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RM 20 (P72-2)

RM 20 (P72-2) [USAF]

RM 20 (Radiometer 20) was a low-altitude satellite in circular orbit carrying four experiments. Two of the experiments were to study radiation from the earth horizon. A third experiment was to observe solar extinction through the stratosphere, and the fourth was to study ionospheric radio propagation. The spacecraft experiment support equipment included a three-axis stabilization system and a tape recorder.

The main instruments were the highly complex RM-20A/B satellite sensors, which were intended to collect infrared target and background data while approximating several features of potential operational concepts. The RM-20A was a scanning instrument operating within two spectral regions with sophisticated onboard data processing such as automatic thresholding and field-of-view sectoring. The instrument was gimbaled and incorporated a passive thermal control system, and produced data at 1.024 Mbps. The RM-20B was a mosaic sensor operating in one selected spectral region. It was gimbaled to compensate for orbital and earth rotation and provided data at 512 Kbps.

Following experiments were on board:

  • UV Horizon (SAMSO-206)
    was to map the UV spectrum at Earth's horizon
  • IR Mapping (SAMSO-207)
    was to map the celestial sphere at infrared
  • Aerosol Monitor (ONR-123)
    was to measure the concentration and vertical distribution of aerosols in the stratosphere by observing the solar extinction
  • Wide Band Radio Propagation (DNA-002)
    was an experiment to investigate ionospheric radio propagation
Nation: USA
Type / Application: Experimental
Operator: USAF STP (Space Test Program)
Contractors: Rockwell International
Equipment: ?
Configuration: ?
Propulsion: ?
Mass: 204 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
RM 20 (P72-2) 1975-F03 13.04.1975 Va SLC-3W F Atlas-F Star-17A
Further STP missions: