The Naval Ocean Surveillance System (NOSS), is a series of SIGINT satellites which have conducted ELINT for the U.S. Navy since the early 1970s. The first series of satellites were codenamed White Cloud or PARCAE, while second and third-generation satellites have used the codenames Ranger and Intruder.
The system is operated by the United States Navy and its main purpose was tactical geolocation of Soviet Navy assets during the Cold War. The NOSS satellites operate in clusters in low Earth orbit to detect radar and other electronic transmissions from ships at sea and locate them using the "Time Difference Of Arrival" technique.
|Name||ID||Launch date||Launch vehicle||Launch site||NROL designation||Perigee||Apogee||Inclination||Remarks|
|OPS 6431 SSU-1||1976-038C||1976-04-30||Atlas E/F-MSD||VAFB SLC-3W||N/A||1,092 km||1,128 km||63.5°||Dispenser designated OPS 6431 and catalogued as 1976-038A|
|OPS 6431 SSU-2||1976-038D|
|OPS 6431 SSU-3||1976-038J|
|OPS 8781 SSU-1||1977-112D||1977-12-08||Atlas E/F-MSD||VAFB SLC-3W||1,054 km||1,169 km||63.4°||Dispenser designated OPS 8781 and catalogued as 1977-112A|
|OPS 8781 SSU-2||1977-112E|
|OPS 8781 SSU-3||1977-112F|
|OPS 7245 SSU-1||1980-019C||1980-03-03||Atlas E/F-MSD||VAFB SLC-3W||1,035 km||1,150 km||63.0°||Dispenser designated OPS 7245 and catalogued as 1980-019A|
|OPS 7245 SSU-2||1980-019D|
|OPS 7245 SSU-3||1980-019G|
|OPS 3255 SSU-1||N/A||1980-12-09||Atlas E/F-MSD||VAFB SLC-3W||Failed to orbit||Dispenser designated OPS 3255, loss of control after engine failure, followed by explosion|
|OPS 3255 SSU-2||N/A|
|OPS 3255 SSU-3||N/A|
|OPS 0252 SSU-1||1983-008E||1983-02-09||Atlas H-MSD||VAFB SLC-3E||1,063 km||1,186 km||63.40°||Dispenser designated OPS 0252 and catalogued as 1983-008A|
|OPS 0252 SSU-2||1983-008F|
|OPS 0252 SSU-3||1983-008H|
|OPS 6432 SSU-1||1983-056C||1983-06-09||Atlas H-MSD||VAFB SLC-3E||851 km||1,363 km||63.4°||Dispenser designated OPS 6432 and catalogued as 1983-056A|
|OPS 6432 SSU-2||1983-056D|
|OPS 6432 SSU-3||1983-056G|
|OPS 8737 SSU-1||1984-012C||1984-02-05||Atlas H-MSD||VAFB SLC-3E||1,052 km||1,172 km||63.4°||Dispenser designated OPS 8737 and catalogued as 1984-012A|
|OPS 8737 SSU-2||1984-012D|
|OPS 8737 SSU-3||1984-012F|
|USA-16||1986-014C||1984-02-05||Atlas H-MSD||VAFB SLC-3E||1,049 km||1,166 km||63.0°||Dispenser designated USA-15 and catalogued as 1986-014A|
|USA-23||1987-043E||1987-05-15||Atlas H-MSD||VAFB SLC-3E||1,045 km||1,179 km||62.9°||Dispenser designated USA-22 and catalogued as 1987-043A|
|USA-60||1990-050E||1990-06-08||Titan IV(405)A||CCAFS LC-41||N/A||1,071 km||1,146 km||63.4°||Dispenser designated USA-59 and catalogued as 1990-050A|
|USA-74||1991-076C||1991-11-08||Titan IV(403)A||VAFB SLC-4E||1,052 km||1,164 km||63.4°||Dispenser designated USA-72 and catalogued as 1991-076A|
|Unnamed||N/A||1993-08-02||Titan IV(403)A||VAFB SLC-4E||Failed to orbit||Exploded due to crack in solid rocket motor caused by poor repair|
|USA-119||1996-029A||1996-05-12||Titan IV(403)A||VAFB SLC-4E||1,050 km||1,166 km||63.4°||Dispenser designated USA-122 and catalogued as 1996-029D|
|USA-160||2001-040A||2001-09-08||Atlas IIAS||VAFB SLC-3E||NROL-13||1,100 km||1,100 km||63°|
|USA-173||2003-054A||2003-12-02||Atlas IIAS||VAFB SLC-3E||NROL-18||1,013 km||1,200 km||63.4°|
|USA-181||2005-004A||2005-02-03||Atlas IIIB||CCAFS SLC-36B||NROL-23||1,011 km||1,209 km||63.4°|
|USA-194||2007-027A||2007-06-15||Atlas V 401||CCAFS SLC-41||NROL-30||1,053 km||1,163 km||63.4°||Launched into lower orbit than planned, spacecraft corrected under own power, at expense of operational life|
|USA-229||2011-014A||2011-04-15||Atlas V 411||VAFB SLC-3E||NROL-34||1,014 km||1,207 km||63.4°|
|USA-238||2012-048A||2012-09-13||Atlas V 401||VAFB SLC-3E||NROL-36||1,056 km||1,158 km||63.4°|
|USA-264||2015-058A||2015-10-08||Atlas V 401||VAFB SLC-3E||NROL-55||1,013 km||1,201 km||63.4°|
- * - One satellite from each third generation pair is officially catalogued as debris
- data from , 
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$800 million (inflation adjusted US$ Template:Inflation billion in 2020).
- ↑ "NOSS Double and Triple Satellite Formations". satobs.org. http://www.satobs.org/noss.html.
- ↑ Weiner, Tim (1993-08-04). "Titan Lost Payload: Spy-Satellite System Worth $800 Million". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1993/08/04/us/titan-lost-payload-spy-satellite-system-worth-800-million.html?src=pm.
- The U.S. Navy's "White Cloud" Spaceborne ELINT System
- NOSS @ astronautix.com
- BBC - h2g2 - Naval Ocean Surveillance Satellites - a 'UFO'
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