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Vice-Versa GLONASS Developed in Russia. / August 17, 2016 /

For all-weather observations of motion in earth orbits, the Ritm-M new generation correlation-phase direction finder was developed by the MPEI Special Design Bureau (part of JSC Russian Space Systems (RKS)). The instrument is capable of measuring the space object coordinates with very high accuracy of 4-6 arc-seconds. This multifunction complex will facilitate the orbital navigation, thus making the maneuvers more safety.
Ritm-M is integrated into the Russian Ground Automated Control Complex for Spacecraft of Scientific and Socioeconomic Purposes. Now it controls the Elektro-L No.2 remote sensing satellite, the Luch relay system satellites, and the Breeze-M upper stages.

The Ritm-M principle of operation is similar to any modern satellite navigation system operation however it works in reverse order: to determine the coordinates of an object in orbit, its radio signals are captured by five spaced antennas on ground constituting Ritm-M. The data from antennas is transmitted to control center where the dedicated software measures the relative delay time of signals received and converts the measurements to angular coordinates. Such a technique provides the highest measuring accuracy and does not require equipping spacecraft with special trajectory determination facilities.

„There are over 15 thousand artificial objects now in the earth orbit and the dynamics of increase in their number is very high. Our satellites are operating among a large number of controlled and uncontrolled spacecraft, parts of rockets and upper stages. The requirements for control accuracy are extremely stringent under such conditions and any error will result in not only the loss of vehicle, but also an international scandal. The Ritm-M correlation-phase direction finders of new generation is one of the most advanced control instruments. They are capable of providing a high accuracy of maneuvers, safe operation of several spacecraft in common orbital position, their orbit trim, and space debris avoidance,“ says Chebotarev, Director General, MPEI Special Design Bureau.

The Ritm-M significant feature is its all-weather capability of operating. Unlike the optical systems, its operation does not depend on cloudiness and light-to-dark conditions. Ritm-M may work using any continuous signal from upper stages and spacecraft over the range between 1 and 8.5 GHz within the altitudes 200-40 000km. The upper limit is due to the orbital altitude of most satellites. Its range of coverage, if necessary, may be increased up to 380 000km which is the distance from the Earth to the Earth, and the frequency range may be extended to 18GHz.

Today, Ritm-M operates within the territory of the Medvezhyi Ozera Space Communication Center, OKB MPEI, nearby Moscow. As part of the Russian ground space infrastructure development, the similar systems are envisaged to be built in Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk Territory), at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, and in the western hemisphere as well. This will provide the 24-hour acquiring of coordinate and non-coordinate data on the Russian and foreign spacecraft and upper stages as well as monitoring of orbital and frequency resource.

ROSCOSMOS Press Service

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