Author Topic: KH-11 KENNEN  (Read 91775 times)

Offline Hog

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #340 on: 12/24/2017 04:41 PM »
Well back of envelope for 1' resolution 8 bit grey-scale (Black and White) on 1 mile squared is ~27 gig. Each Kh-9 Strip was ~380 miles long, so for each mile of coverage you are looking at maybe 10 TB uncompressed.  With decent compression, maybe a 1/2 TB. It's jut mind boggling, 10 TB per mile.

I'm seeing that each frame shot by Hexagon could capture 370 nautical miles at a time, while each satellite was loaded with 60 miles of film..

https://www.wired.com/2012/08/cia-deep-sea-spy-sat/

Was there more film capacity as the program evolved?


Kevin, when I originally read your post, you wrote "Each Kh-9 Strip was ~380 miles long"  I incorrectly thought that you meant that each bird was loaded with approx. 380 miles of film, not that each "capture was approx. 380 miles long.
When I quoted your post and then added that the article whose link I provided, then stated that the article said that each "capture" was 370 miles, it appears that I was being nit-picky about your "approx. 380 miles" and the articles statement of 370 miles, when that wasn't my intention.  I was under the incorrect impression that you meant that each bird was loaded with approx. 380 miles of film, thus was triggered to ask "Was there more film capacity as the program evolved?"  I was confusing a "strip" of film, when you meant a "strip" of imaged landmass.

I apologize for my apparent "nit-picking" of your figures and while unintentional, would/could be aggravating just the same on your end. I dislike it when people do it to me, so I apologize doing it to you.  I do appreciate your and everyones input on such a fascinating subject.
Paul

Online Hobbes-22

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #341 on: 12/24/2017 05:00 PM »
Hog: is that image a photoshopped Hubble?

Offline Hog

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #342 on: 12/24/2017 05:16 PM »
Hog: is that image a photoshopped Hubble?
I "believe" it to be
Paul

Offline Star One

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #343 on: 12/24/2017 07:45 PM »
Hog where did that image with all the black blocks on it come from?

Offline Silmfeanor

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #344 on: 12/24/2017 07:55 PM »
Hog where did that image with all the black blocks on it come from?

It was a joke added to a presentation by Alan Dressler; it is Hubble with some black blocks on top of it.

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #345 on: 12/24/2017 07:56 PM »
Hog where did that image with all the black blocks on it come from?

It was a joke added to a presentation by Alan Dressler; it is Hubble with some black blocks on top of it.

Oh OK. Thanks for the clarification.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #346 on: 12/26/2017 02:55 PM »
Kevin, when I originally read your post, you wrote "Each Kh-9 Strip was ~380 miles long"  I incorrectly thought that you meant that each bird was loaded with approx. 380 miles of film, not that each "capture was approx. 380 miles long.
No problems.... This kinda stuff triggers the OCD in all of us ;)
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #347 on: 12/27/2017 05:47 PM »
Hog where did that image with all the black blocks on it come from?

It was a joke added to a presentation by Alan Dressler; it is Hubble with some black blocks on top of it.

Oh OK. Thanks for the clarification.

A little intelligence community humor there...Not a LOT, just a little. <rim-shot> :D
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Offline Jim

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #348 on: 12/28/2017 05:04 PM »

In fact, I have started to doubt that KENNEN or LACROSSE transmitted directly.  GRAB/Poppy required Presidential authorization to transmit over Russia, and all later Sigint satellites seem to have used recorders.  The AFSCN ground stations were all located far away from the Red Bloc so that LEO satellites would only be active when they were over the horizon from "hostile" tracking stations. Why should this radio silence policy have been abandoned for KENNEN?  Even if they used a directional antenna pointed up, there would be side lobes the Reds could tap. Why was there such secrecy about KENNEN images if the NRO didn't have absolute confidence in the security of the raw data? The alleged ground station at Fort Belvoir is also badly placed for direct relay.

So I suspect that KENNEN records its images over Eurasia, and plays them back later on the same orbit to an SDS loitering over Canada. The tape recorder isn't a backup, it is the standard method.


No, wrong on all accounts.

 Sigint satellites used recorders because they were in LEO and collected low amounts of data.  No need to complicate things by having to point to a relay sat.  Also, Sigints used ground station other than the AFSCN.

 There were no side lobes to exploit because the KH-11 used a frequency that could not penetrate the atmosphere as stated in some places.   It made the KH-11 look dead.

Molniya orbit makes no sense for a data relay if done in the western hemisphere.  Might as well use a GSO spacecraft.  The prime reason for Molniya orbit is for data relay while the spacecraft is over the Eurasian land mass. The relay sat would be in view of the ground station and KH-11 at the same time.

As for Lacrosse, do you think the GRO broken tape recorder was sufficient justification for the GUAM TDRSS ground station?

AFSCN stations were not located away from the Red Block.  They were located close to the equator and in friendly states.

AFSCN is a generic resource for launch, early checkout and maintenance.  It is not the primary ground stations (mission ground station MGS) for the data spacecraft generate.  Every satellite program has independent MGS's.  WGS, MUOS, GPS, SBIRS, etc have separate MGS's from the AFSCN. 

On October 15, 2008, the NRO declassified its three Mission Ground Stations: ADF-East, ADF-Colorado, and ADF-Southwest.   Also, some presence is noted at RAF Menwith Hill and Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap
« Last Edit: 12/28/2017 05:11 PM by Jim »

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #349 on: 12/28/2017 06:17 PM »
On October 15, 2008, the NRO declassified its three Mission Ground Stations: ADF-East, ADF-Colorado, and ADF-Southwest.   Also, some presence is noted at RAF Menwith Hill and Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap

NRO started out with ground stations elsewhere. The system evolved over time.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #350 on: 12/28/2017 07:52 PM »
On October 15, 2008, the NRO declassified its three Mission Ground Stations: ADF-East, ADF-Colorado, and ADF-Southwest.   Also, some presence is noted at RAF Menwith Hill and Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap

NRO started out with ground stations elsewhere. The system evolved over time.

Have the existence/missions of former ground stations been declassified?
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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #351 on: 12/28/2017 08:23 PM »
On October 15, 2008, the NRO declassified its three Mission Ground Stations: ADF-East, ADF-Colorado, and ADF-Southwest.   Also, some presence is noted at RAF Menwith Hill and Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap

NRO started out with ground stations elsewhere. The system evolved over time.

Have the existence/missions of former ground stations been declassified?

Yeah. But I think that it's a complicated story. There were several ground stations that supported both NRO and USAF satellites, but eventually the NRO pulled out of them and went to their dedicated mission facilities as Jim mentioned.

As an example, there was the Alaska station, the VAFB station, and the BOS station. Those were all vital for early command and control of CORONA reconnaissance satellites. The Alaska station, for instance, gave the command for de-orbiting the reentry vehicle.

I haven't followed the ground station development and evolution very closely, but I vaguely remember that even for some of them when they finally became "white" stations, they often had a back room for the NRO and it was not acknowledged. The very presence of an NRO mission at those facilities was classified. So the lines of responsibility and authority were always complex.

Offline satwatcher

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #352 on: 12/28/2017 09:40 PM »
S-band radio observations have shown USA 161 and USA 186 in ground locked states above Western Canada and Western Europe, indicating active control from ground stations within the area of visibility.

Offline gosnold

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #353 on: 12/29/2017 09:25 AM »
S-band radio observations have shown USA 161 and USA 186 in ground locked states above Western Canada and Western Europe, indicating active control from ground stations within the area of visibility.

Do you have a link on that?

Offline satwatcher

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #354 on: 01/01/2018 01:00 PM »
S-band radio observations have shown USA 161 and USA 186 in ground locked states above Western Canada and Western Europe, indicating active control from ground stations within the area of visibility.

Do you have a link on that?

No, this is from unpublished radio monitoring observations by myself. Bob Christy has a page on similar observations of STSS Demo http://www.zarya.info/Tracking/STSSDemo/STSSDemoTranspond.php

Offline Star One

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #355 on: 01/01/2018 02:11 PM »
I wonder if they are aiming to declassify stuff this year because the program might be fifty years old from its instigation. If we allow a reasonable development time before the first launch?

Offline hoku

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #356 on: 01/05/2018 05:55 PM »
Quarterly NRO FOIA release is out: http://www.nro.gov/foia/declass/OtherReleases.html

In the context of KENNEN, F-2017-0092 on the Optical Telescope Assembly (OTA) donated by NRO to NASA for the WFIRST mission might be the most interesting: "...
Exelis developed and built the hardware between the late 1990s and early 2000s
...
How much did the hardware cost? Approximately $275M.
...
Technologies include Exelis lightweight mirror, advanced structures, patented hybrid laminate technologies, and the Hexel/Exelis co-developed cyanate siloxane low moisture resin technology. Additional technical details include:

x 2.4m f/8 with < 20% Obstructed Aperture
x Field of View: 1.6 deg, as Cassegrain
x Wavefront Quality: < 60 nm, rms
x Stable, f/1.2, Lightweight ULE(TM) Primary Mirror
x Stable, Low CTE Composite and Invar Structures
x Actuated Secondary Mirror Positioning
x 1,700 kg mass, including Telescope and Outer Thermal Barrel
x 2 Flight Units Available, with Limited Parts for 3rd
...
"
http://www.nro.gov/foia/declass/ForAll/010418/F-2017-0092c.pdf
« Last Edit: 01/05/2018 06:02 PM by hoku »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #357 on: 01/06/2018 01:16 PM »
Interesting, from a 950km apogee, a 1.6 degree field of view gives a 26.5km (16 miles) ground radius, so up to 50km (32 miles) wide with a line sensor, or 37km x 37km (23x23 miles) with a 2d sensor.

Assuming it has silicon large enough to cover the entire FOV this provides some upper limits on wide area coverage.

At the 300km-ish perigee the area coverage would be much smaller, 1/3 the size.

Now, we just have to wonder how similar these mirrors are to the mirrors actually flying.
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Offline hoku

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #358 on: 01/06/2018 04:05 PM »
Interesting, from a 950km apogee, a 1.6 degree field of view gives a 26.5km (16 miles) ground radius, so up to 50km (32 miles) wide with a line sensor, or 37km x 37km (23x23 miles) with a 2d sensor.

Assuming it has silicon large enough to cover the entire FOV this provides some upper limits on wide area coverage.
...
"Wavefront Quality: < 60 nm, rms" hints that they were aiming for close-to-diffraction limited, high contrast imaging in the visible to infrared. At an observing wavelength of 800nm (~1/13 wave RMS), the diffraction limit of a 2.4m aperture would be around 70 milli-arcsec.

To fill a circular FOV with 1.6 deg diameter with Nyquist sampled pixel (2x2 pixel per 70mas*70mas), would require about 20 billion pixel. For comparison, the PanStarrs Gigapixel Camera #1 (GPC1), which had first light in 2007, has 1.4 billion pixel.

Thus I think it would have been difficult to fill the entire focal plane with "silicon" in the late 90s/early 00s (CMOS technology wasn't there, yet, and required data download rates might also have been prohibitive).

"Actuated Secondary Mirror Positioning" indicates that the observing strategy might indeed have involved some back-and-forth scanning. With two views of each ground scene, one could derive better 3D (height) information (as had been done on GAMBIT and HEXAGON).

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: KH-11 KENNEN
« Reply #359 on: 01/07/2018 02:24 AM »
Remember one of the issues cited as to why optical component of FIA was cancelled was they tried to do to many things with the optics. One can read that as they where trying to get both high resolution and wide area coverage. Maybe a few other things, a steerable secondary could also help reduce blur from ground motion in less than optional lighting conditions that required longer exposures (fantasy, but think night time imaging). That said, maybe the FOV is similar to Hubble with a couple of different sensors sharing it for different tasks. A high resolution sensor with smaller pixels matching the diffraction limited optics in the system and a wide area sensor (maybe a 1d line sensor) with larger pixels (lower resolution) that spans the width of the FOV. Pure speculation on my part. But something similar is done with Hubble.
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