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N.R.O. Nanosats: Project "SIFT"

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posted on Apr, 20 2005 @ 10:35 PM
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I was talking with a friend that is involved with an aerospace company this afternoon and the discussion led to a description of a satillite system the U.S. government is supposedly operating right now.

It consists of a number of small (1 meter x 10 cm) saucer shaped spacecraft that fly in formation in a highly elliptic polar orbit, about 5 kilometers apart from each other.

At a given time, they rotate from the thin edge facing down to the full 1 meter side, and each functions as a reflector telescope. This array collects images of the earth's surface in 3-D at a higher resolution after computer enhancement.

This information is not transmitted from these vehicles but is collected by another satillite that uses a laser system to "interrogate" the individual parts of the array, allowing them to be passive, and therefore undetectable.

Does anyone have any information on this? The term "SIFT" was used and my freind said that although it is supposed to be a secret, the Russians and Chinese know all about it. Could he be right?




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