The spacecraft are probaly the replacement for the Trumpet ELINT satellites operating in a Molniya orbit. As no name is known, these are refferd here as "Trumpet Follow On". Unlike the SDS-3 series of relay satellites, these are placed directly into the Molniya orbit, whereas the SDS-3 were placed at first in a lower interim transfer orbit.
These satellite most likley use a large, unfurlable dish antenna to collect the signals. Advances in both antenna and electronics technologies have probly allowed for a large reduction in size compared the Trumpet precedessors.
Trumpet F/O 1 carried the first SBIRS-HEO-1 early warning package. A second is expected in a later launch.
Trumpet F/O 1 is also the host satellite for NASA's TWINS A (Two Wide-angle Imaging Neutral-atom Spectrometers) payload. The TWINS mission provides a new capability for stereoscopically imaging the magnetosphere. By imaging the charge exchange neutral atoms over a broad energy range (~1-100 keV) using two identical instruments on two widely spaced high-altitude, high-inclination spacecraft, TWINS will enable the 3-dimensional visualization and the resolution of large scale structures and dynamics within the magnetosphere.
The NROL-28 payload is expected to be Trumpet F/O 2, which will likely be the host for SBIRS-HEO-2 and TWINS B.
|Type / Application:||ELINT, early warning|
|Trumpet F/O 1 ? (USA 184, NROL 22, SBIRS HEO-1, TWINS A)||28.06.2006||Va SLC-6||Delta-4M+(4,2)|
|Trumpet F/O 2 ? (USA xxx, NROL 28, SBIRS HEO-2, TWINS B)||2008||Va SLC-3E||Atlas-5(411)|
Last update: 09.02.2008
© Gunter Dirk Krebs