The Rhyolite (later renamed to Aquacade, when the former name became public) are geostationary signals intelligence satellites. Their purpose was to intercept missile telemetry from the Soviet Union and China. Unlike the Canyon SIGINT crafts, they were positioned in geostationary orbit.
Prime contractor for the Rhyolite satellites was TRW, which was awarded the contract to build four Rhyolites in 1966.
The Rhyolite satellites were also known as Program 720 and Program 472. After the second launch, they were renamed Aquacade as the original name was leaked. They were succeeded by the Magnum / Orion series.
|Type / Application:||ELINT|
|Configuration:||~ 20 m Ø Dish Antenna, 3-Axis-Stabilization|
|Rhyolite 1 → Aquacade 1 (OPS 5346)||1970-046A||19.06.1970||CC LC-13||Atlas-SLV3A Agena-D|
|Rhyolite 2 → Aquacade 2 (OPS 6063)||1973-013A||06.03.1973||CC LC-13||Atlas-SLV3A Agena-D|
|Aquacade 3 (OPS 4258)||1977-114A||11.12.1977||CC LC-13||Atlas-SLV3A Agena-D|
|Aquacade 4 (OPS 8790)||1978-038A||07.04.1978||CC LC-13||Atlas-SLV3A Agena-D|