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Spacecraft: Raduga.

Development of the first Soviet geosynchronous satellites began at the end of the 1960's. New operations and communications methods were required. In July 1974 a Proton DM put a Molniya-1 into geosynchronous orbit as a test. This proved methods for the specialised Raduga satellites that were to be stationed at 35 deg and 85 deg E. Construction of the first Raduga was completed in 1975. It was equipped with 2 x 3 barrelled repeaters. The Delta 1 repeater (V I Moguchev, Chief Designer) was for dedicated military communications, while the Delta 2 (M V Brodskiy) was used for national and international civilian communications. A single orbital group of two Radugas could handle all communications of the Soviet eastern regions. Internationally designated Statsionar-1, Raduga represented the first use of the new universal spacecraft bus KAUR-3. The KAUR-3 spacecraft bus was 3-axis stabilised using liquid propellant micro-engines to within 0.25 degrees of the earth's centre. The single-unit body was equipped with solar panels, and active liquid-gas phase-change thermoregulation system, and a corrective engine unit for making orbital adjustments. 25 square metres of solar panels provided 1280 W of power.

Flight trials of Molniya-3 and Raduga continued until 1978, after which they were accepeted into military service. The State Trials Commission was headed by A A Maksimov, succeeded by General N F Shlykov. After the fall of the Soviet Union a price of $ 100 million was quoted for satellite and launch.


Spacecraft: Ekran.

Ekran was the Soviet Union's first geosynchronous satellite. Work began in the late 1960's and the first design used exotic and dangerous technologies. The satellite was to have been boosted into orbit by the Proton launch vehicle with a new high performance upper stage using Fluorine/Amine propellants. The satellite itself was to be powered by a 5 kW nuclear reactor.

Following a review at the VAKR-1971 seminar in 1971 the nuclear reactor was abandoned. The exotic upper stage, which reached cold flow tests at the Energomash facility in 1973, was also finally abandoned due to the toxic results of any launch vehicle failure on the pad.

The KAUR-3 spacecraft bus finally developed was 3-axis stabilised using liquid propellant micro-engines to within 0.25 degrees of the earth's centre. The single-unit body was equipped with solar panels, and active liquid-gas phase-change thermoregulation system, and a corrective engine unit for making orbital adjustments. 25 square metres of solar panels provided 1280 W of power.

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, 27 months after the experimental Molniya 1S, the first Soviet geostationary test. 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.


Spacecraft: Gorizont.

The geostationary Gorizont satellite was part of the Russian YeSSS Unified Satellite Communication System . These satellites provided civilian and military telephone, telegraph, and facsimile communications services, in addition to relaying TV and radio broadcasts. Gorizont also supported maritime and international communications from 1988 as an element of the Okean system operating at 1.5 to 1.6 GHz. The KAUR-3 spacecraft bus was 3-axis stabilised using liquid propellant micro-engines to within 0.25 degrees of the earth's centre. The single-unit body was equipped with solar panels, and active liquid-gas phase-change thermoregulation system, and a corrective engine unit for making orbital adjustments. 25 square metres of solar panels provided 1280 W of power. Gorizon was equipped with seven transponders.260 GHz total bandwidth.195 W total transponder power with EIRP of 28 to 38.5 dBW. Frequency bands: 6/4, 14/11, 1.6/1.5 GHz.


Spacecraft: Ekran-M. Communications satellite - geosynchronous. Transmits USSR Central Television programmes to a network of communal receivers.

Spacecraft: Raduga-1.

The Raduga-1 geosynchronous communications satellite was to have been the basis for the YeSSS-2 second generation Unified Satellite Communication System. Phase 1 of the system was to have consisted of three Raduga-1 spacecraft. The Raduga-1 was capable of communication not just with fixed earth stations, but mobile platforms as wel. It was equipped with the Tor C-band transponder, working at 20, 42, and 44 GHz. Communications satellite - geosynchronous. Maintenance of telephone and telegraph radio communications. Although a later generation system, Raduga-1 still used the KAUR-3 spacecraft bus. This was 3-axis stabilised using liquid propellant micro-engines to within 0.25 degrees of the earth's centre. The single-unit body was equipped with solar panels, and active liquid-gas phase-change thermoregulation system, and a corrective engine unit for making orbital adjustments. 25 square metres of solar panels provided 1280 W of power.


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Last update 28 March 2001.
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