USGS EROS Archive - Declassified Data - Declassified Satellite Imagery - 3
Science Center Objects
A collection of declassified military intelligence photographs from the Keyhole (KH) satellite system KH-9 (Hexagon) in digital format. (1971 to 1984)
The Keyhole (KH) satellite system KH-9 (Hexagon) operated between 1971 and 1984. The imagery generated are of historical interest and are expected to support current scientific research on climate change and related fields of inquiry. Almost all of the imagery from this camera was declassified in 2011 as a continuation of Executive Order 12951, the same order that declassified CORONA. A subset of this declassified data was transferred to the U.S. Geological Survey's Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. Please check the coverage map in EarthExplorer to verify the extent of coverage for the subset of images available from EROS. The available images are primarily over the United States, Antarctica, and the Arctic Circle. The full collection of original film sources are maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
KH-9 acquired photographs of the Earth’s surface with a telescopic camera system and transported the exposed film through the use of recovery capsules. The capsules, or buckets, were de-orbited and retrieved by aircraft while the capsules parachuted to earth. The exposed film was developed and the images were analyzed for a range of military and mapping applications.
The KH-9 program was designed to support mapping requirements and exact positioning of geographical points for the military. The KH-9 panoramic cameras captured high resolution (2-4 feet) and moderate resolution (20-30 feet) terrain images. High resolution images were acquired on 6.5 inch wide variable length film. The moderate resolution terrain camera acquired images that were printed to 9 inch wide variable length film.
Digital Products – High Resolution Scanned Images $30.00 per scene
High performance photogrammetric film scanners are used to create digital products at 7-micron (3,600 dpi) or 14 micron (1,800 dpi) resolution for black-and-white (B/W) images. Color images are limited to 14 micron due to resulting file size. On-demand scanning is available for $30.00 per scene for the subset of duplicate film sources held in the USGS EROS archive.
|Declass 3 Image Parameters|
|Film Size||Micron Size||B/W File Size||Color File Size|
|6.5 inch x variable length||14 Micron (1,800 dpi)||188 MB (per file*)||565 MB (per file)|
|7 Micron (3,600 dpi)||725 MB (per file*)||Not available|
|9 inch x variable length||14 Micron (1,800 dpi)||260 MB (per file*)||780 MB (per file)|
|7 Micron (3,600 dpi)||1GB (per file*)||Not available|
* USGS EROS scans products in overlapping sections and the number of files will vary based on the length of the image. The actual file size may fluctuate due to image data, surrounding metadata, and the addition of the USGS logo.
High Resolution Digital Products are of photogrammetric quality and files are stored in TIFF format. The scanning process does not apply geocorrections.
|KH9-1||I||1201||1971 Jun 15||1971-056A05297||OPS 7809||Titan IIID||184.0 km × 300.0 km||1971 Aug 6|
|KH9-2||I||1202||1972 Jan 20||1972-002A05769||OPS 1737||Titan IIID||157.0 km × 331.0 km||1972 Feb 9|
|KH9-3||I||1203||1972 Jul 7||1972-052A06094||OPS 7293||Titan IIID||174.0 km × 251.0 km||1972 Sep 13|
|KH9-4||I||1204||1972 Oct 10||1972-079A06227||OPS 3814||Titan IIID||160.0 km × 281.0 km||1973 Jan 8|
|KH9-5||I||1205||1973 Mar 9||1973-014A06382||OPS 8410||Titan IIID||152.0 km × 270.0 km||1973 May 19|
|KH9-6||I||1206||1973 Jul 13||1973-046A06727||OPS 8261||Titan IIID||156.0 km × 269.0 km||1973 Oct 12|
|KH9-7||Il||1207||1973 Nov 10||1973-088A06928||OPS 6630||Titan IIID||159.0 km × 275.0 km||1974 Mar 3|
|KH9-8||Il||1208||1974 Apr 10||1974-020A07242||OPS 6245||Titan IIID||153.0 km × 285.0 km||1974 Jul 28|
|KH9-9||Il||1209||1974 Oct 29||1974-085A07495||OPS 7122||Titan IIID||162.0 km × 271.0 km||1974 Mar 9|
|KH9-10||Il||1210||1975 June 8||1975-051A07918||OPS 6381||Titan IIID||157.0 km × 234.0 km||1975 Nov 5|
|KH9-11||Il||1211||1975 Dec 4||1975-114A08467||OPS 4428||Titan IIID||157.0 km × 234.0 km||1976 Apr 1|
|KH9-12||Il||1212||1976 Jul 8||1976-065A09006||OPS 4699||Titan IIID||159.0 km × 242.0 km||1976 Dec 3|
|KH9-13||Ill||1213||1977 Jun 27||1977-056A10111||OPS 4800||Titan IIID||155.0 km × 239.0 km||1977 Dec 3|
|KH9-14||Ill||1214||1978 Mar 16||1978-029A10733||OPS 0460||Titan IIID||172.0 km × 218.0 km||1978 Sep 1|
|KH9-15||Ill||1215||1979 Mar 16||1979-025A11305||OPS 3854||Titan IIID||177.0 km × 256.0 km||1979 Sep 2|
|KH9-16||Ill||1216||1980 Jun 18||1980-052A11850||OPS 3123||Titan IIID||169.0 km × 265.0 km||1981 Mar 6|
|KH9-17||Ill||1217||1981 May 11||1982-041A13170||OPS 5642||Titan IIID||177.0 km × 262.0 km||1982 Dec 5|
|KH9-18||Ill||1218||1983 Jun 20||1983-060A14137||OPS 0721||Titan 34D||163.0 km × 224.0 km||1984 Mar 1|
|KH9-19||lV||1219||1984 Jun 25||1984-065A15063||USA 2||Titan 34D||170.0 km × 230.0 km||1984 Oct 18|
|KH9-20||lV||1220||1986 Apr 18||1986-F03||launch failed||Titan 34D||–||–|
Coverage Maps indicating the availability of Declass 3 products are available for download.
- 2002 NARA Press Release
- Declassified Intelligence Satellite Photographs Fact Sheet
- NASA Spaceflight.com
- Declassified Satellite Imagery - 3 Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number: /10.5066/F7WD3Z10
EarthExplorer can be used to search, preview, and download existing digital copies of Declass 3 data. For all other imagery, an order will need to be placed to scan the film at $30 per frame. The collection is located under the Declassified Data category.
Mathematical calculations based on camera operation and satellite path were used to approximate geographic location. Since the accuracy of the coordinates varies according to the precision of source information, users should inspect the preview image to verify that the area of interest is contained in the selected frame.
Since National Archive and Records Administration (NARA) has the full set of original film, copies can be ordered directly through businesses that offer information and support services