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Russia focuses on small satellites

Russia: Russia is developing micro satellites and nano-satellites weighing less than 10 kilograms, Voice of Russia reported. These satellites can effectively solve tasks set before them in space and it will be a lot cheaper to put them into orbit using light rockets.

General Director of the Russian Space Systems Company, Yuri Urlichich, said, “The small satellites can be used for many purposes. We will develop a satellite for automatic identification in the sea. All ships see each other and ports in the radius of 30 nautical miles. This will help ships to pass clear of each other in narrow straits. In short, the satellite assures safety in the sea. This system can be used also in large rivers in Russia and on the Northern Shipping Route. It could be global when it covers the entire oceans. The micro satellites could be also used in the Kospas-Sarsat rescue system. Other areas of their use could be meteorology and forecasting earthquakes.”

Some forerunners of these calamities have been well known for a long time. They are increase in seismic activity and concentration of radon gas, changes in the level of subsoil water and unrest of animals.

“When we were developing GLONASS system we noticed that the concentration of free electrons in the ionosphere changes before earthquakes. Seven hours before the disaster in Japan in March last year, we saw a splash over the future epicenter. We suggest launching small satellites that could communicate with each other and measure signal delay in the ionosphere. This would drop away the need for setting up a large number of seismological stations,” added Yuri Urlichich.

The geo-centric satellites need powerful data relay systems and consequently, heavy batteries for power supply. These are multi-ton satellites. However, the weight can be reduced by miniaturising the service systems. Russia launched its first nano-satellite in 2005, according to general director of the Russian Space Systems Company, Yuri Urlichich.

Source: Voice of Russia