Enhanced Imaging System


Enhanced Imaging System (EIS), officially referred to as "Enhanced Imagery System",[1][2] previously known as 8X, and sometimes unofficially known as Misty 2 and KH-13,[3] is an American reconnaissance satellite program. A derivative of the Improved Crystal satellites,[4] EIS replaced Misty, and was intended to provide more coverage and dwell time than previous reconnaissance satellites;[5] like Misty, it has stealth capabilities.[6] Only one EIS satellite has been launched; USA-144, which was placed into orbit by a Titan IVB rocket on 22 May 1999.[7][8]


In 1995, a Los Angeles Times article reported that the 8X program was intended as "a major upgrade to the KH-12", with a mass of as much as 20 tons, which would be used for detailed imaging with a wide field of view. The cost of the program was a subject of disagreement from some within the military at the time.[9][10] By 1998, the program had been renamed Enhanced Imaging System.[5] The Future Imagery Architecture program, which was intended to replace the Lacrosse and Improved Crystal satellites, was developed alongside EIS.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000: National Imagery and Mapping Agency (House Report 106-130)". U.S. Government Printing Office. 7 May 1999.
  2. ^ "National Intelligence Program FY 2010 Congressional Budget Justification: Volume IV" (PDF). National Reconnaissance Program. May 2009. p. 21.
  3. ^ David Darling and David J. Darling (2003). The complete book of spaceflight. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-471-05649-9. Several launches with Key Hole designations, including KH-11, KH-12, and KH-13, have taken place since 1992. ... The ninth and final KH-11 satellite was launched in 1998, after which the KH-12 program, involving satellites about the ...
  4. ^ Tae-Woo Lee (2008). Military Technologies of the World. ISBN 978-0-275-99537-9. The advancement in the KH-series resulted in the KH-13, for which little information is yet available. ...
  5. ^ a b c Thomson, Allen (8 May 1998). "8X lives on as the Enhanced Imaging System". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  6. ^ Thompson, Allen. "A Stealth Satellite Sourcebook" (PDF). Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  7. ^ Wade, Mark. "Improved Crystal". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 18 November 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  8. ^ Wade, Mark. "Misty". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  9. ^ Risen, James; Vartabedian, Ralph (1995-09-28). "U.S. Launches Costly Overhaul of Spy Satellites". Los Angeles Times.
  10. ^ Allen Thomson (1995-10-07). "8X: The monster that ate the budget".

Further readingEdit

  • John Pike (July 24, 1998). 8X Enhanced Imaging System. Federation of American Scientists. Accessed May 3, 2004 (October 17, 2001).
  • US space-based reconnaissance reinforced. Jane's Defence Weekly. Accessed May 3, 2004.