Yeah, but does the atmosphere mask/blur the heat signatures as viewed from space?ICBM's and aircraft afterburners are a special case since they are above a good portion of the atmosphere.
I started typing a response to this a few days ago, but when I started researching the IR bands that peak at temps where a cryo cooled sensor was needed it didn't make sense (too low for looking down). IR imagers just need temperature difference. Something can appear dark (cold) against a hotter background or vice versa. Was it Thomas Crown Affair where they fooled the IR security cameras by making the room 98.6F?
IR sensors are not the only thing that might benefit from LHe cooling, didn't they cool sensitive radio telescope receivers in LN to bring the background noise from the receiver down?
[...]But I've never heard of space based LHe that last longer than five years.
Any ideas when OTV-3 will land at VAFB? Or will the USAF push the limits onwards to allow the spaceplane to stay in orbit for two or more years?
Maybe it's waiting for the them to finish the paper work needed to change the landing site to SLF
OTV-2 Launch 03/05/11 and Land 06/16/12 = 469 daysOTV-2 Launch 12/11/12. 469 days will be as of 03/25/14.How long will she be up there.....Vegas odds are on longer than 469.
A secretive mission will pass a quiet milestone at the end of this month when the U.S. Air Forceís unmanned spaceplane the X-37B surpasses 500 days in space.Launched atop an Atlas V rocket flying in a 401 configuration from Cape Canaveral Florida after several delays on December 11th, 2012 on OTV-3, the X-37B has already surpassed its own record of 469 days in space set on OTV-2. Said milestone was crossed last month. If the current mission stays in space until April 25th of this year, it will have surpassed 500 days in space.Two X-37Bs were built for the USAF, and the first test mission flew in 2010. NASA performed drop glide tests with an early variant of the X-37A in 2005 and 2006, and DARPA is thought to be a primary customer for the program as well.Measuring just 8.8 metres in length, the X-37B is tiny compared to its more famous spaceplane cousin the U.S. Space Shuttle. The X-37B has a maximum weight at liftoff of 4,990 kilograms and features a payload bay 2.1 by 1.2 metres in size.
Was it really launched in 2012?What ever they where tweaking between flights, the must have finally tweaked it just right I think we should re-name it Goldilocks.
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Can this NOTAM for Vandenberg be related to X-37B landing?QuoteM0104/14 - RUNWAY CLOSED. 07 MAY 14:30 2014 UNTIL 07 MAY 23:00 2014. CREATED: 04 MAY 17:56 2014