my book, that means they have shrunk the mass of required support equipment without shrinking the optics.

They lightweighted the optics for FIA. Go back and read some of the stuff that came out when the donation of the optics was offered. I think that was discussed here. They apparently shaved a lot of mass off of them too.

I think mass everywhere... The technology has greatly changed since the KH-11 program launched. I was just pointing out I think they saved a large amount of weight without reducing the optical quality (size resolution). While some things have not changed (size of optics, reaction wheel masses) other things have moved on (Battery tech, composite structures, lighter weight and lower power electronics, mass storage if it even uses it (they do have SDS),switching the propulsion system on many satellites from hypergolics to Ion).

Personally, when you look at the mass of the KH-9/KH-8 and then remove all the film and special film hardware I always had a problem with why is the KH-11 so heavy. Yes part of it is the larger and heavier optics but there has to be more. Is part of it due to it going to a much higher orbit (needing a larger rocket) and living longer (thus needing more propellant)? Or is there additional hardware not on the previous generation that added a fair mass penalty?

To be fair, MOL which was in the same weight class was to have a heavier light weight 1.8m telescope, a gemini capsule, and a space station to boot....

I just think this is one case where improvements in technology have led to them being able to reduce the launch mass of the satellite without compromising the data returned or size of the optics. So is it evolution or a new design.

Here's to all of us still being here and your continued good health when they get around to declassify this system.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2014 06:33 PM by kevin-rf »
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Offline Star One

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KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #53 on: 04/14/2014 06:58 PM »
In my book, that means they have shrunk the mass of required support equipment without shrinking the optics.

They lightweighted the optics for FIA. Go back and read some of the stuff that came out when the donation of the optics was offered. I think that was discussed here. They apparently shaved a lot of mass off of them too.

I think mass everywhere... The technology has greatly changed since the KH-11 program launched. I was just pointing out I think they saved a large amount of weight without reducing the optical quality (size resolution). While some things have not changed (size of optics, reaction wheel masses) other things have moved on (Battery tech, composite structures, lighter weight and lower power electronics, mass storage if it even uses it (they do have SDS),switching the propulsion system on many satellites from hypergolics to Ion).

Personally, when you look at the mass of the KH-9/KH-8 and then remove all the film and special film hardware I always had a problem with why is the KH-11 so heavy. Yes part of it is the larger and heavier optics but there has to be more. Is part of it due to it going to a much higher orbit (needing a larger rocket) and living longer (thus needing more propellant)? Or is there additional hardware not on the previous generation that added a fair mass penalty?

To be fair, MOL which was in the same weight class was to have a heavier light weight 1.8m telescope, a gemini capsule, and a space station to boot....

I just think this is one case where improvements in technology have led to them being able to reduce the launch mass of the satellite without compromising the data returned or size of the optics. So is it evolution or a new design.

Here's to all of us still being here and your continued good health when they get around to declassify this system.

This is just a guess of sorts but it wouldn't surprise me if the KH-11 was declassified before older systems in other reconnaissance areas are. Electro optical reconnaissance sometimes seems to be coming more & more common, just look at the number of countries and companies with these kind of capabilities, something that only looks set to increase in the next decade. Plus the capabilities of these other players appears to be increasing possibly coming close to matching the KH-11.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2014 07:16 PM by Star One »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #54 on: 04/15/2014 01:03 AM »
I think the NRO recognizes a benefit from letting everyone think that everything is space is NASA and spy satellites are a handful of these mysterious optical things. Keeps the eyes away from everything else they do. After all they only operate 4, well currently  5 KH-11*'s compared to all the other platforms they run. So while every one including the kid down the block is popping them into orbit, keeping them under wraps helps keep people from thinking about the other systems.

So I am not holding my breath...   
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Offline Star One

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #55 on: 04/15/2014 07:14 AM »

I think the NRO recognizes a benefit from letting everyone think that everything is space is NASA and spy satellites are a handful of these mysterious optical things. Keeps the eyes away from everything else they do. After all they only operate 4, well currently  5 KH-11*'s compared to all the other platforms they run. So while every one including the kid down the block is popping them into orbit, keeping them under wraps helps keep people from thinking about the other systems.

So I am not holding my breath...

I am not sure their classified status really effects this or not.

If you asked the typical person on the street what is satellite reconnaissance you can bet nine out of ten people would say photo reconnaissance. That has I suspect a lot to do with television and films which nearly always portray it that way. It's always some tech person calling up a picture of the bad guy at the drop of a hat.;)

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #56 on: 04/15/2014 11:58 AM »
If you asked the typical person on the street what is satellite reconnaissance you can bet nine out of ten people would say photo reconnaissance.

True, and at least 9, maybe 11 out of 10 do not know that any of them have been declassified, or are even on display.

But they do know what Hubble looks like, and think they all look like Hubble and act like a giant zoom lens.
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Offline Star One

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #57 on: 04/15/2014 01:38 PM »

If you asked the typical person on the street what is satellite reconnaissance you can bet nine out of ten people would say photo reconnaissance.

True, and at least 9, maybe 11 out of 10 do not know that any of them have been declassified, or are even on display.

But they do know what Hubble looks like, and think they all look like Hubble and act like a giant zoom lens.

Well in this case they allegedly do look rather like Hubble.;)

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #58 on: 04/15/2014 02:41 PM »
In a Danny Devito sort of way.

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Offline Hog

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #59 on: 04/16/2014 05:19 PM »
Are you saying that KH-11 is shorter and fatter than Hubble in appearance?  Similar to a Devito Schwartezenggar comparison? (Twins)

Serious question.  I have heard that US photo-recon satellites can read a typical North American license plate(or tag from certain parts of USA), so could the letters "JM 57" be read?  If that is true, what "unit" of resolution would that optic have?

A step further, do you beleive that there are current assets that can read the license "sticker" that is located on the upper right corner plate which is shown in the photo of the back of my 1957 Chevrolet.

The entire license plate measures 15.2cmx30.4cm (6x12 inches)
Each letter of that plate measures 2.5cmx7.6cm (1x 3inches)
The sticker on the upper left side measures 3.2cmx4.4cm (1.25x1.775 inches) It reads "13 Aug"


« Last Edit: 04/16/2014 05:25 PM by Hog »
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