KH 11-8 found

bjorn@tt-tech.se
Wed, 10 Apr 1996 15:09:50 +0100

Allen,
 I guess you are a member of seesat-l, so you already know this,
and it's too late for your conference anyway.

KH 11-8
1 19625U 88 99  A 96100.00000000  .00004977  00000-0  56091-4 0    08
2 19625  97.9452 163.0822 0536195 346.5294 214.0067 14.74317898    07
88-99A has been calculated by Pierre Neirinck
1 19625U 88 99 A  96101.1156201   .00006553  00000-0  72091-4 0    00
2 19625  97.9310 164.1532 0539919 343.4394 014.6661 14.74337435    00
USA 116 search  15.0  3.0  0.0  4.6
1 23727U 95 65  A 95236.04494499  .00000200  00000-0  20565-5 0    00
2 23727  97.9150 349.1432 0536000 145.4015 214.5983 14.75389450    00

My USA 116 search orbit is based on the fact (?) that it was launched
when USA 86 orbit was over Vandenberg, and its perigee at about lat.10N !

So, if it is an operational replacement, chances are
it follows the pattern detected by Pierre :

Soon after an apogee raise by KH 11-8 (to MM=3D14.75) USA 86 trailed
KH 11-8 by 165 minutes. Then, USA 86 was raised to MM=3D14.76, so that
it started catching up on KH 11-8. When the separation dropped to 115
minutes, USA 86 was raised (decreased its MM by 0.02) to start reclaiming
the 165 minute gap. Next time KH 11-8 MM is decreased by 0.02.

This cycle takes about 3 months, and is followed by a 0.02 increase
etc ...., until it is time for another major reboost.

The observation on 4/4 by Rainer Kracht agrees with a major reboost
at about 8 am UT, since it was about 5 minutes early w.r.t. the new
elsets.

I found nothing else within +- 5 minutes to explain this observation.

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