John Clark wrote:
> > Orbiting hundreds of miles above the earth the 15 tonne KH-11 [...] It can monitor
> I very much doubt it.
The actual text JR posted was that it can monitor phone conversations,
which it can do for any network that uses any sort of wireless or RF
inducing segment in it's backbone. It can monitor cell phone
communications, wireless phone communications, and any hard wire phone
conversation that has a booster or load coil in the circuit between
conversants. The 100'+ diameter antenna of the KH-11 sigint variant
focuses in on locations of load coils (on the phone pole or at the local
switch/router) to grab induced RF signals.
Of course, it can't always monitor all the communications of an entire
country at a time, just those passing through its focal zone. The
antenna utilizes 'whispering chamber' methods to focus very tightly on
This method was first experimented with in 1966 by classified Gemini
missions in conjuction with the prototype MOL launch. While the public
purpose of the launch was to 'test' the thru-heatshield hatchway of the
new Gemini B capsule that was to be used with the MOL system, the MOL
prototype was accompanied on its launch with three microsatellites whose
purpose was to test this concept of focusing in on RF sources in 3
dimensions. Declassified documents state that these sats and the MOL
were performing whispering gallery experiments.
The state of the art in recon sat technology at the time had developed
first with photographic systems the ability to visually focus on
stationary surface targets while passing over at orbital speeds and
altitudes. Similar methods are used to gather and transmit real time
sigint data. Covert teams using burst transmissions are able to transmit
and receive at very low power levels with this technology as well that
provides more than just line of sight communications, the whispering
gallery method is truly a point to point system for any but the most
sensitive and sophisticated of eavesdroppers.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:12 MDT