Friday, November 26, 2010
The use of satellites as an effective aerial reconnaissance platform began in January 1960 with the introduction by the United States of the CORONA system. Since then, many countries have placed satellites into orbit either to collect imagery or to intercept signals. While cloud cover tended to inhibit the efficiency of the original photographic lenses, the development of infrared and other techniques allowed imagery to be acquired even through inclement weather. While the first satellites ejected film capsules for capture by specially deployed aircraft, later systems allowed for the instant transmission of data to ground stations.