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Document Creation Date: 
December 14, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 26, 2002
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August 22, 1961
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Approved For Release 201MCIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 11111111111111111111191R9IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIA CCM 1213 Copy." of / NRO REVIEW COMPLETED .ORANDUly, Y Acting Chief. DPD 1961 ECT: Evaluation of Present Satellite P *gran.* L. Attached is a paper entitled "Evaluation of present Reconnais- sance Satellite Program." It is the livid of a series of articles planned on this subject. These articles will be submitted whenever an urgent need exists or at an interval of approximately every six months. 2. This series of papers, I believe is needed to examine the progress the program has made to date and to enable us to extend our thinking beyond our present perimeters. In addition, they should act to solidify our aims and goats for the future. 3. Tie ideas for future operations expressed in these articles are written purely from an operational concept. Many of their, when examined by engineers sad technicians, may have to be discarded for one reason or another. kiowever, the mere tact that they were exan,ined and discussed may produce ideas which will greatly improve our present capability. If this goal is achieved then the purpose which motivated these articles has also been achieved. SIGNED Chief, Special Projects Branch, DPD Attschirent - I As noted above PD/SPB, (22 August 1961) Distribution: #1 Addee (w/att) 12 DPD/SPB (w/att) ,A1.3 - DPD/RI (w/att) SECRET Approved For Release 2002/09/03 : CIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 Approved For Release 2002/09/0.3._CIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 SFCRET UATION 0 RECONNAISSANCE SATELLITE le_ INTRODUCTION: rim present reconnaissance satel fte program tarries the code word CORONA. U is a program of high risk and rather high costs. Through 21 July 1961 the DISCOVERER program has supported sixteen CORONA missions. Eleven failed to launch, orbit, or rs-enter with recovery. Four were recovered with useable photography. One was recovered with a film transport malfunction. With each success proper evaluation e revisits enables as e our procedures aimed at giving as more useable film in the Interest. This evaluation also points out the shortcomings and Ions built into the present program. The need for a follow-on program and modifications to the existing program also becomes apparent. The desire to improve our techniques and planning a. well as to extend our thinking and eiterili11,0 our future needs are the motiva- ting factors behind the writing of thie article. IL PRESENT METHOD OF OPERATIONS AND LDAITA ? To place into orbit whenever vehicle allocations permit. r co sauce satellfte with the primary objective of obtaining photographic intelligence of the Soviet Union is the present method of operations for the CORONA program. This program is limited to the ephemeris progranirced for from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Another limitation is the ito combination of the C prime camera. The use of the C tripple prime camera is now programmed and if this instrument lives up to its expectations photography of a much more desirable resolution will be produced. However, la this connection the CORONA program is experteacing growing pains in its ability to provide minimum sun angles for each type of film exposed under certain conditions. Much additional work is needed in this field before mission planners can increase the &mown of useable product obtained during each mission. Approved For Release 2002/09/03 : CIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 Approved For Release 2002/09/03 : CIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 SECRET Limitations of obtaining desired orbital periods is saother area that is weak in the operational phase of the mission. Once better accelerometer controls are available this wealmeas will be erased sad as a result photography of more desirable scale will be obtained. At present the intelligence input for each mission is limited of interest within the USSR. This concept can very well over rea of interest and provide the intelligence community with ? than they can property evaluate. A more realistic approach assigning priorities to areas of interest with additional priorities assigned to individual targets within each area. If this proposal were adopted the over programming capability could be lased to a greater extent through the use of the pass selection capability. The present pass selection capability provides us with the moans of determining camera on.off decision atter the commander takes into consideration the recommendations of weather sad intelligence officers. For example, if there vas just enough film available to use on one pass, which would be selected? On Pass A there are three targets. They are assigned target numbers of 3, 47. and 44. On Pass 3 this targets are assigned numbers of II. 12. end 52. Here you can se. why more detailed study of the targets must be taken into account rather than Jest assigning them numbers. But I will admit that assigning them numbers is better than using the present system of limiting targeting to outliniag areas of Interest. As soonest the computer spitem , presently being installed Air Force Base for use by Weather Central, is completed it is d that more accurate and longer rugs forecasts will be avaUsbie. At preload long range forecasts are limited to a two day Even under the present method of operations this is d inadequate. As the state-of-the-art advances the used age forecasts will become more critical. Approved For Release 2002/09/03 : CIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 Approved For Release 2002/0M T-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 TS AN1 RQUZR.MNT8: Past history indicates that as ions as covert intelligence y le taken from reconnaissance satellites this Agency wtU Wain operational control of the vehicle. The advantage, pioneer coverage through the CORONA program are very y area of the world can be brought under the tense feed exists, without the great amount of coordination required to obtain political approvai for piloted aircraft flights. The philosophy of 'take say pictures you can sad be greatfal for any pictures you receive should be phasing out as the CORONA program moves from the development into the operational stage. la addition. the pioneer coverage can be used for producing flight plass whenever the more detailed photography of manned vehicle is desired. With these ideas in mind the following ideas are advanced: Establish a Need: This does not refer to the normal missions scheduled to et the availability of There and Agee**. Instead commit- meats be made to review at regular intervals selected areas throughout the world, and more important is the ides of maiutainies pre-cut mission tapes ea the shelf to be used whoa ever the requirement exists. This requirement is La reality an established need. To put this plan in operation the latsUlgonc. camnuuIty view the inter oval situation and predict areas of the are moat Likely to develop Into trouble areas. Areas country could benefit greatly from obtaining timely ic intelligence. These areas could then be forwarded rations Branch in time form of specific requirements. After the Operations Branch receives the specifics. pr areas and dates, detailed flight plans could be produced. These plans would We the midtime for computing sun angles and recommending launch limits in agreement with established policies governing recovery operations and thermal limits. Approved For Release 2002/09/03 : CIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 Approved For Release 2002/09/MDDP63-00313A000600170060-2 The west coast Deach Co-anander would be the plan through the use of as operations order sad paring standby directives; to provide the best launch, e most desirable orbital characteristics for the Chace the tapes are ctIli and the equipment trade such should be effective within a six to eight day the mission approval is obtained. flcbIlltLIat1en Angls To obtain some of this sew techniques sad .qdpme bably have to be developed. U we are to meet these meats action must begin now because of the great atriount of lead time required. As the defense csisbflLty of the USSR. improves or plaids of importance shifts from the Soviet Union to be to our advantage to launch our vehicles on as Inclination 45.50 degrees. U this requirement is a valid one then launching from Cape Caaaveral rather than Vandenberg Air recce Sas. will be necessary. Rang* safety problems created by Launching towards heavily populated areas will not allow au east- ward bunch from Vandenberg Air Force Boo.. Throat lircitattoas required to overcome the forces of the earth's rotation prevent a westward launch. 3ne solution would be to launch from a Florida site. Launching from this location will require a lot of planning sad coordiaatiou and it should begin at *ace. In addition. this effort, whatever is required. will be worthwhile because many of the troubled areas in the world are loaded within the latitude bead of 45 North to 45 South. It will also provide a launch capability throughout the year when sun angles. snow, and ice are a problem in the northern regions. The problem of location and composition of suitable recovery force* must be *aimed. La e The primary reason for delay would be the weather factors in the problem. As mentioned before the computer program should enable WECEI4 to supply as with better long range forecasts. U may also be necessary to delay launchings because of the presence of a solar flare. N-uch progress bay been made in forecasting these Approved For Release 2002/09/03 : CIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 ILLEGIB Approved For Release 2002/09/03 : CIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 SECRET phenomenon. Very accurate predictions should enable es to insure the recovery of payloads which previously would have been lost. However, detailed plans should be made with the other agencies to guarafttee the availability of launch facilities to support priority satellite reconnaissance missions. 4. La 1..ense-Film Combinations: To be an operational vehicle with worW-wide capibilitle. remeet for greater latitudes he sun angles, cloud hams, industrial smoke, and camouflage mast be met. vestigation into the advisability of employing color inn* a-red photography should be given immediate attention. Irarious type of film for es* over different areas of may provide the a1l$W417 to part of this problem. Again d for the development at a computer for use during an tion, that will help obtain better photography through the better sue angles And environmental conditions, should be given high priority. The need also exists to maintain in the inventory several different types of cameras and film which can be selected to provide the best photography at the least cost to Lit the intelligence requirement. ? it I...42mr_atts_l_c_ana ntrol: tiny operational more positive control of the camera must be made available to the commander. It is mandatory that an additional control station be completed in order that each pass can be individually controlled. In addition, it would be very advantageous to have in the system the option of selecting various portions of a pass rather than the pass is its entirety. 6. program moves towards a completely operational capability subject of satellite emergency war plan participation tut be given more consideration. Here we have a means. perhaps the only means at this time, of obtaining photographic record of any international conflict which may engulf the world. this thod will be denied us due to &ere. but if this were the case, other reconnaissancevehicles will be similarly affected. This subject opens 4111117 avenues to the large problem of supporting and operating this program during periods of tension or during armed conflict. Approved For Release 2002/09/03: CIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 Approved For Release 2002/09/03 : CIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2 DPD/SPB) (23 Aug 61) Approved For Release 2002/09/03 : CIA-RDP63-00313A000600170060-2