Encyclopedia Astronautica

Russian earth resources radar satellite. Study 1992. The Arsenal Design Bureau proposed converting its military ocean reconnaissance spacecraft bus (EORSAT) into a civil remote sensing platform.

Called Obzor, the new spacecraft would feature a 4-channel model of the Travers SAR with a large antenna similar to the one proposed for Almaz 2. Developed by the Moscow Energy Institute, the radar would operate at wavelengths of 5.7, 9.2, 23.5, and 65 cm and would employ new processing and interpreting techniques created by the Institute for Space Geoinformation. The size and mass of Obzor would necessitate employing a Rus launch vehicle rather than the Tsyklon-2 used by EORSAT.

Obzor would use a space-based radar to monitor the earth's resources, ecology, extraordinary situations and disasters. It would use the space platform developed for the third generation MKRTs developed by Arsenal. The Travers-A radar, built by OKB MEI (Moscow Energy Institute) used four frequencies and a polarized sounding signal. New methods of on-board signal interpretation developed by the Institute of Space Geoinformation of the Russian Academy of Science (IKGI-RAEN), Saint Petersburg, would pass only significant data to earth for further processing. An operational system would consist of three 6.5 metric ton satellites flying in 524 km orbits inclined at 81.4 degrees to the equator. A swath of 250 km would be observed with a resolution of 90 to 130 m, or a 50 km swath with a resolution of 6 to 12 m. The radar used four working frequencies and four polarized sounding signals. The spacecraft would have a three year life and require a Soyuz-2 launch vehicle. Obzor was based on the Arsenal mid-class spacecraft bus. This had a mass of 4000 kg and could accommodate instrument payloads of up to 3000 kg. The solar arrays provided 1 kW average power, 4 kW in full sunlight. The orientation system could position the spacecraft to within half a degree. The bus had a three year design life.

Gross mass: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb).

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Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...
  • Soyuz M Rus project was to result in first major propulsion upgrade to R-7 family in forty years, using first stage engines derived from those developed for Zenit second stage to boost performance. It would have permitted launches from Plesetsk with same or greater payload than launch of standard Soyuz-U from Baikonur, permitting move of more launch operations back onto Russian territory. Instead the more modest Soyuz ST / Soyuz FG upgrades were made. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Arsenal Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Arsenal Design Bureau, Saint Petersburg, Russia. More...

  • Johnson, Nicholas L; and Rodvold, David M, Europe and Asia in Space 1993-1994, USAF Phillips Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM 80907, 1995..

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