Encyclopedia Astronautica
Potok


Russian military communications satellite. 10 launches, 1982.05.18 (Cosmos 1366) to 2000.07.04 (Cosmos 2371). Potok was one element of the second generation global command and control system (GKKRS) developed according to a decree of 17 February 1976.

The first of ten spacecraft was launched as Cosmos 1366 in 1982. These satellites were integrated with the Luch geostationary system and featured retransmission of high rate data retransmission in the centimeter wavelength range. While Luch handled communications between spacecraft and ground stations, Potok handled communications between fixed points and digital data from the Yantar-4KS1 electroptical reconnaissance satellite. Potok was the first communications spacecraft built by the Lavochkin design bureau. The Slav-2 and Sintez transponders aboard Potok were developed by G Ya Guskov at NPO Elas.

Potok was said by one account to have utilized the KAUR-4 spacecraft bus. This had an active 3-axis orientation system, with a single central body from which extended 40 square meters of solar panels. Its basic structure was that of the KAUR-3, but it was equipped with completely new systems: a digital computer, plasma station-keeping engines, hydrazine monopropellant orientation engines, and actively-scanned antennae arrays with 0.5 degrees antenna and 0.1 degree spacecraft pointing accuracy.

Potok transponders utilized a unique, hexagonal phased-array antenna. The principal ground stations for the Potok system were located at Nakhodka and in the Moscow region at Konakovo. From Geyser spacecraft positioned at 80 degrees E and 13.5 degrees W, the Potok system was designed for digital data transmissions in C-band. A third geosynchronous slot at 168 degrees West was never used. Mobile and stationary transmitter/receiver stations were used with antenna diameters of 2.6-3 m as well as compact phased-array antennas. In 1992 Russian officials offered the Geyser-Potok system for commercial international use under the name Sokol.

AKA: Sokol; 11F663; Geizer.
Gross mass: 2,100 kg (4,600 lb).
First Launch: 1982.05.17.
Last Launch: 2000.07.04.
Number: 10 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. Development of the Proton began in 1962 as a two-stage vehicle that could be used to launch large military payloads or act as a ballistic missile with a 100 megaton nuclear warhead. The ICBM was cancelled in 1965, but development of a three-stage version for the crash program to send a Soviet man around the moon began in 1964. The hurried development caused severe reliability problems in early production. But these were eventually solved, and from the 1970's the Proton was used to launch all Russian space stations, medium- and geosynchronous orbit satellites, and lunar and planetary probes. More...
  • Proton-K/DM Russian orbital launch vehicle. The original four stage Proton / Block D configuration was used until 1976, at which time it was replaced by a modernised version equipped with N2O4/UDMH verniers for precise placement of payloads in geosynchronous orbit and its own self-contained guidance unit. This was accepted into military service in 1978 with the first Raduga launch. The stage was first developed for launch of gesynchronous military communications and early warning satellites (Raduga, Ekran, Gorizont, Potok, SPRN). Its later versions continue in use for launch of MEO and geosynchronous comsats, and was Russia's most successful commercial launcher. More...
  • Proton-K/DM-2 Russian orbital launch vehicle. This improved four stage version uses the Block DM-2 / 11S861 fourth stage, which has its own guidance unit. This reduces payload but does not require the spacecraft's guidance system to provide steering commands to booster. Replaced the original Block DM / 11S86 version from 1982 to 1995. Used for launch of Glonass navigation satellites into medium earth orbit; and launch of Luch, Ekran-M, Potok, Raduga, Gorizont, Raduga-1, Elektro, and Gals communications satellites into geosynchronous orbit. Commercial version with Saab payload adapter-seperation system for Western payloads was dubbed 'Block DM1'. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • RVSN Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Raketniye Voiska Stratigcheskovo Naznacheniya (Russian Strategic Rocket Forces), Russia. More...
  • Reshetnev Russian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Reshetnev Design Bureau, Krasnoyarsk-26/Zhelenogorsk, Russia. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Kaesmann, Ferdinand, et. al., "Proton - Development of A Russian Launch Vehicle", Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 1998, Volume 51, page 3.
  • Voevodin, Sergey A, "Sergey A. Voevodin's Reports", VSA072 - Space Apparatus, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • "Kommentariy k zapysky KA 'Kosmos-2291'", Novosti Kosmonavtiki, 1994, Issue 22, page 47.
  • Vladimirov, A, "Tablitsa zapuskov RN 'Proton' i 'Proton K'", Novosti kosmonavtiki, 1998, Issue 10, page 25.
  • Frolov, I, "Kratkiy istoricheskiy obzor sovietskikh (rossiyskikh) voennikh sredstv", Kosmodrom, No. 8, 1999, p. 21..
  • Siddiqi, Asif A, The Soviet Space Race With Apollo, University Press of Florida, 2003.
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Potok Chronology


1976 February 17 - . LV Family: Energia; N1.
  • Energia; Buran; Mir; Luch; Potok approved; N1 formally cancelled. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Buran; Mir; Mir-2; Gamma; Potok; Luch. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On work on Energia-Buran, DOS-7K nos. 7 and 8, Gamma. Geyzer (Potok), and Altair (Luch) and cancellation of the N1' was issued. The design of an improved model of the Salyut DOS-17K space station was authorised as part of the third generation of Soviet space systems in a decree. At that time it was planned that the two stations (DOS-7 and DOS-8) would be equipped with two docking ports at either end of the station and an additional two ports at the sides of the forward small diameter compartment. Luch and Potok were elements of the second generation global command and control system (GKKRS) deployed in the first half of the 1980's. Luch satellites, analogous to the US TDRS, provided communications service to the Mir space station, Buran space shuttle, Soyuz-TM spacecraft, military satellites, and the TsUPK ground control center. They also served to provide mobile fleet communications for the Soviet Navy. Additional Details: here....

1982 May 17 - . 23:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM 310-02.
  • Cosmos 1366 - . Payload: Potok no. 1 s/n 11L. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Potok. Completed Operations Date: 1987-10-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 13177 . COSPAR: 1982-044A. Apogee: 35,805 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 13.7000 deg. Period: 1,436.30 min. Stationed at 80 deg E. Investigation of outer space; experiments in relaying telegraph and telephone information in the centimetre wavelength range. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 80 deg E in 1982-1987 As of 4 September 2001 located at 81.31 deg E drifting at 0.033 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 68.65E drifting at 0.023E degrees per day.

1984 March 2 - . 03:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/40. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM 316-01.
  • Cosmos 1540 - . Payload: Potok no. 2 s/n 12L. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Potok. Completed Operations Date: 1988-02-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 14783 . COSPAR: 1984-022A. Apogee: 35,807 km (22,249 mi). Perigee: 35,761 km (22,220 mi). Inclination: 8.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Stationed at 79 deg E. Investigation of outer space; experiments in relaying telegraph and telephone information in the centimetre wavelength range. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 80 deg E in 1984-1988 As of 28 August 2001 located at 75.35 deg E drifting at 0.041 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 69.92E drifting at 0.020W degrees per day.

1986 April 4 - . 03:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/40. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM 302-01.
  • Cosmos 1738 - . Payload: Potok no. 3 s/n 13L. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Potok. Completed Operations Date: 1989-04-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 16667 . COSPAR: 1986-027A. Apogee: 35,847 km (22,274 mi). Perigee: 35,712 km (22,190 mi). Inclination: 5.6000 deg. Period: 1,435.70 min. Stationed at 13.5 deg W. Continuation of the investigation of outer space; experimental retransmission of telephone and telegraph data in the centimetre band. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 14 deg W in 1986-1989 As of 3 September 2001 located at 0.26 deg W drifting at 0.077 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 55.28W drifting at 0.287W degrees per day.

1987 October 1 - . 17:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 328-02.
  • Cosmos 1888 - . Payload: Potok no. 4 s/n 15L. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Potok. Completed Operations Date: 1994-09-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 18384 . COSPAR: 1987-084A. Apogee: 35,804 km (22,247 mi). Perigee: 35,772 km (22,227 mi). Inclination: 4.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Stationed at 80 deg E; later moved to 13.5 deg W. Communications experiments. Investigation of outer space; relaying of telephone and telegraph information. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 80 deg E in 1987-1990; 14 deg W in 1990-1994 As of 3 September 2001 located at 1.75 deg E drifting at 0.093 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 68.17W drifting at 0.344W degrees per day.

1988 August 1 - . 21:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 351-01.
  • Cosmos 1961 - . Payload: Potok no. 5 s/n 16L. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Potok. Completed Operations Date: 1993-12-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 19344 . COSPAR: 1988-066A. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 8.6000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Stationed at 13.5 deg W; later moved to 80 deg E. Investigation of outer space and relay of telegraph and telephone messages. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 14 deg W in 1988-1992; 80 deg E in 1992-1993. In September, 1993, Cosmos 1961 began drifting off station after a mission of five years had apparently been terminated. As of 4 September 2001 located at 80.01 deg E drifting at 0.015 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 74.58E drifting at 0.039E degrees per day.

1990 July 18 - . 21:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 340-01.
  • Cosmos 2085 - . Payload: Potok no. 6 s/n 17L. Mass: 2,150 kg (4,730 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Potok. Completed Operations Date: 1995-01-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 20693 . COSPAR: 1990-061A. Apogee: 35,790 km (22,230 mi). Perigee: 35,785 km (22,235 mi). Inclination: 1.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Stationed at 80 deg E. Relaying of telegraph and telephone information. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 80 deg E in 1990-1994 As of 29 August 2001 located at 71.92 deg E drifting at 0.041 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 79.57E drifting at 0.022W degrees per day.

1991 November 22 - . 13:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 353-02.
  • Cosmos 2172 - . Payload: Potok no. 7 s/n 18L. Mass: 2,150 kg (4,730 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Potok. Completed Operations Date: 1995-11-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 21789 . COSPAR: 1991-079A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.3000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Stationed at 13 deg W. Relaying of telegraph and telephone information. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 14 deg W in 1991-1995 As of 1 September 2001 located at 7.91 deg W drifting at 0.026 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 39.91W drifting at 0.204W degrees per day.

1994 September 21 - . 17:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 381-02.
  • Cosmos 2291 - . Payload: Potok no. 8 s/n 19L. Mass: 2,300 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Potok. USAF Sat Cat: 23267 . COSPAR: 1994-060A. Apogee: 35,829 km (22,263 mi). Perigee: 35,774 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 4.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.90 min. Cosmos 2291 quickly moved to 80 degrees E, joining Cosmos 2085 as a replacement for Cosmos1961. Thus, at the end of 1994 the Potok constellation had been restored to its normal 4·sateellite complement: Cosmos 2085 and 2291 at 80 degrees E and Cosmos 1888 and 2172 at 13.5 degrees W. Cosmos 2291 continued at 80 deg E in 1994-1995; then it was moved to 14 deg W in 1995-1999 As of 6 September 2001 located at 62.64 deg W drifting at 0.324 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 112.35W drifting at 0.417W degrees per day.

1995 August 30 - . 19:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 369-02.
  • Cosmos 2319 - . Payload: Potok no. 9 s/n 20L. Mass: 2,300 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Potok. USAF Sat Cat: 23653 . COSPAR: 1995-045A. Apogee: 35,837 km (22,268 mi). Perigee: 35,775 km (22,229 mi). Inclination: 3.8000 deg. Period: 1,437.10 min. Stationed at 80 deg E. Relaying of telegraph and telephone information. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 80 deg E in 1995-1999 As of 31 August 2001 located at 16.12 deg W drifting at 0.037 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 5 located at 17.95W drifting at 0.052W degrees per day.

2000 July 4 - . 23:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 389-02.
  • Cosmos 2371 - . Payload: Geyzer. Mass: 2,400 kg (5,200 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Manufacturer: Reshetnev. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Potok. Completed Operations Date: 2000-07-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 26394 . COSPAR: 2000-036A. Apogee: 35,802 km (22,246 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 8.6000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Second flight using RD-0210 Phase 2 engines. Geizer military communications satellite. The Blok DM upper stage inserted the Geizer into geosynchronous orbit at 06:20 GMT on July 5. Stationed at 80 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 80 deg E in 2000. As of 6 September 2001 located at 79.81 deg E drifting at 0.014 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 79.73E drifting at 0.022W degrees per day.

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