NROL-28 radio tracking

From: Ted Molczan (ssl3molcz@rogers.com)
Date: Thu Mar 13 2008 - 22:05:22 UTC

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "RE: NROL-28 radio tracking"

    Sven Grahn, one of our radio observing colleagues, has been monitoring NROL-28,
    now officially known as USA 200 (08010A / 32706), from Sweden.
    
    USA 200's radio frequency is similar to that of USA 184 (06027A / 29249), aka
    NROL-22 when launched in June 2006. USA 200's Doppler shift is consistent with
    an initial Molniya orbit similar to that of USA 184, per the search elements
    posted earlier:
    
    USA 200          0.0  0.0  0.0  3.7 v                 1117 X 37642 km
    1 71001U          08073.68144909  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    01
    2 71001  62.4000  39.5602 7090000 266.5070 180.0000  2.10000000    02
    
    This tends to confirm pre-launch estimates that the payloads of these two
    missions are identical. I believe that the NRO primary payload is SIGINT, and
    that it is host to two secondary payloads, which will remain permanently
    attached: the USAF's SBIRS HEO-2 sensor, used to detect and track missile
    launches using an infra red sensor; and TWINS-B, a small NASA magnetospheric
    research package.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
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