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Project West Ford

NSSDCA ID: 1961-028A-03

Mission Name: MIDAS 4
Principal Investigator:Dr. Donald C. Maclellan


The experiment was designed to place a belt of thin microwave dipoles into orbit around the earth to serve as an artificial scattering medium for radio signals. Nineteen kg of copper needle dipoles (4.8 times 10 to the 8 power) were to be placed into a near-circular, near-polar orbit at a mean altitude of approximately 2200 km. The dipoles were to be observed both optically and by radar. The attempt to establish the dipole belt failed when the package containing the needles failed to be ejected from the orbiting spacecraft. An identical experiment (63-014A-01) was later successfully flown on Midas 6.

Alternate Names

  • MIDAS4/ProjectWestFord

Funding Agency

  • Department of Defense-Department of the Air Force (United States)


    Additional Information

    Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



    NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
    Dr. Irwin I. ShapiroOther InvestigatorMassachusetts Institute of
    Mr. W. E. MorrowOther InvestigatorMassachusetts Institute of Technology
    Dr. Donald C. MaclellanPrincipal InvestigatorMassachusetts Institute of
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