About satellites in 50 degree orbits

From: Marco Langbroek via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2018 23:45:13 +0100
I have been thinking about the odd 50 degree orbit for Zuma.

One possibility was just now further reinforced by reading:

https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/76xx/doc7691/01-03-spaceradar.pdf

(with big Hat Tip to _at_CosmicPenguin on Twitter who brough that publication up
just now as an argument that Zuma might be a radar sat, convincing me that the
idea was viable).

...was that a satellite in such an orbit might serve for Ocean Radar
surveillance of shipping.

Think about surveillance for ships suspected of illegally ferrying weapons or
breaking embargoes to various hot-spots and that kind of stuff: weapons to
Syria, and North Korean weapons exports and oil and coal imports, etcetera.

Such ships usually switch off or fake their transponders to avoid detection, and
might go into strict radio silence - but Space-Based Radar would show where they
really are, even when the ships would not emit radio signals (which otherwise
would be picked up by NOSS).

A 50-degree orbit is such that with orbital altitudes of 900 km, you basically
cover all Ocean surfaces except the high Arctic: it covers 60N to 60S.

- Marco


-----
Dr Marco Langbroek  -  SatTrackCam Leiden, the Netherlands.
e-mail: sattrackcam_at_langbroek.org

Cospar 4353 (Leiden):     52.15412 N, 4.49081 E (WGS84), +0 m ASL
Cospar 4355 (Cronesteyn): 52.13878 N, 4.49937 E (WGS84), -2 m ASL
Station (b)log: http://sattrackcam.blogspot.com
Twitter: _at_Marco_Langbroek
-----
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Received on Wed Jan 10 2018 - 16:46:06 UTC

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