Naval Ocean Surveillance System

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About Naval Ocean Surveillance System

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The Naval Ocean Surveillance System (NOSS), reportedly also called White Cloud and PARCAE, refers to one or several systems of SIGINT satellites which conducted ELINT for the U.S. Navy beginning in the early 1970s. The system is operated by the United States Navy and its main purpose was tactical geolocation of Soviet fleet assets during the Cold War. The NOSS satellites operate in clusters in low Earth orbit to detect radio transmissions from ships at sea and locate them using the "Time Difference Of Arrival" technique. The costs of the NOSS satellites (excluding costs for the launch vehicle), which were destroyed in a Titan IV launch failure in 1993, were US$ 800 million (inflation adjusted US$ 1.3 billion in 2012).

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