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Full Version: NRO declassifies GAMBIT and HEXAGON spy sats
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Paolo
in the Earth observations forum... or sort of, it must be noted that yesterday the NRO declassified the KH-7 and -8 GAMBIT and KH-9 HEXAGON high resolution photographic spy sats of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
here you can find some pics of the "rolling stock-sized" KH-9 http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1568
and on the NRO sites you can find hundreds of declassified documents http://www.nro.gov/foia/declass/GAMBHEX.html
unfortunately, all imagery from orbit seems to be redacted at this time
ilbasso
An old friend told me once of visiting NPIC a long time ago and seeing one wall in a lobby decorated with a single HEXAGON photo which covered almost an entire country. You could see the overall mapping of the country from far away and walk up close to the wall and see airfields and individual airplanes in incredible hi-res.
Paolo
NRO has just declassified its experimental 1960s QUILL imaging radar spy satellite
http://www.nro.gov/foia/declass/QUILL.html
see in particular the sample images in the QUILL Lecture Transcript and consider that they were taken 15 years before JPL's Seasat and 25 years before Magellan!
rlorenz
QUOTE (Paolo @ Jul 10 2012, 02:34 AM) *
NRO has just declassified its experimental 1960s QUILL imaging radar spy satellite
...... consider that they were taken 15 years before JPL's Seasat and 25 years before Magellan!


Fascinating ! Don't forget there was radar sounding on Apollo 15 (which I think used similar curved mirrors to do the SAR processing optically), and radar scatterometry from orbit on Skylab. But QUILL predates those by almost a decade.

A quick look at the material (some rather redacted) suggests most UMSFers will be interested in the document 22,
the testing report by Goodyear, the radar instrument contractor
http://www.nro.gov/foia/declass/QUILL/22.%...-%20Testing.PDF

which has many example images. Unfortunately the reproduction quality is rather poor, but you can see that the radar worked pretty well...
rlorenz
QUOTE (rlorenz @ Jul 10 2012, 10:38 AM) *
a quick summary slide with example image

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