The Raquel 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 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.
Raquel was a SIGINT mission targeted at EOB and technical intelligence.
These subsatellites were deployed directly from KH-9 Hexagon reconnaissance satellites. They used two solid-fuel kick-motors to maneuver themselves into their operational orbits after deployment.
At least one more Raquel satellites has been build, but have not yet been identified and might have not launched at all.
|Type / Application:||ELINT, SIGINT|
|Operator:||US Air Force (USAF)|
|Contractors:||Lockheed (bus); E-Systems (payload)|
|Power:||Solar cells, batteries|
|Orbit:||518 km × 532 km, 96.06° (#1); 620 km × 635 km, 95.83° (#2)|
|Raquel 1 (P-11 4429, Mission 7341, OPS 6239)||1974-085B||29.10.1974||Va SLC-4E||Titan-3D||with KH-9 9, S3 1|
|Raquel 1A (P-11 4432, Mission 7344?, OPS 7858)||1978-029B||16.03.1978||Va SLC-4E||Titan-3D||with KH-9 14|