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Between the Darkness and the Light: The QUILL Radar Satellite

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Article

“Between the Darkness and the Light: The QUILL Radar Satellite” by Dwayne A. Day
Published in Quest Volume: 29 #1 (2022)

Abstract

In late 1964 the National Reconnaissance Office launched a unique and highly secret satellite named QUILL into low Earth orbit. QUILL used a synthetic aperture radar to take near-photographic quality images of the Earth’s surface. For political reasons, QUILL was only operated over the United States. QUILL was a narrowly focused demonstration program that used off-the-shelf hardware whenever possible. It proved successful at demonstrating that synthetic aperture radar could work in Earth orbit. But despite QUILL’s success, an operational intelligence system using synthetic aperture radar did not enter service for over two decades after this secret flight.


Citation

Day, Dwayne A. “Between the Darkness and the Light: The QUILL Radar Satellite.” Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly 29, no. 1 (2022): 3-18.

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More Information

  • Archive ID # G301238
  • Format: Document (PDF)
  • Author/Creator:
  • Publication Year: 2022
  • Publisher: Quest
  • Copyright Status: Copyrighted
  • Copyright Holder: SPACE 3.0
  • Language: English
  • Number of Pages: 16
  • Type: History
  • Subject:
  • Collection: Quest
  • Availability: Digital Download