The Noah's Ark 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. 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.
Noah's Ark was a SIGINT mission targeted at ABM radars to collect technical intelligence.
This subsatellite was deployed from the propulsion rack of the Agena-D stage of a KH-7 Gambit-1 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); Applied Technology Industries (payload)|
|Power:||Solar cells, batteries|
|Orbit:||289 km × 387 km, 92.99°|
|Noah's Ark (P-11 4301, Mission 7304, OPS 4923)||1964-036B||06.07.1964||Va LC-2-3||Atlas-LV3 Agena-D||with KH-7 9|