During the Cold War, the US evolved reconnaissance resulting in today’s real-time video technology. Initially, film was used in satellites to monitor treaty compliance and intelligence gathering of the Soviet Union and other “denied areas.” His vehicle, HEXAGON, was 60 feet long and took pictures from 100 miles up. The program was urgent and required cooperation between the CIA and the Air Force, guided by the National Reconnaissance Office. This unclassified briefing by someone “who was there,” gives a first-person historical look at how high-resolution images were not only taken, but returned via parachute to be caught in mid-air. This program was a critical Cold War asset.
About the speaker, Ricky Deutsch: Ricky holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland an MS degree from USC and an MBA from Santa Clara University.
He began his career as a B-52 maintenance officer, which included a tour in Thailand. In the 1970’s, as a Captain, he was Operations Director for a now declassified top-secret reconnaissance satellite program called HEXAGON. From the Satellite Control Facility (aka the “Blue Cube”) in Sunnyvale, CA, his team generated mission critical commands to be sent to the satellite. He was awarded a Commendation Medal for support of this program.
Following his Air Force vocation, he worked in Silicon Valley’s computer industry. Firms included
Ford Aerospace & Communications Corporation, Intel Corporation and Sun Microsystems, Inc. He was a marketing manager for federal, state & local and international government clients.
His article, “Controlling Hexagon” has been published in QUEST – The Space Journal.