reconnaissance satellite

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Related to reconnaissance satellite: Surveillance satellite

reconnaissance satellite,

artificial satellitesatellite, artificial,
object constructed by humans and placed in orbit around the earth or other celestial body (see also space probe). The satellite is lifted from the earth's surface by a rocket and, once placed in orbit, maintains its motion without further rocket propulsion.
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 launched by a country to provide intelligence information on the military activities of foreign countries. There are four major types. Early-warning satellites detect enemy missile launchings. Nuclear-explosion detection satellites are designed to detect and identify nuclear explosions in space. Photo-surveillance satellites provide photographs of enemy military activities, e.g., the deployment of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). There are two subtypes: close-look satellites provide high-resolution photographs that are returned to earth via a reentry capsule, whereas area-survey satellites provide lower-resolution photographs that are transmitted to earth via radio. Later satellites have combined these two functions. Other satellites use radar to provide images of enemy activity when there is cloud cover or it is dark. Electronic-reconnaissance (ferret) satellites pickup and record radio and radar transmissions while passing over a foreign country. The United States, Russia (before 1991, the USSR), and other nations have launched numerous reconnaissance satellites since 1960.


See E. D. Conway, An Introduction to Satellite Image Interpretation (1997); P. Taubman, Secret Empire: Eisenhower, the CIA and the Hidden Story of America's Space Espionage (2003).

References in periodicals archive ?
Russia operates a network of about 60-70 military reconnaissance satellites, featuring updated imaging technology and an extended lifetime of up to seven years, according to open sources.
Earlier, in 2011, Turkey launched first domestic reconnaissance satellite RASAT.
The map above shows favorable passes by the still-functioning payload of Cosmos 1933, another reconnaissance satellite, which was launched on March 15, 1988.
Previously, in 2011, Turkey launched first domestic reconnaissance satellite RASAT.
The Corona reconnaissance satellite program receives attention without any reference to the Galactic and Radiation Background (GRAB) satellite, launched two months before the first successful Corona satellite to provide the first signals intelligence from space.
military reconnaissance satellite photographed a ship similar to the sunken ship when it was docked at a port near Shanghai, but it has not been confirmed that it is identical to the mysterious ship, despite detailed analyses, according to the officials.
18 that it had found via its reconnaissance satellite system an unidentified ship approaching waters near Amami-Oshima Island in southwestern Japan, the daily said.
The reconnaissance satellite system's ground antennas will be installed in Tomakomai in Hokkaido and Akune, Kagoshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan.
Corona, the world's first photo reconnaissance satellite, was able to collect images of the earth with two-meter resolution.
He balances his narrative between the highly technological aspects of the system and the human and bureaucratic factors that affected it and, more generally, the reconnaissance satellite program.
18 that it had spotted an unidentified ship approaching waters near Amami-Oshima Island via its reconnaissance satellite system, the daily said.
The first attempt to launch a reconnaissance satellite on board a Thor/Agena booster had come on January 21, 1959, before McCartney arrived in California.

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