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wd40
2013-Feb-01, 01:59 PM
The Israeli recce satellites are in very low retrograde orbit passing over the Middle East every 90 minutes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ofek

Their recent attack on Syria was carried out whilst the entire Levant was covered with a days-long very thick storm cloud. How are their satellites able to peer so clearly through thick cloud?

Swift
2013-Feb-01, 02:12 PM
The Israeli recce satellites are in very low retrograde orbit passing over the Middle East every 90 minutes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ofek

Their recent attack on Syria was carried out whilst the entire Levant was covered with a days-long very thick storm cloud. How are their satellites able to peer so clearly through thick cloud?
This discussion will stay strictly technical. Any hint of politics will be severely infracted.

djellison
2013-Feb-01, 03:28 PM
How are their satellites able to peer so clearly through thick cloud?

You make the assumption that they can, or must before military action can take place.

Neither is necessarily true.

However - if they DO need to look thru cloud - then the very Wiki page you linked to, links to how they would do it... Synthetic Apature RADAR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TecSAR

Solfe
2013-Feb-01, 04:24 PM
They could have gone "all old school" and listened for radio chatter. Satellites are nice, but are not the tool for every job. In fact, some of these jobs are taken up by drones and such.

fireside
2013-Feb-01, 06:53 PM
Wasn't that one of the reasons some advocated for manned spy platforms? Some of the first satellites just showed clouds. Maybe they are manned and can steer to breaks in the cover.

publiusr
2013-Feb-03, 10:29 PM
Israel has to launch their sats going the other way, so to speak, so as to have spent stages fall in the Med', so they don't get the benifit of Earth's spin. Another client for Musk or Stratolaunch, now that Orbital is involved with that.

Swift
2013-Feb-04, 04:20 PM
Israel has to launch their sats going the other way, so to speak, so as to have spent stages fall in the Med', so they don't get the benifit of Earth's spin. Another client for Musk or Stratolaunch, now that Orbital is involved with that.
Funny you should say that... from spaceflightnow.com (http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1301/29spacexamos6/)

A Falcon 9 rocket will launch Israel's Amos 6 communications satellite from Cape Canaveral in 2015, SpaceX and Israeli satellite operator Spacecom announced Tuesday.
Though launching from Florida, they do get to use the Earth's spin. And this isn't a spy satellite.

swampyankee
2013-Feb-04, 05:16 PM
I'm sure that reconnaisance satellites are just one of the tools in the Israeli Defense Forces' intelligence gathering system. Others would include news reports (monitoring the various official and private media), monitoring Syrian and rebel radio traffic (just knowing where units are is useful), and cryptanalysis of encoded traffic, people on the ground (who would not have to be Israeli, but could include Syrian officials and civilians), over-the-horizon radar, and crewed and uncrewed recon aircraft. Relying on nothing but recon satellites is a bad idea.

In any of these cases, some targets are not going to be mobile or won't be very mobile, so real-time targetting information is not required.