Richelson, Jeffrey T. "From JAM SESSION to the PFIAB: Albert Wheelon and U.S. Intelligence." Intelligencer 20, no. 2 (Fall-Winter 2013): 23-31.
Albert D. "Bud" Wheelon died on 27 September 2013. Here, the author outlines Wheelon's role in the development of and direction of the CIA's DS&T.
Richelson, Jeffrey T.
1. "From Corona to Lacrosse: A Short History of Satellites." Washington Post, 25 Feb. 1990, B1, B4.
2. "The Future of Space Reconnaissance." Scientific American 264, no. 1 (1991): 38-44.
3. "The Keyhole Satellite Program." Journal of Strategic Studies 7, no. 2 (1984): 121-153.
4. "A 'Rifle' in Space." Air Force Magazine 86, no. 6 (Jun. 2003): 72-75. [http://www.afa.org]
On 12 July 1963, an Atlas/Agena D rocket from Vandenberg AFB placed the first KH-7 satellite in orbit 100 miles above the Earth. The satellite weighed about 4,500 pounds and carried "a camera system..., a single recovery vehicle in which ... film would be returned to Earth for analysis, and command and communications equipment." The images produced were "far sharper" than those from the existing Corona system, operating since 1960.
The KH-7 was "developed under a highly secret program code-named Gambit." The U.S. Air Force's "special projects office was responsible for delivering the finished satellite. However, a contractor team ... conduct[ed] the actual research, development, and production work. General Electric ... produced the spacecraft body, while Eastman Kodak ... develop[ed] the camera system. Lockheed was the integrator, responsible for putting together the whole package."
In four years of operation, there were 38 KH-7 launches. "[S]ome 19,000 frames of varying length,... 43,000 feet of film," were returned to Earth. "In contrast, the Corona satellites over their 12 years of operation ... return[ed] more than 800,000 frames." The KH-7 "was truly a close-look system. [Its] perigee (the point of the orbit on which a spacecraft comes closest to Earth) averaged 92 miles in altitude, although on one mission it came within 75 miles....The time on orbit was short -- on average 5.5 days and never longer than eight days."
The last KH-7 satellite was orbited on 4 June 1967.
5. "The Satellite Gap." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 59, no. 1 (Jan.-Feb. 2003): 49-54.
6. "Satellite in the Shadows." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 61, no. 3 (May-Jun. 2005): 26-33.
Rip, Michael Russell, and Joseph F. Fontanella. "A Window on the Arab-Israeli 'Yom Kippur' War of October 1973: Military Photo-Reconnaissance from High Altitude and Space." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1991): 15-89.
After about 15 pages of background on Soviet and U.S. photo-reconnaissance platforms and activities, the authors get down to their primary subject: the satellite and aircraft deployments made by the Soviet Union and the United States to cover the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. "The dimension of Soviet involvement can be ascertained by noting that within a three and a half week period, no less than seven photo-reconnaissance satellites were launched: a rate almost four times that observed for the rest of the year.... Additionally, ... Soviet-manned ... MiG-25R ... reconnaissance jet aircraft ... specifically performed high-altitude/high-speed photographic missions off the Israeli coastline and over the Sinai desert.... [I]t is practically certain that the US provided the Israelis with valuable IMINT and Sigint information during the 1973 conflict."
The authors go off into less well-grounded speculation (that orbits were modified to look at specific target areas does not prove their point) when they argue in favor of digital transmission of photographic imagery from KH-8 satellites. The authors fail to tie down with any precision the use of SR-71 aircraft to overfly the conflict area, relying too much on too many qualifiers to their argument. They also are on less than firm ground with their suggestion that U.S.-supplied tactical intelligence made possible the Israeli crossing of the Suez canal on 15 October 1973. However, the conclusion that "the 1973 Arab-Israeli war demonstrated that with their superior surge launch capability the Soviets certainly were at no tactical disadvantage with the US" is probably accurate.
Robinson, Clarence A., Jr.
1. "Commercial Satellites Bolster National Intelligence Imagery." Signal, May 1997, 21 ff. [http://www.us.net/signal]
2. "Vital Spy Satellites Protect National Security Interests." Signal, Apr. 1997, 40-43.
Robinson reviews the U.S. spy satellite program from the early days to the present, and notes the NRO's role in collecting and collating the imagery received from space.
Ross, William A. [LTC/USAF]
1. "Space Support to the Warrior: The Intelligence Professional's Responsibility." American Intelligence Journal 15, no. 2 (Autumn/Winter 1994): 72-76.
Ross concludes that "space warfare has arrived and DESERT STORM was the first space war." To make space work for the intelligence professional in supporting the warfighter "the military intelligence community needs to ... define space war fighting doctrine and vision and ... [develop] a robust and dynamic intelligence-wide training program."
2. "Space Support to the Warfighter." Military Intelligence 21, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1995): 23-25, 53.
"[T]he intelligence community has yet to develop a clear direction, policy, and doctrine regarding space application, system requirements, and training.... Desert Storm proved space-based capabilities are invaluable for threat warning and mission execution.... A significant lesson learned from Desert Storm is the criticality of operational electronic intelligence (ELINT) analysis.... MI professionals...currently lack the necessary tools and understanding to effectively support the warfighter with space intelligence."
Ruffner, Kevin C. "CORONA and the Intelligence Community: Declassification's Great Leap Forward." Studies in Intelligence 39, no. 5 (1996): 61-69.
Ruffner tells the story of the effort to prepare the materials released to the public on 23-24 May 1995.
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