Arktika-M Spacecraft for short, long term weather forecasting for Africa, others launched

Arktika-M No. 2 spacecraft equipped with an onboard control system developed by a Rosatom company, Mars Moscow Research and Design Office has been put into the satellite-specific operation. It’s a historic moment for air and spacecraft technology

The decision was made by the State Commission for Flight Testing of Space Complexes for Social and Economic, Scientific, and Commercial Purposes following several months of flight testing of the new meteorological satellite designed to observe the Arctic region from a highly elliptical orbit (apogee ~40 thousand km), and of the upgraded Arktika-M space system.

The Mars’ onboard control system was designed to maintain the weather satellite operable under space radiation throughout its entire service life. The control system reads the current attitude of the spacecraft while maintaining the required one thus ensuring highly accurate and steady pointing of the target equipment to the Earth, fulfils a lot of service tasks, and monitors and controls all onboard systems of the satellite. Arktika-M films the entire disc of the Earth both in the visible and infrared ranges at 15-minute intervals.

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Arktika-M No. 2 is the second spacecraft of the world’s only highly elliptical hydrometeorological space system Arktika-M. “In addition to its main tasks, there is a new fibre-optic gyroscopes-based device undergoing flight qualification onboard the spacecraft, which is planned to be used onboard similar devices of the next generation,” commented Dmitry Dobrynin, Deputy General Designer at Mars – Chief Designer of onboard control systems.

The onboard control system developed by Rosatom allows forecasting short- and long-term weather for the entire territory of the Earth, which is important for African countries as well.

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Timely predictions of natural disasters and emergencies, such as droughts, floods and others, can help to prepare for them in time, eliminate situations of panic and save lives.

This, in turn, will prevent the countries of the continent from being knocked out of their development plans and will enable them to move forward, improving and raising the standard of living of the local people.

Mars Moscow Research and Design Office was founded in June 1955 and taken over by Rosatom in 2017.

The company’s main mission is the development and manufacture of onboard systems and control complexes, as well as separate devices, electronic units and test equipment for rocket, space and aviation products.

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As part of the federal space program, Mars is also developing onboard control systems for four advanced spacecraft of the Arktika-M series (No. 3, 4, 5, 6) and Elektro-L No. 5 weather satellite.

The information received from both Arktika-M highly elliptical satellites and geostationary Electro-L allows Roshydromet departments and other agencies to detail long-term and short-term weather forecasts making detection and monitoring of natural hazards and emergencies more efficient.

 

Wole Shadare

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