Author Topic: Soyuz-2.1v - Kosmos 2525 (EMKA) - Plesetsk - March 29, 2018 (17:38 UTC)  (Read 16587 times)

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - February 28, 2018
« Reply #20 on: 01/11/2018 09:51 PM »
Do we know if this launch will use an upper stage, such as Volga, or launch with no upper stage?
If not, when do we find out--when the LV is rolled out to the pad and images are released?

The Volga stage will presumably be hidden within the payload shroud, so it won't be visible.
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Offline Stan Black

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - February 28, 2018
« Reply #21 on: 01/11/2018 10:05 PM »
Do we know if this launch will use an upper stage, such as Volga, or launch with no upper stage?
If not, when do we find out--when the LV is rolled out to the pad and images are released?

The Volga stage will presumably be hidden within the payload shroud, so it won't be visible.

From what I have found, I think the first six rockets had associated Volga upper stages. The initial five are part of one contract for the Russian military. The sixth was for Lomonosov satellite.
« Last Edit: 01/12/2018 07:20 AM by Stan Black »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - February 28, 2018
« Reply #22 on: 01/12/2018 12:38 AM »
The Russian launch schedule thread lists this one as scheduled for this week. Has there been any indication that it is holding that schedule? Has anybody seen any NOTAMs that could indicate a launch is close?
Anatoly Zak has it listed now on his site in the first quarter after Soyuz MS-08 due to ongoing payload issues although he does not yet call it EMKA. He foresee's no launches until February at this time.
http://russianspaceweb.com/2018.html
Anatoly Zak has determined that EMKA is actually a Spacecraft Platform for the MKA programme and not the name of the Spacecraft flying:
http://russianspaceweb.com/2018.html#mka
Quote
Feb. 28: A Soyuz-2-1v rocket to launch a classified payload based on the experimental small-satellite platform, EMKA, from Plesetsk.
« Last Edit: 01/12/2018 04:19 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - February 28, 2018
« Reply #23 on: 01/12/2018 07:23 AM »
Anatoly Zak has determined that EMKA is actually a Spacecraft Platform and not the name of the Spacecraft flying:
http://russianspaceweb.com/2018.html#mka
Quote
Feb. 28: A Soyuz-2-1v rocket to launch a classified payload based on the experimental small-satellite platform, EMKA, from Plesetsk.
[/quote]

That would be confirmed by the fact that the VNIIEM annual report for 2016 (mentioned earlier in this thread) talks about "a satellite based on EMKA". The name of the satellite itself is probably classified. No Ministry of Defense designator (like 14F...) identified yet either.

Offline Stan Black

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - February 28, 2018
« Reply #24 on: 01/12/2018 07:29 AM »
The Russian launch schedule thread lists this one as scheduled for this week. Has there been any indication that it is holding that schedule? Has anybody seen any NOTAMs that could indicate a launch is close?
Anatoly Zak has it listed now on his site in the first quarter after Soyuz MS-08 due to ongoing payload issues although he does not yet call it EMKA. He foresee's no launches until February at this time.
http://russianspaceweb.com/2018.html
Anatoly Zak has determined that EMKA is actually a Spacecraft Platform and not the name of the Spacecraft flying:
http://russianspaceweb.com/2018.html#mka
Quote
Feb. 28: A Soyuz-2-1v rocket to launch a classified payload based on the experimental small-satellite platform, EMKA, from Plesetsk.

Look back at the earlier posts: remote sensing satellite “on the basis of an experimental small space apparatus" (EMKA)”.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44139.msg1753080#msg1753080

Mr. Zak has done this before, during the 1st Bars-M launch for example. Contents of his website are edited or changed but you can already find details in the NSF.

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - February 28, 2018
« Reply #25 on: 01/12/2018 03:45 PM »
There could be a link between EMKA and two small high-resolution remote sensing satellites described in the 4/2014 issue of the VNIIEM journal "Voprosy elektromekhaniki". One is called "Zvezda" ("Star") and the other MKA-V (MKA standing for "small satellite" and "V" for high resolution). Zvezda is described as a technology demonstrator for MKA-V. Zvezda is a 150 kg satellite in a 300 km orbit with a maximum resolution of 0.5 m and a minimum lifetime of one year and MKA-V is a 250 kg satellite in a 450 km orbit with a maximum resolution of 0.6 m and a minimum lifetime of five years. VNIIEM was said to be wiling to launch Zvezda in the first quarter of 2015 without any government funding in order to pave the way for MKA-V.  More details (including a drawing of MKA-V) here:

http://jurnal.vniiem.ru/text/141/17-22.pdf
(see p. 18-19)

Zvezda/MKA-V were apparently presented here as civilian remote sensing satellites, but might just as well be used for military purposes.

Zvezda is also mentioned in a paper given by VNIIEM specialists at the Korolyov Academic Readings in January 2015. Here it is described as a 200 kg satellite in a near-circular 500 km Sun-synchronous orbit with a minimum lifetime of 5 years. The paper focused mainly on the selection of orbit correction engines for the satellites. The authors say that the choice had fallen on the hydrazine-fueled K50.-10-5 thermal catalytic thrusters of OKB Fakel (also installed on NPO Lavochkin's Kosmos-2519 satellite).

http://ihst.ru/files/pdfs/Korolevskie-chteniya-2015-Materialy.pdf
(see p. 59-60)







Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - end of March 2018
« Reply #26 on: 02/18/2018 07:21 PM »
Cross-post from Plan of Russian Space Launches (part 2) thread:
https://twitter.com/RussianSpaceWeb/status/964957604651859969
Quote
Russian military postpones the launch of a #Soyuz-2-1v rocket with a classified payload from #Plesetsk until the end of March: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/2018.html#mka

EDIT:
Soyuz-2-1v - March 28-29:
http://novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/forum/messages/forum14/topic16307/message1742272/#message1742272
« Last Edit: 03/24/2018 02:01 AM by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #27 on: 03/14/2018 08:56 AM »
http://zakupki.gov.ru/223/purchase/public/purchase/info/common-info.html?regNumber=31806178974

This is a contract signed between VNIIEM and the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center on 21 February 2018 for delivery of a satellite to the Plesetsk cosmodrome on 26 February (almost certainly EMKA). The satellite was to be transported to the launch site from Chkalovskiy airfield near Moscow using an Ilyushin-76 owned by the cosmonaut training center.

Interestingly, a reference is made to a contract signed between the Ministry of Defense and VNIIEM on 23 October 2015. If this is the official start date of the project, it would mean that EMKA has reached the launch pad much faster than any Russian military satellite in recent memory. This could mean that it draws heavily on existing VNIIEM designs such as Meteor and Kanopus-V.

There's another description of EMKA in a paper presented at a conference on remote sensing satellites in 2015.
http://www.vniiem.ru/ru/uploads/files/conferences/150423/sbornik_tezisov_2015.pdf
(p. 41-42).

It is described as a three-axis stabilized satellite with a mass of no more than 200 kg and equipped with hydrazine thrusters (presumably the K50.-10-5 thermal catalytic thrusters of OKB Fakel, see reply 25 in this thread).  It can be used for high-resolution panchromatic and multispectral photography and is said to be capable of "video imaging" and "stereo imaging". 

Offline Nicolas PILLET

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #28 on: 03/14/2018 10:25 AM »
The satellite was to be transported to the launch site from Chkalovskiy airfield near Moscow using an Ilyushin-76 owned by the cosmonaut training center.

Which is quite strange...
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #29 on: 03/14/2018 06:51 PM »
The satellite was to be transported to the launch site from Chkalovskiy airfield near Moscow using an Ilyushin-76 owned by the cosmonaut training center.

Which is quite strange...

A new, intra-governmental source of funding for the cosmonaut training center?  (An inter-unit transfer?)
« Last Edit: 03/14/2018 06:52 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #30 on: 03/14/2018 08:42 PM »
The satellite was to be transported to the launch site from Chkalovskiy airfield near Moscow using an Ilyushin-76 owned by the cosmonaut training center.

Which is quite strange...

Actually, there are three contracts for the transportation of EMKA from Moscow to Plesetsk on the zakupki.gov.ru website :

http://zakupki.gov.ru/223/purchase/public/purchase/info/common-info.html?regNumber=31705773827
between VNIIEM and Volga-Dnepr
from Moscow/Sheremetyevo to Plesetsk, scheduled for 27 November 2017
"purchase completed"

http://zakupki.gov.ru/223/purchase/public/purchase/info/common-info.html?regNumber=31806147300
between VNIIEM and OAO 224 LO
from Moscow/Chkalovskiy to Plesetsk, scheduled for 26 February 2018
"purchase canceled"

http://zakupki.gov.ru/223/purchase/public/purchase/info/common-info.html?regNumber=31806178974
between VNIIEM and the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
from Moscow/Chkalovskiy to Plesetsk, scheduled for 26 February 2018
"purchase completed"

I'm not sure if this means that EMKA was transported to Plesetsk in November and then shipped back after problems cropped up at the cosmodrome.

The VNIIEM-Star City contract gives the Ilyushin-76 as the plane to be used for the transport, but the interpretation that this plane actually belongs to Star City was mine.  A quick check shows Star City only has three ll-76MDK planes modified for parabolic 0-g flights. I don't think these can be used for the transportation of cargo. All this would require further analysis, but in the end I suppose it's not all that important who transported the satellite to Plesetsk. The main thing to remember from these documents is the date that VNIIEM and the Ministry of Defense signed the contract for the development of EMKA.


Offline Stan Black

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #31 on: 03/16/2018 05:42 AM »
It shows RF 75353 which is the zero gravity aeroplane?

Also the first document shows different mass of cargo for the later flights?

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #32 on: 03/16/2018 10:24 AM »
It shows RF 75353 which is the zero gravity aeroplane?

Well spotted, Stan. The Ilyushin-76 with tail number RF 75353 is indeed one of Star City's zero gravity aeroplanes, so it looks these can be used as cargo planes after all.

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #33 on: 03/23/2018 02:32 PM »
With the launch of EMKA approaching (no signs of another delay yet), here’s a recap of what we know and some additional background plus new information.

Although EMKA appears to use a new bus, it probably inherits many features from VNIIEM’s Kanopus satellites. These satellites (as well as the Belarusian satellite BKA and the Lomonosov scientific satellite) were based on a bus called UMKP-400 (bus mass about 350 kg, payload mass about 100 kg).  This was built in cooperation with UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology, which delivered satellite avionics and software, electrical power management and batteries, onboard computers sand data handling software and also provided satellite assembly and integration support. 

In mid-August 2015 Izvestiya reported that Roskosmos had decided to abandon plans for follow-on Kanopus satellites (called Kanopus-VM) under the Federal Space Program 2016-2025 because of the dropping value of the ruble and the resulting high cost of the imported equipment (Western-imposed sanctions probably also played a role).
https://iz.ru/news/589904

Paradoxically, two weeks after this article appeared, VNIIEM signed a protocol with Surrey at the MAKS-2015 aerospace show on possible co-operation on a future Russian remote sensing satellite, but that never seems to have resulted in the signing of an actual contract. During the same show, VNIIEM also signed agreements for the development of a follow-on Belarusian satellite (BKA-2) and an Iranian remote sensing satellite.  These satellites are currently under development and it is not clear if they still incorporate equipment built by Surrey Satellite Technologies. The Iranian satellite is said to be based on a “modified Kanopus platform”. 

Even while UMKP-400 was still under development about a decade ago, VNIIEM began looking at even smaller platforms for remote sensing missions, apparently without any foreign involvement. One of those was a 350 kg satellite called Kartograf (“Cartographer”) for mapping purposes. See p. 12-14, 21 of this PowerPoint presentation:

http://www.myshared.ru/slide/955930/

A paper in 2013 talked about an “experimental platform for a small satellite” with a total mass of about 140 kg (platform mass up to 90 kg, payload mass up to 50 kg) and designed to be placed into Sun-synchronous orbits at altitudes between 500 and 1,000 kg.
http://vka.mil.ru/upload/site5/document_file/640_2013.pdf
(see p. 40)

It would seem that EMKA has its roots in these earlier proposals. By 2014 VNIIEM was working out proposals for a high-resolution remote sensing satellite called MKA-V (MKA standing for ‘small satellite” and “V” for high resolution) to be preceded by a technology demonstrator called Zvezda (“Star”). Zvezda was described as a 150 kg satellite in a 300 km orbit with a maximum resolution of 0.5 m and a minimum lifetime of one year and MKA-V as a 250 kg satellite in a 450 km orbit with a maximum resolution of 0.6 m and a minimum lifetime of five years. VNIIEM was said to be willing to launch Zvezda in the first quarter of 2015 without any government funding in order to pave the way for MKA-V. These plans were revealed in a 2014 issue of VNIIEM’s in-house journal “Voprosy Elektromekhaniki”.

http://jurnal.vniiem.ru/text/141/17-22.pdf
(see p. 18-19)

VNIIEM specialists subsequenty presented plans for Zvezda at the Korolyov Academic Readings in January 2015, describing it as a 200 kg satellite in a near-circular 500 km Sun-synchronous orbit with a minimum lifetime of 5 years. The paper focused mainly on the selection of orbit correction engines for the satellite, with the final choice having fallen on the hydrazine-fueled K50.-10-5 thermal catalytic thrusters of OKB Fakel.

http://ihst.ru/files/pdfs/Korolevskie-chteniya-2015-Materialy.pdf
(see p. 59-60)

An “experimental small satellite” was the subject of another paper by VNIIEM specialists at a remote sensing conference in April 2015. Although they didn’t call it Zvezda, several elements suggested they were talking about one and the same satellite.

http://www.vniiem.ru/ru/uploads/files/conferences/150423/sbornik_tezisov_2015.pdf
(p. 41-42)

The next mention of the “experimental small satellite” came in VNIIEM’s annual report for 2016, which said it was scheduled for launch in 2017.

http://www.vniiem.ru/ru/uploads/files/god_otchet_2016.pdf
(p. 8, 10)

This, together with a publicly available contract to transport EMKA to Plesetsk,  was spotted by Stan Black last November and linked in this thread to an upcoming launch of the Soyuz-2-1v booster from Plesetsk. This was the starting point for all the subsequent revelations posted here and on the Novosti Kosmonavtiki forum. The Izvestiya newspaper apparently picked up on these postings last December, using its own sources in the space industry to confirm the nature of the Soyuz-2-1v payload.

https://iz.ru/682354/dmitrii-strugovetc-aleksei-ramm/rossiia-ispytaet-eksperimentalnyi-sputnik-razvedchik


The fact that Zvezda/EMKA was openly presented in publications in 2014-2015 would suggest that at that point VNIIEM was primarily looking at Roskosmos as a potential customer for the satellite. However, we now know from the openly available contracts for the delivery of the satellite to the Plesetsk cosmodrome that the contract for the development of the satellite was signed between VNIIEM and the Ministry of Defense on 23 October 2015. This would explain why the project “went black” afterwards and has since not shown up in any publicly available papers (at least not that I’m aware of). 

It will be interesting to see the coming week how much is publicly revealed about the satellite, which will give us a good idea whether this is dedicated military satellite or a dual-use military/civilian satellite. A presentation by the Ingosstrakh insurance company lists the EMKA launch as one insured under Russia’s “Federal Space Program 2018”. FSP usually covers only civilian and dual-use missions. However, the list also includes Blagovest, which I understand is a dedicated military communications satellite.

http://www.raaks.ru/docs/doc20180227_012.pdf
(p. 10)

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #34 on: 03/23/2018 02:40 PM »
One subcontractor involved in EMKA may be the company SKTB Plastik, based in Syzran (Samara region). According to the company’s website,  it is producing a carbon composite housing for an optical module to be installed on “the small satellite Zvezda on orders of the VNIIEM corporation”.

The housing for the camera(s) is said to measure 1276 x 405 x 721 mm and weigh less than 30 kg.  It is mentioned on two pages on the website, neither of which (unlike most other pages) are translated into English.

http://www.sktb-plastik.ru/129/
http://www.sktb-plastik.ru/169/

Two of the drawings of the camera housing are attached below.

There is a very detailed technical description of the housing in this paper (without any reference to the satellite for which it is intended):

http://www.sktb-plastik.ru/media/files/2016_4_571_577.pdf

Neither the website nor the paper provide any clue as to who is manufacturing the actual camera(s) to be installed inside the housing.  VNIIEM subcontracted the development of cameras for Kanopus-V and the identical Belarusian BKA satellite to the Belarusian company OAO Peleng, based in Minsk. Last December OAO Peleng’s director Vladimir Pokryshkin said five satellites carrying his company’s cameras would be launched in 2018.
 
http://naviny.by/new/20171213/1513171561-pyat-sputnikov-s-apparaturoy-belorusskogo-oao-peleng-gotovyatsya-k-startu-v

Four of those are Kanopus-V nr. 3 and 4 (launched in February) and Kanopus-V nr. 5 and 6 (scheduled for launch late this year). He didn’t identify the fifth satellite, saying only it would carry equipment with a resolution of 1m or better (“as ordered by our president [Lukashenko]”) and that the cameras would be delivered in mid-2018 for launch later in the year. That doesn’t seem to agree with the timelines for EMKA, which is scheduled to fly next week (although I have not seen any confirmation of that yet). Pokryshkin may have been referring to Egyptsat-A (built by RKK Energiya), which is now scheduled for launch in early 2019, but may still have been targeted for launch in late 2018 when he made these comments. Egyptsat-A will carry optical equipment built by OAO Peleng.

OAO Peleng is also building cameras for the next Belarusian satellite (BKA-2) and could also be involved (although not confirmed) in the Kanopus-based Iranian satellite. The “Plan for Russian space launches” thread on this forum lists both BKA-2 and the Iranian satellite as potential co-passengers for Kanopus nr. 5 and 6 later this year, but recent press reports suggest BKA-2 will not fly until late 2019 or 2020. The status of the Iranian satellite is unclear. A recent report mentioned only 12 Dove cubesats as co-passengers for Kanopus 5/6.

https://ria.ru/science/20180110/1512354374.html

OAO Peleng is apparently also involved in another satellite project under a joint Russian-Belarusian remote sensing program called Monitoring-SG, but the Russian prime contractor for that would appear to be Khrunichev.

http://www.belta.by/newscompany/view/oao-peleng-uchastvuet-v-sozdanii-novogo-malogo-sputnika-distantsionnogo-zondirovanija-zemli-188634-2016/
https://sit.basnet.by/monitoring/index/index

In short, there is no clear evidence that OAO Peleng has extended its partnership with VNIIEM beyond the Kanopus-based satellites. Despite the close ties between Russia and Belarus,  the Russians may want to prefer using domestically built cameras for a military satellite like EMKA. 

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #35 on: 03/24/2018 12:50 AM »
Thinking about the probable low mass of this satellite and its potential for imaging reconnaissance, I am reminded that Israel's 1995 Ofeq 3 was 225 kg and had a similar mission.
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Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #36 on: 03/26/2018 05:06 AM »
So....are there any NOTAMs that can show a more concrete launch date/time yet?   ;)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #37 on: 03/26/2018 07:25 AM »
Based upon recent history, should we have a competition to guess the Cosmos serial number? ;)
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane - WJ.

Offline Satori

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #38 on: 03/26/2018 01:51 PM »
Launch on March 29 (?)

Tweet from Anatoly Zak

The State Commission overseeing the preparation for launch of a #Soyuz-2-1v rocket from #Plesetsk with a Russian military payload was to meet today to give the final go ahead to the liftoff on March 29. Details: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/2018.html#mka
« Last Edit: 03/26/2018 01:52 PM by Satori »

Offline Alter Sachse

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Re: Soyuz-2.1v - EMKA - Plesetsk - late March 2018
« Reply #39 on: 03/26/2018 01:59 PM »
So we would have 4 launches on 29.03. !

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