MIDAS Series III Infrared Sensor

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    MIDAS Series III Infrared Sensor

    Aerojet ElectroSystems built this Series III infrared sensor payload for use in Missile Defense Alarm System (MIDAS) satellites. These satellites were one part of a U.S. Air Force program operational in the 1960s to provide early warning of a Soviet missile attack. The Series III was designed to detect and track the hot exhaust gases of missiles at launch and during the boost phase.

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    MIDAS Series III Infrared Sensor

    Aerojet ElectroSystems built this Series III infrared sensor payload for use in Missile Defense Alarm System (MIDAS) satellites. These satellites were one part of a U.S. Air Force program operational in the 1960s to provide early warning of a Soviet missile attack. The Series III was designed to detect and track the hot exhaust gases of missiles at launch and during the boost phase.
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    Defense Alarm System Infrared Sensor Series III Rear View

    Aerojet ElectroSystems built this Series III infrared sensor payload for use in Missile Defense Alarm System (MIDAS) satellites. These satellites were one part of a U.S. Air Force program operational in the 1960s to provide early warning of a Soviet missile attack. The Series III was designed to detect and track the hot exhaust gases of missiles at launch and during the boost phase.
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This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

Aerojet ElectroSystems built this Series III infrared sensor payload for use in Missile Defense Alarm System (MIDAS) satellites, one part of a U.S. Air Force program beginning in the late 1950s to provide early warning of a Soviet missile attack. The Series III was designed to detect and track the hot exhaust gases of missiles at launch and during the boost phase. This data would be relayed to ground stations to give up to 30 minutes warning of an attack. A Series III in May 1963 became the first space-based sensor to detect successfully a missile launch. MIDAS was cancelled in the late 1960s, and the more advanced Defense Support Program early warning satellites were launched beginning in 1970. The manufacturer donated this unflown artifact to NASM in 1969.