These Are The Doomsday Satellites That Detected The Explosion Of Russian Metrojet 9268

Discussion in 'U.S. Air Force' started by Technofox, Nov 30, 2015.

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  1. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

    Oct 8, 2015
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    These Are The Doomsday Satellites That Detected The Explosion Of Metrojet 9268


    For over 50 years the Pentagon has had early warning satellites in orbit aimed at spotting launches of ballistic missiles, especially the big intercontinental kind that can fly around the globe in less than 30 minutes and bring about nuclear Armageddon. Recently, these satellites have made news for their “secondary capabilities,” spotting the downing of Metrojet Flight 9268 and Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. These are the shadowy satellites that are capable of such amazing feats, and an idea of how they work.

    In 1960, at the height of the Cold War and at the dawn of the space age, the first Missile Defense Alarm System (MiDAS) satellite was launched into low earth orbit. Six years later there was a constellation of nine of these satellites roaming the heavens, each scanning the Soviet Union for large infrared plumes, the tell-tale sign of a ballistic missile or rocket launch.

    These fairly crude, low-earth orbit satellites, along with the radar-based Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, would be the basis for a Cold War ballistic missile surveillance system that would become ever more complex and capable as the years went by. If ballistic missile launches were detected and deemed a threat, the decision to retaliate would mean the National Command Authority making the call to do so within half an hour, an act that could bring an the end of humanity’s reign on Earth, permanently.

    Defense Support Program Early Warning Satellite

    The first really reliable and full coverage space-based ballistic missile early warning capability came with the launch of the first Defense Support Program(DSP) satellite in 1970. These new satellites were much more capable than their MiDAS predecessors.

    Early DSP satellite design was relatively straight forward, with the satellites’ spinning around their center axis while in geosynchronous orbit. This allows their telescopic infrared sensor to continuously sweep an area of the planet in a relatively brief amount of time, around six times in one minute. If something were detected, the information would immediately be data-linked to controllers on the ground at the 460th Space Wing located at Buckley AFB in in Colorado.

    A total of 23 of these satellites have been launched over the program’s life,with constant upgrades made along the way. A DSP satellite was launched by the Space Shuttle on STS-44 in 1991, and the last one was launched by a Delta IV Heavy in 2007. Most famously, the Defense Support Program constellation of satellites were used to detect launches of SCUD missiles during Operation Desert Storm.


    Although many DSP satellites are still in service today, the next generation of infrared ballistic missile early warning satellites has arrived and is called Space-Based Infrared System, or SBIRS (pronounced “sibbers”)for short. This vastly upgraded capability is based around two types of satellite payloads, the main geostationary orbit type has two-sensors instead of one, a scanner and a step-starer.

    SBIRS GEO-2: Launched as part of USA-241 on 19 March 2013


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    @Admin is there any circumstance that posting the whole article would be acceptable? I noticed people truncating their posts, I assume this is to avoid copy-write infringement, but are there instances that we can post the whole article. I've re-posted/shared content from Foxtrotalpha before, they've never been bothered so long as the article/content is linked back to its original source (which I always do, as noted with the hyperlinked title).

    I'm also aware that some websites like Janes, Defense News and a few others are more picky and will seek to enforce their content rights, but I avoid posting anything from them anyway. Your rules/take?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
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  2. Admin

    Admin Captain Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 3, 2015
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    You can post whole articles if you believe that they allow you to do so or if you have permission. AMF is obliged to delete content if people come after us for copyright infringement and we are obliged to notify people not to post copyrighted material. I have to look into the topic more because there are several factors that can get us busted including whether or not we discouraged copyright infringement, if we are removing copyrighted material when requested to do so, and if we are gaining financially as a result of infringing copyright etc.

    I will probably make it where when we people signup to the forum they agree that they will not post any copyrighted material and that any material posted is assumed to be either the posters original work or that the poster has permission from the original creator to use the material. I will then have a thing saying that if you see your copyrighted work on the site to contact the site admin via the contact form to ask for the content to be taken down. I think if we move forward like this we will be okay.
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  3. Patriot1776

    Patriot1776 2nd Lieutenant

    Nov 11, 2015
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