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Pundit 1, 2, 3, 4 (P-11 4001, 4101, 4102, 4401)

Pundit 4 [NSA]

The Pundit 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 first P-11s had essentially nondirectional antennas and were intended to collect specific emitters, primarily to obtain textual content of the intercept data. These were directed-coverage missions, which included Pundit and Savant for on-pad and launch telemetry and Weston for radio teletype and voice content of the Soviet VHF and UHF point-to-point communications system.

The Pundit payloads were used to collect VHF missile telemetry.

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.

These subsatellites were deployed from the propulsion rack of the Agena-D stage of KH-4 Corona, KH-5 Argon and KH-7 Gambit-1 reconnaissance satellites. They used two solid-fuel kick-motors to maneuver themselves into their operational orbits after deployment.

The first three Pundit satellites featured the basic initial hexagonal bus powered by body mounted solar cells. Pundit 4 introduced an upgraded power system with additional errectable solarsolar arrays that were unfolded on orbit.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: ELINT, SIGINT
Operator: US Air Force (USAF)
Contractors: Lockheed (bus); Sylvania Electromagnetic Development Lab (payload)
Equipment: ?
Configuration: P-11 bus
Propulsion: Kick motor
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 108 kg
Orbit: 290 km × 568 km, 89.98° (#1); 312 km × 389 km, 64.52° (#2); 500 km × 547 km, 95.21° (#4)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Pundit 1 (P-11 4001, Mission 7301) 1963-042B 29.10.1963 Va 75-3-4 Thor-SLV2A Agena-D with KH-5 10
Pundit 2 (P-11 4101, Mission 7302) 1963-055B 21.12.1963 Va 75-1-2 Thor-SLV2A Agena-D with KH-4 26
Pundit 3 (P-11 4102, Mission 7303) 1964-F11 07.10.1964 Va PALC-2-4 F Atlas-SLV3 Agena-D with KH-7 12
Pundit 4 (P-11 4401, Mission 7309, OPS 6717) 1965-031B 28.04.1965 Va PALC-2-4 Atlas-SLV3 Agena-D with KH-7 17

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