A sharp eyed reader, graphic designer and illustrator Olivier Rossel (PXP), noted something odd in the patch. More exactly, in the bothom "beard" of feathers of the Eagle's head.
I had not noted it until Olivier pointed it out (and it is so obvious now!), but letters are spelled out there:
You can read the words "GEO", "DSP" and "HEO". These are all relevant to the US Infrared Early Warning system. SBIRS has satellites in two kind of orbits: GEO (geosynchronous) and HEO (Highly Elliptical Orbit - see my earlier post). DSP is the Defense Support Program, the predecessor of the newer SBIRS, consisting of a number of satellites in GEO.
Some Russian guy, Ivan Karavay, identified the words earlier in a post in this forum (in Russian) but I had never seen it until Olivier pointed it out to me.This while I knew words are sometimes hidden in NRO-related patches. Take these patches for example, from the NRO launches NROL-25, NROL-34, NROL-41 and NROL-49:
In the "vermicelli" that fills in the Earth in these patches, letters can be discerned that sometimes solve into acronyms: "4 SLS" (4th Space Launch Squadron), NRO or NROL, and other letter combinations that are less easy to interpret.
Speaking of logo's and patches: I recently re-designed the logo of SatTrackCam. The new design is based on the older design but less cluttered:
Like in NRO patches, there is some coded information in this design: the Coat of Arms for example has a double meaning. The (pig-) Latin actually refers to a notorious NRO patch, as well as a famous internet meme.