Synchronous Earth Observation Satellite (SEOS) - 1973

Graham1973

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Early 1970s design for a Synchronous Earth Observation Satellite (SEOS) that bears a surprising resemblance to Hubble, it just points in the other direction. The intention was to provide improved coverage of mesoscale weather phenomena like tornadoes, ground fogs, clear air turbulence and other short lived phenomenon.

A study to define meteorological uses and performance requirements for the Synchronous Earth Observatory Satellite

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19740012073.pdf

Earth resources applications of the Synchronous Earth Observatory Satellite (SEOS)

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19740009932.pdf
 

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blackstar

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The main barrel diameter is listed as 2.34 meters. The primary mirror inside that is a bit smaller, maybe 2.0 meters. Hubble was 2.4 meters. So this is pretty much the same size. It also lists a Titan IIID Centaur as the likely launch vehicle.

Interesting stuff. These kinds of unclassified studies made the spooks nervous. They never liked uncleared experts discussing capabilities like this.
 

Graham1973

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blackstar said:
The main barrel diameter is listed as 2.34 meters. The primary mirror inside that is a bit smaller, maybe 2.0 meters. Hubble was 2.4 meters. So this is pretty much the same size. It also lists a Titan IIID Centaur as the likely launch vehicle.

Interesting stuff. These kinds of unclassified studies made the spooks nervous. They never liked uncleared experts discussing capabilities like this.

Indeed, I have on my hard drive a later study (Dating from 1975) by Perkins-Elmer of Hubble (in)fame on a follow on to this proposed design, but it was removed from the NTRS after the 'Cry Woolfe' incident.

One thing I've always looked for were the documents linking the 1973 and 1975 studies because the satellite design changes between the two studies and also some documentation explaining why this didn't go past the planning stage and if any of the work ended up in other satellites, sadly I think most of it probably fell under the restrictions imposed after that security scare.
 

blackstar

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I doubt it went past the proposal stage. There are a number of problems with the concept of a big optics system in GEO. It just doesn't do anything terribly useful. For instance, the first report mentions earthquake prediction, which nobody has really proved can work from space.

Way back in the mid-1980s I remember reading an article in a popular science magazine about Hubble. It might have been Scientific American. The author had visited P-E where somebody showed him their equipment for making the Hubble mirror and said that it was new, and that it would "make them competitive for other projects" or something like that. I remember reading that at the time and concluding that this meant that P-E had not made the mirrors for KH-11 KENNEN reconsats, which had the same diameter as the Hubble, and I assumed it meant that Kodak had made those mirrors. That conclusion turns out to be correct. I don't remember what that article was, and it's not that important now, but it was insightful back then.
 
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