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Satellites-Predictors

The spacecraft tests are being completed at the Lavochkin Research and Production Association. The start is scheduled in 2015. The first Elektro-L satellite was launched in 2011. Three Elektro-L series weather satellites will operate in the geostationary orbit.

The Lavochkin Research and Production Association. The Elektro-L2 geostationary satellite is waiting for its launching in one of the departments. Elektro-L1 is already in orbit. It is one of the most modern satellites. Today it is difficult to imagine that 57 years ago the first Earth satellite was an ordinary metal ball with four antennas and simple radio transmitter inside.

And this is our times. Dolgoprudny City, Moscow Region. European Center of Satellite Data Receiving and Transmission of the Planeta Research Center. The data on the Earths climate from foreign and Russian spacecraft come here.

„The imaging has been taken now and we have acquired such data. This is the Crimea, recognizable. The weather is very fine now in the Crimea,“ shows Alexey Babenko, Deputy Director of Production, FGBU NITs Planeta.
There about twenty antenna complexes within the Centers territory. When a satellite is at the point accessible for receiving then operators aim their instruments at it and pick up a signal. Each spacecraft has its own receiving and transmitting antennas.

„This is antenna of minimal diameter whereby the data may be received without losses,“ tells A. Babenko.
Weather satellites observe our planet twenty four hours a day. The maps of cloud cover and wind direction and velocity are compiled and cyclones are monitored using their data. Any weather forecast cannot be made without such space systems.

„Our interest is to acquire data on the atmosphere condition across the globe. As a whole, according to the WMO estimates, satellites provide 50% of data currently for medium-term weather forecast,“ says Gennady Eliseev, Director Deputy of HydroMetCenter of Russia.

The World Meteorological Organization has a membership of 185 member states. Those countries that have launched their own spacecraft possess a colossal volume of data. Data is in open access. Each country dreams of its own satellite.

„Without home satellite constellation we may find ourselves in disadvantage. Foreign countries may impose certain limits on the access to their satellite data, as was already the case. It took place when the war in Iraq,“ says Valery Solovyev, Head of Space Meteorology Department, FGBU NITs Planeta

Five years ago, the reconstruction of the Russian weather space system has started. At first, the Meteor-M satellite was launched followed by the Elektro-L1 geostationary satellite. Today, the entire meteorological community is awaiting the launch of Elektro-L2. It is scheduled for launch for 2015.

The satellite will be equipped with a unique meteorological scanner for taking images of the earths surface in all spectral ranges. It will increase the quality of images.
„It has the capability of operating in all spectral bands simultaneously. The scanner consists of 10 channels: 3 visible channels and 7 infrared channels,“ tells Alexander Mitkin, Head of Center of Space System and Space Complex Designing, the Lavochkin Research and Production Association.

Elektro-L2 will be positioned over the Indian Ocean. The position is ideal for observing the whole Russia. The spacecraft mass is a bit less than two tons. In addition to the main weather scanner, the satellite will carry special-purpose sensors for space weather research. As of today, Elektro-L2 has already undergone nearly all ground tests.

„There will be the electrical, thermal, and vacuum tests in vacuum chamber in Zagorsk following which the decision on the spacecraft transportation to testing ground will be made,“ says A. Mitkin.

„India, Bangladesh. Here we can see rivers and streams overflowed heavily their banks. I drew a line and measured. The overflow zone is 69 kilometers,“ shows Nikolay Abrosimov, specialist of FGBU NITs Planeta.

This is the data from foreign satellite. Before long, the Russian scientists may in just the same way demonstrate meteorological images from Elektro-L2. The Planeta Research Center has already prepared the technical base for operation with this spacecraft.

„The Elektro series satellites have another important mission which is collecting data from ground observation platform,“ tells Solovyev.

For purposes of environmental monitoring the ground observation network was deployed within the territory of Russia. Weather and stream-gaging stations observe the conditions in remote northern and mountainous regions. Approximately five hundred terminals operate now through which all data is transmitted to regions. The Planeta Center has been already received the order for one and a half thousand additional terminals. This system cannot work without weather satellite support.

Russia envisages launching one more ambitious project Arktika-M hydrometeorological system. Two satellites will be placed into the highly elliptical orbit to observe the Arctic.
„Many new deposits were discovered there, that is an active economic activity takes place now. We are currently deploying our military bases, you know,“ thinks Solovyev.
The Arktika-M series satellites will provide Roshydromet with data used for weather prediction, monitor emergencies, and carry out ecological monitoring of the environment. The system will allow for predicting the conditions for aviation, and the ionosphere and magnetic field of the Earth condition.

„When one of the home satellites was launched a large convoy of vessels got stuck on the Northern Sea Route. The satellite took images of the territory. And using the data the convoy was transported,“ recalls Babenko.
Russia is the largest country in the geographical map and the richest in natural resources. To observe its hydrometeorological condition is necessary for both economical and political reasons. To do it using satellites is more reliable.

«A very active cyclone of explosive nature came through the Crimea. The event had been predicted well in advance. Including using satellite data. The Russian Hydrometeorological Center even received honorary mention from the ENERCOM for operational information,“ says proud Eliseev.

Element is beyond our control. Floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes occur without being invited. However scientists are trying to look to the future and make life on Earth more secure.

Roskosmos TV Studio


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