Retaining several Nord system characteristics, the Tyulpan network would employ 2,400-2,600 kg spacecraft of a different design.
The two solar arrays would generate up to 1.5 kW, and ion engines would perform attitude control and orbit maintenance functions. The 670-kg payload was to include C-band and Ku-band transponders. Six spacecraft were needed for the Tyulpan network, which maximized the 8-hour visibility of each spacecraft by coordinating the operation of the C-band and Ku-band transponders. The C-band transponder, with steerable antennas, could be used at lower altitudes, whereas the Ku-band transponder would primarily operate with fixed antennas near a apogee.
Electric System: 1.50 average kW.
Gross mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb).
Payload: 670 kg (1,470 lb).