NRO "Trumpet" visibilty

Robert Reeves (
Fri, 05 Sep 1997 06:16:12 -0500

This is the first time I have posted the same message to three different
mail lists, but I think it is relevant to each.

The latest Aviation Week speculates about the upcoming launch of the
National Reconnaissance Office "Trumpet" satellite into a Molniya-type
orbit.  What is fascinating about this is the possibility that this
satellite might sport a 300-foot diameter sigint antenna.  Does anyone have
any analysis on the visibility of such a structure?  It seems to me that
this monster could provide some real opportunities for routine binocular
viewing of an object at 20,000+ mile distances as well as some intersting
photo opportunities as it loops around the apogee of its eliptical orbit.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Robert Reeves                Home page
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