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|Tsikada - |
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Second Generation Space Systems
In November 1966 TsUKOS MO (Central Directorate of the Space Forces of the Ministry of Defence) formed the first permanent unit for military space operations with Col A I Udaltsov as its Chief. In the period 1966 to 1969 the unit prepared and put into operation formal technical procedures. These were issued up in June 1969 in the manual, 'Organisation, Maintenance, and Military Operation of Space Systems'.
These were followed by plans Epokha (1965), Koltso (1968), and Oblako (1970). These formalised the military-political structures for space operations, and determined the optimal groupings of earth- and space-based forces in military operations.
The theoretical plan Koltso (1966-1968) defined an organised method for scientific development of space forces and showed that they could be operated in fundamentally the same way as other arms of the military. In 1968 4 NII MO (Fourth Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence) formed Filial 4 for scientific research. In April 1970 two directorates were formed, one for Military Space Units Research and the other for Mathematical-Modelling Military Research. These consisted of five new science units, and 12 laboratories. They conducted ballistic calculations for the RVSN Rocket Forces and Space Forces and prepared the TTT and TTZ specifications for new projects.
A Defence Ministry directive of 6 November 1968 laid out the actions to be taken in the late 1960's and early 1970's for unit programming for military utilisation (Plans Mars, Osnova, Orion). The objective was to integrate space forces into overall military planning, taking into account the most cost-effective use of resources. This included basic space research for military and national economy purposes.
Methodical operations planning began mainly in Filial 4 NII MO from 1967, and was completed in 1970 with Plans Prognoz and Sirius Phase I. These established the development plans for the space forces in the period 1971-1980. These plans set the following objectives:
The plans included not just systems and spacecraft, but also infrastructure improvements. The military program 'Space Military Units 1971-1980' laid out recommendations for space units, tactical-technical characteristics, and stages of development. It included 27 space systems, 22 unmanned and 5 manned.
- Utilisation of spacecraft constellations to carry out extremely complex operations in solving military, scientific, and national-economic problems;
- Production of new on-board systems of increased size, satellite buses of increased size and payload, improved radio technology and materials
- Three launch vehicles in place of ten
- Improved KIK tracking stations
- Increased survivability of the tracking network through dispersal of centre operations to regional centres, using central co-ordination and planning, and use of mobile as well as stationary KIK points
Sirius Phase I was the first space project based on recommendations of the Scientific-Technical Committee of the Rocket Forces, headed by General N N Alekseyev. This first project plan was include in the ninth Soviet Five Year Plan (1971-1975).
The Soviet military units responsible for space operations went through several reorganisations. From October 1964, the Third Directorate of the GURVO (Main Directorate of the Rocket Forces), was responsible for Baikonur and Plesetsk operations. From March 1970 GUKOS MO (Main Directorate of the Space Forces of the Military of Defence) was formed and took over this responsibility. It reported directly to the General Staff.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 47,804 bytes. 577 x 394 pixels.
Development of the first nine systems of the second generation was completed in 1974-1975 and flight trials were conducted in the second half of the 1970's. The second group of second generation systems were developed in the second half of the 1970's and deployed in the first half of the 1980's. They provided crucial intelligence that helped maintain the USA-USSR balance of power.
Second generation systems were to be designed for practical application of space technology by all parts of the state (military, economic, science, control, agricultural, international co-operation, etc.). The resulting policy decisions included:
- Space units were to be national systems, applicable to multiple solutions
- Development and realisation of increased reliability and survivability of space systems, including use of anti-satellites of various types.
- Development of autonomous operating systems that best used the resources of the satellite, including digital computers for control, diagnostics, and guidance
- Common modular systems that could be used in all series of satellites (KAUR at Reshetnev's KBPM, AUOS at KB Yuzhnoye, Yantar at Kozlov's TsSKB, etc.)
- Highly effective control units.
- New launch vehicles, using automatic guidance systems, that could place a range of payloads in various orbits without redesign of the booster.
- New technologies; improved reliability, communications; digital devices in place of analogue; defined common systems.
|Oreol-3 - Spacecraft using AUOS bus are similar|
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To implement these policies, the following systems were planned for 1971-1975:
- Recognise preparations for an attack on the Soviet Union
- Strategic and tactical reconnaissance for land, sea, air, and space forces
- Identify attacking units
- Military-political communications with strategic and tactical units
- Navigation of military units
- Topographic and hydrographic support of the armed forces
- Control of forces during a nuclear strike and during preparation for retaliation
- Support exercise and test of military systems
Launch Vehicles - Second Generation
- Photo reconnaissance using the new design Yantar-2K and follow-ons. The Yantar 2K featured double the duration and film capacity of earlier systems. This was combined with improved operational dissemination and use of information. Development work begun in 1971. Flight tests began in 1974 and the Yantar-2K flew until 1983. The Yantar-2K was not in itself capable of providing strategic warning of attack. Therefore three additional variants were to be developed:
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- -High resolution / multi-spectral reconnaissance: Yantar-4K, a dual-film return capsule model like the Yantar-2K. The initial Yantar-4K1 model flew from 1979. It was to be succeeded by the Zenit-launched Yantar-4K2 with 22 film return capsules, but this design was abandoned after the break-up of the Soviet Union.
- Detailed electro-optical reconnaissance and operational reconnaissance Yantar-6KS. This dispensed with the film return capsules and provided real-time transmission of imagery. Work began on this in 1977, but the weight of the Yantar-6K bus quickly grew beyond the payload capability of the Soyuz launch vehicle. The replacement Yantar-4KS1 model did not go into service until the 1982.
- Wide-band detail and survey Orlets (Yantar-6K). This underwent protracted development and did not enter service until the 1990's in the Orlets-1 and Orlets-2 versions.
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- Yantar-1KF for cartography. This second generation cartographic system began development in 1968. While it used systems from the Yantar-2K, it retained a re-entry vehicle of the Zenit type. However it became impossible to keep the spacecraft within payload capability of the Soyuz-U launch vehicle. Therefore the spacecraft was cancelled and was replaced by the Yantar-1KFT (based on the Yantar-2K). Yantar-1KFT development began in 1973. The system provided the imagery. This was combined with topographic information from the Zenit-4MT to build up high precision military maps.
The new Unified System of Satellite Communications (YeSSS) required a satellite constellation to provide services to both military and civilian users. On 5 April 1972 the YeSSS was defined as the Molniya-2 and Molniya-3 satellites in elliptical orbit and Raduga (Statsionar) in geosynchronous orbit.
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Flight trials of the Molniya-2 were conducted in 1971-1974. Operational flights cam in 1974-1977. Molniya-2, like Molniya-1, consisted of four pairs of spacecraft with orbits at ninety degrees to one another. Development of Molniya-3, initially designated Molniya-2M, began in 1972. Flight trials began in November 1974. The Molniya-3 was used to create the 'Orbita' television system for northern regions, with groups of four satellites.
Development of Soviet geosynchronous satellites began at the end of the 1960's. In July 1974 a Proton DM boosted a Molniya-1 into geosynchronous orbit. This was a test for the specialised Raduga satellites that were to be stationed at 35 degrees and 85 degrees East. Construction of the first Raduga was completed in 1975. A single orbital group of two such satellites could handle all of the communications of the Soviet eastern regions. Internationally designated Statsionar-1, Raduga represented the first use of the new universal spacecraft bus KAUR-3.
In addition, in the first half of the 1970's the Ekran (Statsionar T) system was completed for central television broadcast to Siberia and the Far North. The first Ekran was launched on 26 October 1976. The first flights used experimental satellites, but they already allowed 18 to 20 million additional Soviet citizens to see the Central Television program. Problems with the Proton booster resulted in delays in putting the system into operation.
|Strela-1 - Strela-1 prototype. Later spacecraft in the series are believed to be similar in appearance.|
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- Meteorological: Meteor-2: Work began in 1967 to develop solutions for second generation hydrographic and meteorological observation systems. Compared to Meteor-1, the Meteor-2 had a longer design operational life (one year vs. six months) and the capability to transfer data automatically to military APPI stations (Autonomous Points of Information Collection). Prime contractor was VNIIEM Mineletrotekhprom (A G Yosifiyan). In 1969 the TTZ specification was issued by the Ministry of Defence and the Main Hydrometeorological Office of the Soviet Ministers. The draft project was completed in 1971. Due to difficulties in development of spectrometer equipment, flight trials did not commence until July 1975. Meteors were launched into 81.2 degree orbits, at 850 km altitude, allowing a revisit of every location at 6 and 12 hour intervals by a constellation of three satellites at 90 to 180 degree intervals. Each satellite could observe 30,000 sq. km at a time. Data was processed at hydro-meteorological offices at Moscow, Novsibirsk, and Khaborovsk.
- Missile Early Warning: Complementary Oko satellites in Molniya-type elliptical orbits and SPRN satellites in geosynchronous orbit began flight testing in the 1970's. Following protracted development the Oko entered service in the late 1970's and the SPRN not until the late 1980's. Using multi-spectral sensors they provided the Soviet Union with warning-on-launch of enemy ballistic missile attacks.
|Exploded view-Zenit - Exploded View of Typical Components of a Zenit-class reconnaisance satellite:. 1 - Power module; 2 - Solar panels; 3 - SA re-entry capsule, which returns film and camera to earth; 4 - Command radio antenna; 5 - Cold gas tanks of the pressurisation/thermal control system; 6 - Radar altimeter; 7 - Equipment module; 8 - Orientation system engine; 9 - Solid rocket motor deorbit engine; 10 - Thermoregulation system radiators; 11 - Equipment frame; 12 - Infrared horizon scanner; 13 - Electrical system umbilical; 14 - Mayak system antennae|
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- Navigation: Tsikada. This second generation system represented a collaboration between the Navy, Academy of Sciences, and Ministry of Shipping. The basis was the Tsiklon-B doppler navigation system, but allowing asynchronous operation of on-board equipment with only essential equipment receiving a timer interrupt. Development began in 1974, flight trials began in 1976, and the system entered service in 1986.
- Training Units: Taifun. In 1969 KB Yuzhnoye introduced targets for exercise and test of PVO air defence and space tracking systems. The second generation consisted of Taifun-1 and Taifun-2 satellites, which differed in the type of equipment installed. In 1972 the draft project was completed. The first Taifun-1 was built in 1974, and Taifun-2 in 1976. Flight trials were conducted in the second half of the 1970's using Kosmos-3M launch vehicles.
- Naval reconnaissance system. Modernisation of the US-A and US-P spacecraft resulted in the Idoegramma-Pirs complex consisting of systems Pirs-1 and Pirs-2 (US-AM and US-PM). However soon after flight trials began the US-A / US-AM system was abandoned due to continued reliability problems and international incidents when the reactor cores of the satellites inadvertently crashed to the earth.
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- Geodetic mission: the Geo-IK second generation geodetic system began development in the second half of the 1970's and was deployed in the first half of the 1980's.
- Survivable communications system: The Strela-1M and Strela-2M store-dump satellite constellation continued in use with improvements.
- National Economy Systems - A decree of December 1971 resulted in the Meteor-Priroda system for remote sensing. This adaptation of the Meteor allowed low resolution multispectral imaging. First launch was on 9 July 74. The Resurs-OE and Resurs-O1 improved versions continued to provide this service through the end of the century.
A decree of 21 December 1972 started work on a supplemental high resolution film-return earth resources system. The Zenit-4MKT / Fram spacecraft took multi-spectral photographs on black and white and spectro-zonal film. The family was extended during the 1980's to include the Resurs F1-17F41 / Resurs F1-14F40 / Resurs F1-14F43 / Resurs F1M / Resurs F2 versions.
Light medium launch vehicle: The Kosmos 11K65M continued in service for all lighter satellites. The Kosmos 11K63 was retired.
Medium launch vehicle: The Tsyklon-2 continued in service for the US and IS payloads which were equipped with rocket engines for orbital insertion. Work on the Tsyklon-3 began in the early 1970's. The specification was to deliver 4 tonnes into low earth orbit with high accuracy, requiring minimum adjustment of the operational orbit by the payload. To achieve this a new third stage was developed. A new launch complex for the Tsyklon-3 began construction at the beginning of the 1970's at Plesetsk. The first pad was put into operation in 1977 and the second in 1979.
Heavy launch vehicle: The UR-500K (Proton 8K82K) itself underwent flight trials from March 1978 to February 1970, a total of 20 flights. The original Block D configuration (Proton 8K82K / 11S824) was used until 1976, at which time it was replaced by a modernised version (Proton 8K82K / 11S86) equipped with N2O4/UDMH verniers for precise placement of payloads in geosynchronous orbit. This was accepted into military service in 1978 with the first Raduga launch. Project work began in 1970, with construction starting in 1972, on Launch Complex LC-200 for the Proton and a new MIK-KA for spacecraft integration. The first pad was completed in 1977, the second in 1978, and the MIK-KA was first used in 1981. These facilities supported launch of the military's second and third generation systems.
R-7: The Soyuz 11A511U was a standardised, modernised version of the R-7 launch vehicle with higher performance first and second stage engines. Improvements were made to the launch complexes, including unified test-launch ground support equipment. This was first used on the Apollo-Soyuz launches in the mid-1970's. Military applications included Zenit and Yantar. A modernised Vostok 8A92M launcher remained in service for sun-synchronous orbit payloads. First use was the Meteor launch on 29 June 1977.
Continued in Soviet Space History - Generation 3.
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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .