Author Topic: Satellite signals intelligence in the 1960s  (Read 19471 times)

Offline gosnold

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Re: Satellite signals intelligence in the 1960s
« Reply #100 on: 08/01/2017 06:32 PM »
I co-wrote a second article about high-orbit SIGINT satellites:
https://satelliteobservation.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/history-of-the-us-high-altitude-sigint-system/

It's a chronology and draws quite a lot from Blackstar's articles, but also from some Snowden documents. I hope it's mostly correct, but information is hard to come by, so I welcom any comments or corrections.

If you read until the end, there is a gif of the whole constellation circling the Earth, it is an impressive sight.


Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Satellite signals intelligence in the 1960s
« Reply #101 on: 08/01/2017 07:38 PM »
Not to be picky, but what about WHITECLOUD and NOSS/INTRUDER satellites. Speaking of which, didn't see anything about them. They are definitely signit birds. Are you excluding programs that used MOLNIYA orbits? 
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Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Satellite signals intelligence in the 1960s
« Reply #102 on: 08/01/2017 07:44 PM »
Not to be picky, but what about WHITECLOUD and NOSS/INTRUDER satellites. Speaking of which, didn't see anything about them. They are definitely signit birds. Are you excluding programs that used MOLNIYA orbits? 

WHITCLOUD/PARCAE and NOSS/INTRUDER are not really high-altitude birds.

Offline gosnold

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Re: Satellite signals intelligence in the 1960s
« Reply #103 on: 08/01/2017 07:47 PM »
Not to be picky, but what about WHITECLOUD and NOSS/INTRUDER satellites. Speaking of which, didn't see anything about them. They are definitely signit birds. Are you excluding programs that used MOLNIYA orbits?

No, it's an article about high-orbit satellites, so the  NOSS/INTRUDER are out of scope. For LEO satellites, the "Wizard War in Orbit" series is really the go-to reference I think (along with the official SIGINT history). The links to both are at the end of the article.

Regarding molnya orbits, Trumpet and Jumpseat are mentioned, there's even an illustration of what Jumpseat might have looked like.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Satellite signals intelligence in the 1960s
« Reply #104 on: 08/01/2017 07:47 PM »
I think that Runway and Rainfall were code names for ground processing systems, NOT for the satellites.

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Satellite signals intelligence in the 1960s
« Reply #105 on: 08/01/2017 07:57 PM »
I think that Runway and Rainfall were code names for ground processing systems, NOT for the satellites.

In following text, RAINFALL is also interpreted as the ground station for Rhyolite.

http://nautilus.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/PG-SIGINT-Satellites.pdf

Offline gosnold

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Re: Satellite signals intelligence in the 1960s
« Reply #106 on: 08/03/2017 05:51 PM »
I think that Runway and Rainfall were code names for ground processing systems, NOT for the satellites.

In following text, RAINFALL is also interpreted as the ground station for Rhyolite.

http://nautilus.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/PG-SIGINT-Satellites.pdf

I re-read the doc and RAINFALL seems to be the name of the whole program (ground station + satellite).

Offline Jim

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Re: Satellite signals intelligence in the 1960s
« Reply #107 on: 08/03/2017 06:47 PM »
I think that Runway and Rainfall were code names for ground processing systems, NOT for the satellites.

In following text, RAINFALL is also interpreted as the ground station for Rhyolite.

http://nautilus.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/PG-SIGINT-Satellites.pdf

I re-read the doc and RAINFALL seems to be the name of the whole program (ground station + satellite).

either way, this wording is wrong:
"RHYOLITE (unclassified codename RAINFALL
CANYON program (also known by its unclassified codename RUNWAY

Offline gosnold

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Re: Satellite signals intelligence in the 1960s
« Reply #108 on: 08/03/2017 08:08 PM »
I think that Runway and Rainfall were code names for ground processing systems, NOT for the satellites.

In following text, RAINFALL is also interpreted as the ground station for Rhyolite.

http://nautilus.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/PG-SIGINT-Satellites.pdf

I re-read the doc and RAINFALL seems to be the name of the whole program (ground station + satellite).

either way, this wording is wrong:
"RHYOLITE (unclassified codename RAINFALL
CANYON program (also known by its unclassified codename RUNWAY

Ok. Do you see other points needing an update?

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