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Fanion 1, 2 / Tripos 1, 2 (P-11 4402, 4406)

Fanion 1 / Tripos 1 [NSA]

The Fanion Tripos satellites were part of a series of so called Program 11 or P-11 "Subsatellite Ferrets", low orbit ELINT/SIGINT satellites to pinpoint and characterize different Radar emitters in the Soviet Union and Warsaw pact states.

The satellites were based on Lockheed's P-11 bus, which was designed to fit on the aft rack of the Agena-D upper stage. The bus contained each one or two focused payload black boxes and different antenna configurations according to payload, as well as deployable solar arrays. The satellite featured two solid rocket motors, which allowed them to rise and circularize their orbit after deployment from the host satellite. Both spin or gravity gradient stabilization was possible.

Fanion was a SIGINT mission targeted at EOB and Tripos was a general search SIGINT payload. Fanion derived a pencil beam from a Milss-Cross antenna pattern using two receivers and compared outputs. An accurate pointing angle measurements resulted when the satellite spun the crossing fan beams directly at the emitter. Tripos was the first pencil beam parabolic reflector antenna on the P-11 program.

These subsatellites were deployed from the propulsion rack of the Agena-D stage of KH-7 Gambit-1 reconnaissance satellites. They used two solid-fuel kick-motors to maneuver themselves into their operational orbits after deployment.

These satellites introduced a sun sensor and a horizon sensor to support their direction-finding capability.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: ELINT, SIGINT
Operator: US Air Force (USAF)
Contractors: Lockheed (bus); Sylvania Electromagnetic Development Lab (Fanion payload); Applied Technology Industries (Tripos payload)
Equipment: ?
Configuration: P-11 bus
Propulsion: Kick motor
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Orbit: 495 km × 506 km, 107.64° (#1/1); 466 km × 488 km, 94.02° (#2/2)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Fanion 1 / Tripos 1 (P-11 4402, Mission 7307/7308, OPS 6749) 1965-050A 25.06.1965 Va PALC-2-4 Atlas-SLV3 Agena-D with KH-7 19
Fanion 2 / Tripos 2 (P-11 4406, Mission 7317/7318, OPS 6874) 1966-083B 16.09.1966 Va SLC-4E Atlas-SLV3 Agena-D with KH-7 32

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