The Weston 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 Weston COMINT payload was sophisticated version of the Aftrack payload Opporknockity. Although tested before flight from aircraft, the communications signals it collected were still troubled by interference. Nevertheless Weston did produce useful data.
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.
This subsatellite was deployed from the propulsion rack of an Agena-D stage, which launched a number of small satellites. It used two solid-fuel kick-motors to maneuver itself into its operational orbits after deployment.
|Type / Application:||SIGINT, COMINT|
|Operator:||US Air Force (USAF)|
|Contractors:||Lockheed (bus); Haller/Raymond/Brown Division of Singer (payload)|
|Power:||Solar cells, batteries|
|Orbit:||442 km × 477 km, 69.65°|
|Weston (P-11 4407, Mission 7313, OPS 1807)||1969-082A||30.09.1969||Va SLC-1W||Thorad-SLV2G Agena-D||with Poppy 8A, Poppy 8B, Poppy 8C, Poppy 8D, Timation 2, Tempsat 2, SOICAL Cone, SOICAL Cylinder, NRL-PL 176|