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Thread: Secret Aircraft

  1. #91
    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Default Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Nope, it's the DINGHY STABBER - one of the early SR-71s had an incident where the emergency survival raft inflated itself in the cockpit mid-flight, so after that, all SR-71s came with an icepick-type weapon that would allow the crew to frantically stab the sh*t out of a wayward dinghy if it were to happen again, then carry on their mission unabated. Some quality Soviet-style engineering thinking
    LOL!!! Imagine a pilot and his boat inflates! He'll be like "who put this piece of fart here!"

  2. #92
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by moldyoldy View Post
    Is that the rear view periscope, handle included? With the rear-view periscope the pilots could visually check on the engines, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pinetreebbs View Post
    Titanium O hammer?
    Nope, it's the DINGHY STABBER - one of the early SR-71s had an incident where the emergency survival raft inflated itself in the cockpit mid-flight, so after that, all SR-71s came with an icepick-type weapon that would allow the crew to frantically stab the sh*t out of a wayward dinghy if it were to happen again, then carry on their mission unabated. Some quality Soviet-style engineering thinking

  3. #93
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Nope, it's the DINGHY STABBER - one of the early SR-71s had an incident where the emergency survival raft inflated itself in the cockpit mid-flight, so after that, all SR-71s came with an icepick-type weapon that would allow the crew to frantically stab the sh*t out of a wayward dinghy if it were to happen again, then carry on their mission unabated. Some quality Soviet-style engineering thinking
    chuckle! No report I ever read mentioned that little piece of equipment! did the SR-71s ever have another inflating raft incident?

  4. #94
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by moldyoldy View Post
    chuckle! No report I ever read mentioned that little piece of equipment! did the SR-71s ever have another inflating raft incident?
    Only happened the one time. As far as I know, the Blackbird was the only military aircraft that had an edged weapon as standard interior equipment.

  5. #95
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Only happened the one time. As far as I know, the Blackbird was the only military aircraft that had an edged weapon as standard interior equipment.
    I would insist on training day that this icepick is strictly for repelling boarders in flight.
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  6. #96
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by AnAppleSnail View Post
    I would insist on training day that this icepick is strictly for repelling boarders in flight.


    and the rear view periscope is to check 6 - where are those fighters getting on our tail...

  7. #97
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Say hello to the Boeing CHAMP - Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project, better known as the "Flying Blackout"; this EMP-generating guided cruise missile was successfully tested last week when it flew a predetermined route over a Utah desert testing area and shut down all the computers located at seven target areas - it also inadvertently killed the cameras at those sites that were meant to monitor the event.


  8. #98
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    heheh, lots of publicity... but, anything that is goes public already existed in various forms for quite some time before this particular test. Not far from where we tested our howitzers in the desert SW, there is an EMP test facility. What impresses me is that the power generation to penetrate buildings was shrunk to a missile size. One of the reasons that the Soviets still designed A/C electronics with electron tubes in some of their advanced fighters is because electron tubes are very resistant to EMP or the very strong radars as found on some other aircraft. meaning that a fighter pilot really should not want to fly in front of some theoretically unarmed aircraft. In any case, rad-hard chips are difficult to design and build with a very low yield. read: expensive! nuff said.
    Last edited by moldyoldy; 10-25-2012 at 05:37 PM.

  9. #99
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by moldyoldy View Post
    What impresses me is that the power generation to penetrate buildings was shrunk to a missile size.
    Doing it once is easy. You move something through a high-voltage coil with explosives. Doing it multiple times, though...that's impressive.
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  10. #100
    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Was there someplace authoritative that said that the CHAMP generated an EMP? The two Boeing press releases that I checked just said it used microwaves to take out specific targets. In that way, it remind me of most ECM (electronics countermeasures) aircraft, such as the EA-6B Prowler or EA-18 Growler.

    There is one site that specifically indicates that it is not an EMP type device:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10...owave_attacks/

    "Boeing announced the plans for CHAMP back in 2009, as part of the US Army's continuing quest for a weapon that can knock out electronics easily. You can do this with the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) produced by a nuclear explosion, but those tend to be somewhat messy as they produce rather too much "collateral damage." "

    As a guy who does EMC work, I'd be interested in hearing about the power generated, the fields produced, etc. In general, commercial electronics is not designed to tolerate much of an electromagnetic field. Automotive stuff is generally around 30v/m, I think, and mil-spec aircraft is in the range of 200v/m. The stuff I work with is more in the 100v/m range.

  11. #101
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by AnAppleSnail View Post
    Doing it once is easy. You move something through a high-voltage coil with explosives. Doing it multiple times, though...that's impressive.
    ref the one-time EMP event, soooooo you have heard the vague rumors about the EMP hand grenade? the link above refers to that at the end. it's supposedly about a German potato masher size....
    Last edited by moldyoldy; 10-26-2012 at 10:49 AM.

  12. #102
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve K View Post
    Was there someplace authoritative that said that the CHAMP generated an EMP? The two Boeing press releases that I checked just said it used microwaves to take out specific targets. In that way, it remind me of most ECM (electronics countermeasures) aircraft, such as the EA-6B Prowler or EA-18 Growler.

    There is one site that specifically indicates that it is not an EMP type device:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10...owave_attacks/

    "Boeing announced the plans for CHAMP back in 2009, as part of the US Army's continuing quest for a weapon that can knock out electronics easily. You can do this with the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) produced by a nuclear explosion, but those tend to be somewhat messy as they produce rather too much "collateral damage." "

    As a guy who does EMC work, I'd be interested in hearing about the power generated, the fields produced, etc. In general, commercial electronics is not designed to tolerate much of an electromagnetic field. Automotive stuff is generally around 30v/m, I think, and mil-spec aircraft is in the range of 200v/m. The stuff I work with is more in the 100v/m range.
    Correct. good catch. The terminology is actually HPM = high power microwaves and comes in pulses. Quite a few press blurbs quoted this weapon as an EMP-based weapon. However it still appears to be a challenge for sufficient microwave power output:

    http://defense-update.com/20110922_b...pm-missil.html

    The original technology comes from a company Raytheon purchased just last year: Ktech has microwave generators which output an EMP-like microwave field. IOW, a big magnetron?

    This is not the same as a magnetic flux-compression generator (MFCG) bomb which does produce Megajoules of energy in microseconds. That is a directed EMP pulse.

    There is also the ASEA or active electronically scanned array which is a radar that can focus all of it's energy to a beamed point. The result is the same - fried electronics. The smaller ones can be fitted to fighters. the larger versions mount on the EA-18G Growler (FA-18 modified)

    In one location to remain unnamed, we had some homeless people sneak up to the operating radar domes and go to sleep under the dome. why? because the radar kept them warm......
    Last edited by moldyoldy; 10-26-2012 at 11:18 AM.

  13. #103
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by moldyoldy View Post
    In one location to remain unnamed, we had some homeless people sneak up to the operating radar domes and go to sleep under the dome. why? because the radar kept them warm......
    Google: Naked man tower brings up lots of examples. No small number of people die after climbing them, feeling "too warm," and stripping. On top of the tower, the RF is quite high. Even if your body only intercepts 1% of it, it's still a megawatt antennae. They die of overheat, and require tricky "vertical extractions" where climbers go up and lower the body.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  14. #104
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    fyi: this is going off the direct topic of "Secret Aircraft", but is perhaps pertinent to understand why that CHAMP missile was able to kill the computers or displays and cameras at some distance.

    The voltages induced in electronics or wires will vary by the type of pulse. Identifying a volts per meter of induced voltage is an insufficient root cause for electronics failures. The rise time and duration of the induced disruption is very significant. IOW, the pulse time-profile is what usually kills electronics.

    In a nuc-based EMP, there are E1, E2, and E2 field "pulses". Lightning has E1 and E2 components. Lightning effects research resembles nuclear EMP research. A rad-hard device has additional circuitry to mitigate ionizing radiation on/in the chip. At the end of the production line in some labs, the radiation level used to test a rad-hard device would kill a human in less than a minute.

    E1 is similar to "prompt" radiation and has a risetime of nanoseconds and decays in milliseconds. E1 couples well to short cable runs, such as 1-10 m. Using various EMI protectors/shielding/filtering is useful, but not complete. Surge protectors are usually inadequate because of the fast rise-time of the pulse. E1 will kill computers, cell phones, etc. a low yield nuc would generate an E1 from 5kV-10 kV / m. The sharp leading edge of the pulse is what latches up IC gates, especially in the range of 10^-9 or 10^-8 seconds. E1 does not couple very well to long lines.

    Note: Even static electricity can blow the diodes across most IC gates causing a latchup of the gate. Leaving the device sit for a few days is sufficient to allows the charge to dissipate - which is why HP received so many HP-41 CMOS-based calculators back under warranty when in Corvallis they all functioned OK.

    E2 couples to longer conductors such as vertical antenna towers and aircraft with trailing wires (see sub-chaser A/C such as the Orion). E2 is longer and can last up to a second. The usual lightning protection provides a measure of protection.

    E3 is a problem because it can penetrate the ground with a frequency of less than 1Hz. The pulse rise can be 20 sec to a peak (as reported) and then decay over a minute or longer. An E3 pulse is dangerous for electric power systems even with buried cables because the very low frequency makes shielding extremely difficult. The end result would be transformer saturation and subsequent winding failure (all as observed), possibly delayed. Auroral EMP causes similar effects although primarily because of volts / meter EMF generation over many kilometersl.

    Note: power companies have had major problems with auroral flux. ie: in Minnesota, an NSP power dispatcher told me that some days he cannot draw any power from Canada because of the voltage buildup on the lines. Those lines run N-S and the Earth rotates E-W, thus the classic voltage generation of a wire cutting flux. Instead he has to purchase the more expensive TVA power since those lines run E-W and are not affected by auroral flux.

    Back on topic: The probable key to the missile test was both the rise-time and intensity of the microwave pulse which was sufficient to kill the electronics. ie: Even relatively small low-power devices at the EMP test range could kill a car ignition or flying model electronics w/in range of the pulse. No spectacular pyrotechnics were necessary.
    Last edited by moldyoldy; 10-26-2012 at 08:05 PM.

  15. #105
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    slowly homing back in on the title...

    As a retired EE and ex-mil zoomie, I stand in awe of the design of the SR-71. I bow in deepest appreciation of what the U2 pilots dealt with on their long flights. I listened to one U2 pilot describe his operations for 2 hours - for which he received a long standing ovation. The rumored Aurora will remain an enigma wrapped up in a mystery (except for the "popcorn on a string" contrails...) until maybe some years hence. Even the flight manual of the SR-71 was eventually declassified. Nevertheless, there are areas of endeavour that will remain in varying shades of black permanently. No Freedom of Information Act will ever touch those.

    Drone aircraft are a continuing evolution of electronics and long-duration power plants. They will grow in size and capability, or shrink - and therein lies a fascination for me.

    I am intrigued by the _very small_ aircraft and choppers. They are small enough to barely be heard or seen. Usually with electric drives. enter the flashaholic and modeler experiences with various battery chemistries. The use of super small A/C with cameras is already being explored by the military as well as local/state police in the US or Europe. With a camera on board, these A/C will save lives in stand-off situations. They will also increase the societal neurosis of being watched. From the military standpoint, if spotted, micro-A/C are difficult to hit even with an automatic weapon. A shotgun with bird-shot might have a chance. But very small flying objects with remote piloting are here and now. The only real question is - what are the rules governing their use?

    Are there any super small aircraft or choppers in routine use even now?

  16. #106
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    My college roomie developed autonomous quad-copter software. That's like four n helicopters stuck together, and can fly in any direction. Not fast, and not efficient, but agile. Check out your local autonomous/unmanned (aerial/ground/water/underwater) vehicle club st colleges near you.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  17. #107
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Interesting posts.
    ...The only real question is - what are the rules governing their use?...
    I think the only rule is don't get caught but that may even be too optimistic... It would seem that anything in use by our military today will be cheap enough to be purchased by our city governments tomorrow.
    ...Are there any super small aircraft or choppers in routine use even now?
    Two interesting Google queries are:

    micro-uav

    and

    "perch and stare"

    Creepy.

  18. #108
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    The "perch and stare" term I knew about, but in my Google searches, a couple levels down I discovered a British blog where the commentator used the term "Gargoyle" mode. Exactly what it implies. The A/C lands on a building and sits there watching whatever it wants. Since normal flight times seem to be less than an hour, with ~45 min having been reported in a DARPA flyoff , a Gargoyle mode would lengthen the deployment time significantly. As Sub_Umbra wrote - creepy! but already here...

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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by moldyoldy View Post
    The "perch and stare" term I knew about, but in my Google searches, a couple levels down I discovered a British blog where the commentator used the term "Gargoyle" mode. Exactly what it implies. The A/C lands on a building and sits there watching whatever it wants. Since normal flight times seem to be less than an hour, with ~45 min having been reported in a DARPA flyoff , a Gargoyle mode would lengthen the deployment time significantly. As Sub_Umbra wrote - creepy! but already here...
    Sounds like a good target for a directional EMP generator :-)

  20. #110
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Bump. Still a valid recurrent topic. This time the BBC takes a guess at the X-37B, launch #3.

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2012...ary-spaceplane

  21. #111
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    I would not be surprised if numerous militaries have non-nuclear EMP weapons. Designs like the explosively pumped flux compression generator are old hat by now - odds are that there are more powerful EMP bombs out there now with more focused pulses.

    One suspects that the Boeing weapon is a scaled-up version of the various directional electronic disruptor plans that have been publicly available for years.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  22. #112
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Bump. Our understanding of secret A/C will have to be adjusted to the realities of technology. The B-58 Hustler (Mach 2+) & the SR71 (Mach 3+) are gone. Now the secret is launched in to orbit, or flies quietly over our heads..... Our obsession with "speed" is obsolete. The new secret is drones and their relative invisibility, whether because of size or stealth characteristics.

    BTW, a piece of trivia: The B-58 was not only the first A/C faster than Mach 2, but reputedly also faster than the later fighters of that era. Ground crews for the B-58 Hustler could guess the achieved flight speeds quite closely after landing by looking at the extent of scorched paint on the fuselage. That is what 4 large afterburning engines can do!

    --------------------------------
    For model aircraft/helicopters, here is a link to the news Artikel from Die Welt:

    http://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/webwel...Deutschen.html

    Model aircraft/helicopter drones are landing underneath the Christmas tree. HD Camera included. Drones for "household use" start at 100 Euro. A Quadrocopter with HD camera costs 300 Euro. A Zephyr (wingspan 1.5 meters) costs ~1910 Euro and has flown over the Matterhorn. Youtube has many videos of flights of the "Zephyr drone" or "Black Sheep drone". The heaviest "model aircraft" can be up to 25 Kilo. Model aircraft up to 5 Kilo do not require flight permissions. Controlled airspace begins above 1000 feet. Supposedly the drones are to be flown w/in visual range - but what happens if a camera in the nose is used to guide the drone? The Zephyr has flown up to 90KM and at altitudes up to 5.6KM, including over the Matterhorn.

    For the non-German speakers, at least click on the video and watch the flight of the French Parrot Quadrocopter in front of the "Welt" building in Berlin. Usage? Drone pilots can use their Smartphone to guide the helicopter, receive video via WLAN, store that video on their Smartphone. Then they can click on "Like" and something is uploaded to Facebook. sooo, who is watching whom and where? and what will they do with that info? Aua! Ouch!

    ---------------------------------
    For EMP afficiandos:

    The Welt Artikel describes the offensive use of pulsed microwave generators as weapons.

    http://www.welt.de/wissenschaft/arti...-lahmlegt.html

  23. #113
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by moldyoldy View Post
    Drones for "household use" start at 100 Euro.
    They sell drones at the local Barnes & Noble

    Also, the X-37B is in orbit again..

  24. #114
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    ...Also, the X-37B is in orbit again..
    A Misty (KH13) probably needs a scheduled refueling sometime during the planned flight window. The KH12s were the first in the Big Bird line that were refuel-able. We all remember Top Secret shuttle missions with MIL only crews. The Russians probably won't fuel the Mistys for us. /sniff The grounding of the Shuttles was a dead giveaway that we had another way in place that could reliably refuel the late model KH birds.

    IMO refueling Mistys is a handy, yet unmentionable cover that glosses over the fun experiments an X-37 may be up to. I doesn't take nine months to refuel a Misty. Even if most of the payload were hydrazine there would still probably be room left over for the X-37 to poop out an experimental pico satellite or two (each the size of a deck of playing cards) for a special mission when the right conditions back on earth arose...
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 12-15-2012 at 09:27 PM.

  25. #115
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    It is interesting that the latest launch of the X-37B happens to have been on the very same day as the North Korean launch of their first ever successful ICBM "satellite" orbital insertion. Perhaps it is a just coincidence as the X-37 had been previously "scheduled" for a launch around this time window. ..........Just sayin'.


  26. #116
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Sounds like a great mission for a pico satellite -- or a herd of them... Flock? Pod? Group.

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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by EZO View Post
    It is interesting that the latest launch of the X-37B happens to have been on the very same day as the North Korean launch of their first ever successful ICBM "satellite" orbital insertion. Perhaps it is a just coincidence as the X-37 had been previously "scheduled" for a launch around this time window. ..........Just sayin'.
    <snip
    yup, and if someone happened to figure out the flight parameters of both missions, one might find that the X-37B just happens to match an insertion in to the orbit of the NK launch. however, in the correct parlance: confirmation of intellligence IS intelligence!

    and if anyone noticed, the news clips showing the pickup of the first stage (or more....) of the NK launch vehicle on board a SK ship, buried in the text was the comment that US "specialists" joined the SK specialists in investigating the capabilities of the NK launch vehicle. That is the same process as when a Mig-25 left Soviet airspace and the pilot defected. In that case, the US completely dismantled the Mig-25 and shipped it off for lots of examination and sort of returned it... The Cold War may be officially over, but the ghosts are very much alive!
    Last edited by moldyoldy; 12-16-2012 at 10:08 AM.

  28. #118
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    A Misty (KH13) probably needs a scheduled refueling sometime during the planned flight window. The KH12s were the first in the Big Bird line that were refuel-able. We all remember Top Secret shuttle missions with MIL only crews. The Russians probably won't fuel the Mistys for us. /sniff The grounding of the Shuttles was a dead giveaway that we had another way in place that could reliably refuel the late model KH birds.

    IMO refueling Mistys is a handy, yet unmentionable cover that glosses over the fun experiments an X-37 may be up to. I doesn't take nine months to refuel a Misty. Even if most of the payload were hydrazine there would still probably be room left over for the X-37 to poop out an experimental pico satellite or two (each the size of a deck of playing cards) for a special mission when the right conditions back on earth arose...
    As you stated, it does not take nine months to refuel a Misty. but some of that hydrazine and time can be used to routinely change orbits to take nice close photos of all the interesting satellites up there........

  29. #119
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by moldyoldy View Post
    As you stated, it does not take nine months to refuel a Misty. but some of that hydrazine and time can be used to routinely change orbits to take nice close photos of all the interesting satellites up there........
    Regardless of time, it's fuel-intensive to change orbital inclination. There are some tricks you can play with that much time, picking an orbit that will go near the target of interest later, and carefully timing several quick photos as you scoot past... But it's tough to see more than several thousand meters. But a robot with solar panels has nothing but time.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  30. #120
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    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by AnAppleSnail View Post
    Regardless of time, it's fuel-intensive to change orbital inclination. There are some tricks you can play with that much time, picking an orbit that will go near the target of interest later, and carefully timing several quick photos as you scoot past... But it's tough to see more than several thousand meters. But a robot with solar panels has nothing but time.
    In an earlier post, I mentioned some info on the Dyna-Soar that suggested that the craft's aerodynamic features allowed a method to significantly change the vehicle's vector...

    "A drawing in Space/Aeronautics magazine from before the project's cancellation depicts the craft dipping down into the atmosphere, skimming the surface, to change its orbital inclination. It would then fire its rocket to resume orbit. This would be a unique ability for a spacecraft, for the laws of celestial mechanics mean it requires an enormous expenditure of energy for a rocket to change its orbital inclination once it has reached orbit. Hence the Dyna-Soar could have had a military capacity of being launched into one orbit and rendezvousing with a satellite, even if the target were to expend all its propellant in changing its orbit. Acceleration forces on the pilot, however, would be severe in such a maneuver."

    This is certainly something that a plain satellite cannot do, and provides all sorts of options for maneuvering.
    It would be very interesting to know what the mission of the X-37 is, and it would be very surprising to see that info be made public.

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