Samos-F

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SAMOS-F or Air Force Program 102 refers to a series of SIGINT reconnaissance satellites launched and operated by the United States Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office during the 1960s. Initial priorities (in decreasing order) were to monitor Radar signals in the frequency bands 2.5-3.2 GHz (S-band), 9.0–10 GHz (X-band), and 59-650 MHz. The intercepted data and their location were stored on magnetic tape, and subsequently transmitted to tracking and acquisition ground stations. Tracking stations were located in the NE (New Boston, NH), Central (Ottumwa, IA), and NW (Ft. Stevens, OR) of the continental United States, with additional test sites at Vandenberg AFB, CA, and at Ka'ena Pt., Oahu, HI.[1] The satellites are also called Agena ferrets and heavy ferrets. Approximately sixteen heavy ferrets were launched into low Earth orbits from Vandenberg Air Force Base between February 1962 and July 1971 aboard Thor-Agena and Thorad-Agena rockets. Almost everything about these satellites remains classified.

Launch list[edit]

Name Alt name Launch date ID Mass (kg) Decay date Perigee (km) Apogee (km) Inclination
SAMOS F2-1 1962 Delta 1 1962-02-21 1962-004A 1000 1962-03-09 169 220 81.9
SAMOS F2-2 1962 Omega 1 1962-06-18 1962-024A 1500 1963-10-30 370 394 82.1
SAMOS F2-3 OPS-0180 1963-01-16 1963-003A 1100 1969-01-09 459 533 81.8
SAMOS F2-4 OPS-1440 1963-06-29 1963-027A 1500 1969-10-26 485 521 82.3
SAMOS F3-1 OPS-3722 1964-02-28 1964-011A 1500 1969-02-19 493 509 82
SAMOS F3-2 OPS-3395 1964-07-02 1964-035A 1500 1969-08-07 494 530 82
SAMOS F3-3 OPS-3062 1964-11-04 1964-072A 1500 1969-11-05 507 526 82
SAMOS F3-4 OPS-8411 1965-07-17 1965-055A 1500 1968-12-18 469 511 70.1
SAMOS F3-5 OPS-1439 1966-02-09 1966-009A 1500 1969-09-26 499 504 82
SAMOS F3-6 OPS-1584 1966-12-29 1966-118A 1500 1969-04-05 484 492 75
SAMOS F3-7 OPS-1879 1967-07-25 1967-071A 1500 1969-06-05 454 512 75
SAMOS F3-8 OPS-1965 1968-01-17 1968-004A 1500 1970-07-07 455 534 75.1
SAMOS F3-9 OPS-0964 1968-10-05 1968-086A 2000 1971-03-26 481 506 75
SAMOS F3-10 OPS-8285 1969-07-31 1969-065A 1500 1973-01-04 459 538 75
SAMOS F3-11 OPS-8329 1970-08-26 1970-066A 2000 1975-03-26 482 500 74.9
SAMOS F3-12 OPS-8373 1971-07-16 1971-060A 2000 1978-08-31 486 505 75

References[edit]

  • SAMOS F2 and SAMOS F3 from Gunter's space page
  • SAMOS from Jonathan McDowell
  • Dwayne Day, "Ferrets above: American signals intelligence satellites during the 1960s" International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 17 no. 3. p449-467 (2004)
  1. ^ "SAMOS LOCKHEED MISSILES AND SPACE DIVISION (MSD) SATELLITE SYSTEMS BRIEFING, PART II, THE SAMOS PROGRAM". SPACE AND MISSILE SYSTEMS ORGANIZATION AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND. 1959-09-14.