Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
Home > Encyclopedia of Science


Russian ELINT (electronic intelligence) satellites, the first of which was launched on Jun. 26, 1967; Tselina means "untouched soil." They were two basic types. Tselina I was used mostly for tracking NATO shipping. Similar to the American SB-WASS system, it operated in a constellation that detected ELINT data and then compared readings from different locations over time to pinpoint the position of the source. It then transmitted weapons targeting data, relayed by communications satellites either to ground stations or directly to Russian ships. Tselina II was a more general-purpose system, similar to Mercury-ELINT.

Related category