The Mabeli (Main Beam Tivoli) satellite was 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 or later on a rack on the KH-9 Hexagon reconnaissance satellite. 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.
Mabeli was a SIGINT mission targeted at ABM radars and technical intelligence. It suffered from degraded sensitivity in one receiver. It was still operational after 11 months in space, but it is unknown, how long Mabeli actually worked.
This subsatellite was deployed directly from a KH-9 Hexagon reconnaissance satellite. It used two solid-fuel kick-motors to maneuver itself into its operational orbit after deployment.
|Type / Application:||ELINT, SIGINT|
|Operator:||US Air Force (USAF)|
|Contractors:||Lockheed (bus); Electromagnetic Systems Lab (payload)|
|Power:||Solar cells, batteries|
|Orbit:||469 km × 547 km, 96.58°|
|Mabeli (P-11 4424, Mission 7339, OPS 7719)||1972-002D||20.01.1972||Va SLC-4E||Titan-3D||with KH-9 2|