|astronautix.com||Energia Polar City Illuminator|
The Energia launch vehicle would be used to launch 100 orbital reflectors in sun synchronous orbits at 1700 km altitude / 103 deg inclination. Each satellite would be 240 m in diameter and have a mass of 5 to 6 tonnes. The satellite's equipment module would include solar panels, a KAR gyrosocopic poiniting system, and a laser unit to scan and control the form of the reflector. Pressure from the solar wind would be used to make orbtial corrections. Each satellite would have a ten year life and be usable 8 hours daily, and illuminate a 17 km diameter circluar area on the earth's surface. The concept was tested on two Znamya 25 m diameter reflectors deployed from Progress M-15 and M-40 spacecraft in 1993 and 1998. Deployment problems prevented either test from being successful.
The illuminators would be orbited 10 to 12 at a time. A single Energia launch would put a 69 tonne payload into a 450 km / 103 deg orbit. A solar electric engine interorbital tug would take the satellites to the higher operational orbit and then deploy them.