Fourth generation United States Air Force ELINT (electronic intelligence) satellites, introduced in the late-1990s and designed to pick up a wide spectrum of electromagnetic energy for use in broadband monitoring. Unlike most other ELINT satellites, which operate in geosynchronous orbits, Mercurys are placed in even higher orbits and move in complex, elliptical patterns. This not only gives them wider coverage but also allows them to take bearings on a given transmitter and thus accurately pinpoint its location.
Related categories MILITARY RECONNAISSANCE AND SURVEILLANCE
SATELLITES AND SPACE PROBES
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