Author Topic: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites  (Read 8434 times)

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Russia is constructing four ground-based signals intelligence (SIGINT) sites that will be used to pick up and analyze radio signals emitted by foreign satellites flying over Russian territory. They are being built under a project known as Sledopyt (“Pathfinder”), which I discussed in an article published this month in “Jane’s Intelligence Review”. Part of the article is available here:

https://www.janes.com/images/assets/168/85168/OSINT_Snapshot_Procurement_files_detail_plans_for_new_Russian_SIGINT_system.pdf

The existence of Sledopyt was acknowledged by a Russian military space official in 2015. See this interview in the “Krasnaya zvezda” (“Red Star”) newspaper:

http://archive.redstar.ru/index.php/advice/item/22141-intellekt-kosmicheskoj-razvedki

No further public comments have been made on it since, but analysis of procurement documentation that is publicly available online has made it possible to find out more about the project.  The SIGINT sites have the general code number “1511” and are also referred to as 14Ts032 (14Ц032). Their names and locations are:

- 1511/1 : Dubrovo/Noginsk-9  (about 65 km northeast of Moscow)
- 1511/2 : Pionerskiy  (about 30 km northwest of Kaliningrad)
- 1511/3 : Sudokhol (just north of Bolshoi Kamen’ in the Primorsk region)
- 1511/4 : Shakhi (about 30 km west of Barnaul in the Altai region)

Key facilities at the SIGINT sites will be a series of control buildings (designated 501) and antenna complexes to pick up satellites with low frequencies (502 or IPK-N), medium frequencies (503 or IPK-S) and high frequencies (504 or IPK-V). Also part of the SIGINT complexes is a 70 m high structure referred to as a “calibration tower” (505).

Contracts for the construction of all four sites were awarded by the Ministry of Defence in March 2015. Publicly available satellite imagery clearly shows signs of construction at sites 1511/1, 1511/2 and 1151/4. The site near Dubrovo/Noginsk-9 seems to be the most advanced in construction. Noginsk-9 is home to the 821st Main Space Intelligence Centre, the headquarters of Russia’s space surveillance network and also the place where an “information support complex” (known as 1009/5) is being built for projects Nivelir and Burevestnik (presumably inspector satellite and ASAT projects). Two of the other sites, 1511/2 and 1511/4, are located right next to existing satellite ground facilities (Military Unit 92626 in Pionerskiy and Military Unit 85906 or NIP-7 in Shakhi).

One of the procurement documents has a map of the 1511/1 site (see attachment 1). It can be found here:
http://zakupki.gov.ru/223/purchase/public/purchase/info/common-info.html?regNumber=31401062588

This makes it easy to spot the site on Google Еаrth (see attachment 2). It is situated about 2 km south of Noginsk-9.

Another document has a drawing of the calibration tower for site 1511/4 (see attachment 3). The document can be found here:
http://zakupki.gov.ru/223/purchase/public/purchase/info/common-info.html?regNumber=31604143080

The calibration tower that is part of 1151/1 seems to have been built about one kilometer south of the actual site near an older satellite SIGINT complex called Moment (or 14G6). This is just east of the village of Stromyn. See the attached screenshot from Google Earth. The tower (which casts a long shadow) is in the lower part of the picture. Above it are the dish antennas of the Moment complex.   

The procurement documentation does not reveal anything about the capabilities of the SIGINT complexes.  However, several technical papers on ground-based satellite SIGINT written by specialists of the Mozhaiskiy Military Space Academy in St.-Petersburg seem to be related to the project. A co-author of all the articles is the Academy’s Roman A. Gudayev. One of them was co-authored by Vladislav V. Makarenkov, identified as an engineer involved in a “construction project” at Noginsk-9, almost certainly a reference to the 1511/1 site. The articles can be found in journals published by the the Mozhaiskiy Academy (“Trudy voyenno-kosmicheskoi akademii im. A.F. Mozhaiskogo”) and the Moscow Aviation Institute (“Trudy MAI”).


http://trudvka.ru/download/2015/647_june_2015.pdf
http://trudvka.ru/download/2015/649_december_2015.pdf
http://vka.mil.ru/upload/site5/document_file/654_2016.pdf
http://trudvka.ru/download/2018/%D0%92%D1%8B%D0%BF%D1%83%D1%81%D0%BA%20661.pdf
http://trudymai.ru/upload/iblock/b98/aldokhina_-demyanov_gudaev_byk_vikulova_rus.pdf
http://trudymai.ru/upload/iblock/4d0/korolev_gudaev_kulikov_aldokhina_rus-.pdf

According to the articles, SIGINT systems offer advantages in satellite identification over radar systems (which are restricted to observing low-orbiting satellites) and optical telescopes (which may be hampered by poor meteorological and atmospheric conditions).  They can be used to study various features of satellite signals such as their spectral characteristics, frequency range, polarization and radiation pattern, which in turn can provide information on such things as the type of antennas carried, the satellite’s orientation in space and the sort of data it collects and sends back to Earth. The articles describe a three-step digital processing technique that makes it possible to extract from the signals telltale information about the satellite’s nature and capabilities. One of the papers focuses in particular on observations of radar-equipped remote sensing satellites, a possible indication that U.S. military radar reconnaissance satellites of the Lacrosse and Topaz types will become prime targets for Sledopyt.

Although not confirmed by Russian sources, it is also conceivable that data gathered by Sledopyt will be used to support ground-based satellite electronic warfare systems. Earlier this week the Interfax news agency quoted the press service of Russia’s Central Military District as saying  that one such system called Tirada-2S is expected to become operational next year.  It is reportedly capable of “completely knocking out communications satellites”.

https://www.interfax.ru/russia/642705

Offline Magic

  • Member
  • Posts: 54
  • Liked: 15
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #1 on: 12/21/2018 04:13 pm »
What's meant by "low frequencies (502 or IPK-N), medium frequencies (503 or IPK-S) and high frequencies (504 or IPK-V)"?
« Last Edit: 12/21/2018 04:13 pm by Magic »

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #2 on: 12/21/2018 09:26 pm »
What's meant by "low frequencies (502 or IPK-N), medium frequencies (503 or IPK-S) and high frequencies (504 or IPK-V)"?

All I can tell is that IPK-N, IPK-S and IPK-V literally stand for "Measuring Subcomplex for the Low/Medium/High Frequency Range".  IPK-N consists of one antenna, IPK-S has six antennas and IPK-V two antennas. There are also IPK-N, IPK-S and IPK-V antennas on the calibration tower.

Most of the information on Sledopyt is from procurement documents, which don't give any background on systems like these, especially if they are used for military purposes.   

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #3 on: 12/23/2018 11:37 pm »
Here are Google Earth screenshots of the Sledopyt SIGINT sites called 1511/2 (in Pionerskiy near Kaliningrad) and 1511/4 (near Shakhi in the Altai region). Both are adjacent to existing satellite ground stations (not visible in the screenshots). Within several miles of both sites are also Voronezh radar complexes of Russia's missile early warning network. The reason for building them close to these existing facilities is not immediately obvious.

The lay-out is similar to that of the 1511/1 site near Dubrovo/Noginsk-9 (see the image attached to my first post). 1511/2 is clearly in a more advanced state of construction than 1511/4 (at least when these images were taken). Clearly visible in the 1511/2 imagery are the six antenna mountings for the IPK-S system. There are two high towers just to the southeast and southwest of IPK-S, but I don't know if either of these is the 70 m high calibration tower. In Noginsk-9 the calibration tower seems to be about 2 km south of the actual construction site. The H-shaped building (also clearly seen in the image of the 1511/1 site in Noginsk-9) is the control building called 501.

So far it's not possible to see any signs on Google Earth of the 1511/3 site in Sukhodol (which I misspelled as Sudokhol in my earlier post). This is in the Primorsk region just north of the city of Bolshoi Kamen. The area is largely covered in clouds in the Google Earth imagery.

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #4 on: 10/11/2019 10:53 pm »
New Google Earth imagery shows progress being made in the construction of the 1511/4 site near Shakhi (Altai region). Several antennas are now clearly in place (not seen in the image of site 1511/4 in the previous post). Also clearly seen now is the 70 meter high calibration tower, which is just south of the actual site.

No signs yet of construction of site 1511/3 in new imagery of Sukhodol in the Primorsk region.

There is no new imagery so far of site 1511/1 near Dubrovo/Noginsk-9 and site 1511/2 near Pionerskiy. Site 1511/1 is presumably the first where construction began, but the most recent procurement documentation on the zakupki.gov.ru website indicates that it has not yet been completed. It looks doubtful that any of these sites is operational at this point in time.

Offline Magic

  • Member
  • Posts: 54
  • Liked: 15
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #5 on: 10/11/2019 11:42 pm »
Don't understand what a "calibration tower" is but the 1511/4 tower image sure looks like one of these:

https://www.chelveston-pc.gov.uk/2013-deb-microwave-tower.html/

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #6 on: 10/12/2019 09:55 am »
Don't understand what a "calibration tower" is but the 1511/4 tower image sure looks like one of these:

https://www.chelveston-pc.gov.uk/2013-deb-microwave-tower.html/

"Calibration tower" (юстировочная вышка) is the term used in the procurement documentation for the Sledopyt sites. They are also referred to with the code number "505". The documentation doesn't say what they will be used for. They have antennas connecting them with the IPK-N, IPK-S and IPK-V antenna complexes at the SIGINT sites themselves, which are used respectively to pick up low-frequency, medium-frequency and high-frequency signals. It looks like the towers are not identical. The height given for the 1511/1, 1511/2 and 1511/4 towers is 68 m, 56 m and 72 m respectively. There is a drawing of the 1511/4 tower in the first post here. 

By the way, there is a second  high tower near the 7511/4 site. I have marked both towers in the attached context image: the one seen in the previous post is about one kilometer south of 7511/4 and the second one is about one kilometer west of 7511/4.  It is situated on the premises of the NIP-7 satellite ground station (Military Unit 85906), which is adjacent to the 7511/4 site. The procurement documentation for 7511/4 mentions just one "505" tower, so it's possible that one of the two has nothing to do with the Sledopyt site. Also attached is a close-up of that second tower and what I think is a view of the tower seen from the ground, taken from this  source:

https://www.rostov.kp.ru/daily/26767/3799596/

An online search may turn up more ground-based images of the calibration towers. They must be visible from miles and are, of course, impossible to hide from public view.

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #7 on: 10/12/2019 10:27 am »
It's also possible to see the calibration tower near the 7511/2 site in Pionerskiy (Kaliningrad region). It is about 0.5 km south of 7511/2 (see the attached context image and close-up).  It is apparently located on the premises of a nearby satellite ground station called Military Unit 92626 (set up in December 2009). This seems to have only mobile satellite dish antennas:

http://kik-sssr.ru/XX_Kaliningrad.htm
http://kik-sssr.ru/HH.1_Kaliningrad_Photo.htm

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #8 on: 10/12/2019 11:25 pm »
While the Sledopyt sites are probably not yet operational, Russia has another SIGINT complex to monitor signals from foreign satellites. This is called Moment (index 14G6) and consists of a number of dish antennas located several kilometers south of Noginsk-9/Dubrovo and just to the east of the village of Stromyn. Moment was conceived back in the 1990s, but didn't become operational until early this century. There were plans for an upgraded system called Moment-M, but these do not seem to have materialized. 

There is a short English Wikipedia page on the site here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moment_space_surveillance_complex
More background in Russian:
http://pro75555.myqip.ru/?1-11-0-00000003-000-0-1

Attached are:
- a context image showing the location of Moment (the 1511/1 Sledopyt complex can be seen in between Noginsk-9 and the Moment site)
- a close-up of the site (just under the Moment dish antennas is the calibration tower of the 1511/1 Sledopyt complex)
- a drawing of Moment from http://forums.airbase.ru/2011/07/t58057--raketno-kosmicheskaya-oborona-rko-rossii.html
- a screenshot of Moment from this Russian TV report on the 50th anniversary of the space surveillance headquarters at Noginsk-9 :
https://otr-online.ru/news/centru-kontrolya-kosmicheskogo-prostranstva-ispolnyaetsya-50-ppart-71152.html
(see 2:00-2:30)

Moment is also shown in this TV report on the space surveillance headquarters:
https://tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/content/201503101714-9wb6.htm
(1:55-2:30)

Neither of the TV reports identifies the dish antennas as belonging to Moment or discusses their purpose. The location is simply given as "the Moscow region". 




Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #9 on: 04/16/2020 09:55 pm »
As noted earlier here, no sign has been seen so far on Google Earth of construction of one of the three Sledopyt SIGINT sites, namely 1511/3 in Sukhodol in the Primorsk region in Russia's Far East. These court documents, published late last year, seem to explain why:

http://kad.arbitr.ru/Card/11ee3415-6dbf-4856-8011-c4e57f590c37

As it turns out, the official go-ahead for the construction of 1511/3 was given on 2 October 2015, but shortly afterwards an archeological discovery was made on the planned construction site that halted the work. This is described as a "hillfort dating back to the 12-13th century or possibly earlier (10th-12th century)". One of the resulting problems was that the so-called "calibration tower" could no longer be built within the boundaries of the planned site, because it needs to be located 1.5 to 2 km from what is called "IPK-V", presumably a set of antennas to pick up high-frequency signals from foreign satellites. The need to move the tower to adjacent territory that originally was not part of the construction site led to the necessary delays and legal problems, which are the subject of these documents. Nothing is revealed about the current status of construction plans for 1511/3. Nevertheless, it's interesting to see that archeological findings can delay high-priority military construction projects.

The documents identify what would seem to be the prime contractor for Sledopyt, namely NIIR (the Radio Research and Development Institute), based in Moscow.

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #10 on: 05/02/2020 07:31 pm »
Court documents published last year suggest that the Sledopyt project has experienced significant delays over the last decade and may still be a long way from becoming operational. 

https://kad.arbitr.ru/Card/b08ea492-82f5-48be-b41e-ef31801de6b3
https://kad.arbitr.ru/Card/639d0527-97ad-476c-802d-2834ebb4725d

The documents reveal that the project got underway on 24 July 2009 with a contract signed between the Ministry of Defense and the Radio Research and Development Institute (NIIR), the prime contractor.  This was for what was officially described as “the creation of a network of specialized complexes to monitor radio emitting spacecraft” / “OKR (experimental design work) Sledopyt”, also referred to as 14Ts032 (14Ц032).

One follow-up contract was signed on May 1, 2010 between NIIR and a university called the Moscow Power Engineering Institute (NIU MEI) for the IPK-S system, which is intended to intercept medium-frequency signals from satellites. Another online source makes it possible to trace that specific work to a small design bureau within NIU MEI called NPTS KB RPS  (headed by Yuri Bugayev). It is also known to build radar calibration satellites called KYuA  (three of which have probably been launched as Kosmos-2512, 2537 and 2538).
https://mpei.ru/AboutUniverse/OficialInfo/orders2015/MPEI-15-179.pdf

The July 2009 contract stipulated that the Ministry of Defense should complete “preparatory work” at the construction sites in 2012-2013, but this work ran into delays and was subsequently affected by the Western sanctions imposed on Russia beginning in 2014, which made it necessary to import certain hardware from other countries. Apparently, the preparatory work was still not completed by 2016 and on October 29, 2016 the Deputy Minister of Defense signed an order “to stop work on the OKR” on November 1, 2016 and conclude a new government contract with NIIR after completion of the preparatory work.  It then took another two years (until November 6, 2018) for the Ministry of Defense and NIIR to reach an agreement on annulling the original July 2009 government contract. That decision officially went into effect on November 27, 2018. 

Does this mean Sledopyt has been canceled or suspended? Most likely not. The October 2016 decision of the Ministry of Defense probably ordered NIIR to temporarily halt only the work that falls directly under its responsibility, namely the design and production of hardware needed to pick up satellite signals. Presumably, the Ministry of Defense has since signed a new contract with NIIR (replacing the one of 2009) that set new timelines for the company to finish its part of the work.

The actual construction work on the sites is done under separate government contracts between the Ministry of Defense and various military construction companies. The most recent one is known to have been signed on April 6, 2018.  Building contracts signed with various subcontractors in 2019 for the 1511/1 site in Noginsk-9 clearly show that the project is still alive.  Also, in a recent interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, the head of Russia’s Main Space Surveillance Center Sergei Suchkov mentioned the development of a system to pick radio signals from satellites (most likely Sledopyt) as one of the goals to be accomplished as part of a program to modernize Russia’s space surveillance network before 2025.
http://redstar.ru/nablyudat-za-zvyozdami-i-garantirovat-bezopasnost-strany/?attempt=1

Nevertheless, imagery of the sites available on Google Earth shows little progress in the construction work. As mentioned earlier here, construction of the 1511/3 site in Sukhodol does not even seem to have started, which may be partly due to an archeological discovery made on the planned construction site several years ago (see the previous posting).  In short, all signs are that more than ten years after it began, the Sledopyt project is still some years away from entering service.

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #11 on: 11/20/2020 06:29 pm »
Procurement documentation released in recent months shows that the Sledopyt project is once again inching its way forward after apparently having been stalled for some time. A new contract on the project was signed between the Ministry of Defense and the Radio Research and Development Institute (NIIR) (the prime contractor) on March 20, 2019 and presumably set new timelines for the project after the original contract between the wo parties (signed in 2009) was annulled in November 2018 (see the previous post). 

A number of follow-on contracts to the new contract appeared on zakupki.gov.ru earlier this year, all of them awarded by the Sint-Petersburg branch of NIIR (known as LONIIR).

https://zakupki.gov.ru/223/contract/public/contract/view/general-information.html?id=9576703
https://zakupki.gov.ru/223/contract/public/contract/view/general-information.html?style44=false&id=9500753&backUrl=3535fcfe-3276-4859-95ad-a0
https://zakupki.gov.ru/223/contract/public/contract/view/general-information.html?style44=false&id=9501135&backUrl=3535fcfe-3276-4859-95ad-a0ffa5665136
https://zakupki.gov.ru/223/contract/public/contract/view/general-information.html?style44=false&id=9676105&backUrl=3535fcfe-3276-4859-95ad-a0ffa5665136
https://zakupki.gov.ru/223/contract/public/contract/view/general-information.html?style44=false&id=9923245&backUrl=608070f3-4752-48f5-b600-8e761b9c3f7c

One of these is for a 5 m diameter antenna operating in the 1-16 GHz frequency range and another for what appears to be an antenna turntable. Yet another one is for drawing up design documentation for a data relay system between what is called 3006M (which is the code name for the space surveillance headquarters in Noginsk-9) and all four Sledopyt sites (1511/1, 1511/2, 1511/3 and 1511/4). This means that plans for the construction of the 1511/3 site north of Bolshoi Kamen on the Sea of Japan (east of Vladivostok across the Ussuri Bay) have not been canceled. This is also confirmed by documents published last month by a military construction company which has opened what is called a “non-revolving line of credit” (one which is closed and cannot be used again once the total amount is repaid) with a Moscow bank for construction work at the 1511/3 site.

https://zakupki.gov.ru/223/purchase/public/purchase/info/common-info.html?regNumber=32009600456

As mentioned in an earlier post, construction of 1511/3 had to be suspended at an early stage after an archeological discovery was made at the planned building site, which is at Mys Krasnyy (“Red Cape”), just west of the village of Sukhodol. It is not clear if this was also the reason for further delays in the construction of this site, but Google Earth images made as recent as August this year still show no signs of any construction work taking place in the area.  It is clearly going to be several more years before this site will be anywhere near operational.

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #12 on: 06/11/2021 01:03 pm »
Ground has apparently been broken for the long-delayed Sledopyt SIGINT site near Sukhodol, north of the town of Bolshoi Kamen on the Sea of Japan (east of Vladivostok across the Ussuri Bay). Newly released Google Earth imagery taken in April 2021 shows that excavation work is now underway for this site, which has the code name 1511/3. A road has also been constructed connecting the construction site with Sukhodol. The coordinates are 43°09'49.85" N / 132°19'39.63"E. 

I've attached three images:
1) The same location in August 2020 (no obvious signs of construction yet).
2) The April 2021 imagery (the upper part of the picture has not yet been updated and is still dated August 2020).
3) A close-up of the construction site. I think we're seeing early excavation work for the H-shaped control building that is also seen at the three other Sledopyt sites.   

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #13 on: 06/27/2021 11:54 am »
Google Earth imagery made as recently as May 23 exposes more details of the 1511/3 construction site just west of Sukhodol on the peninsula known as Mys Krasnyy ("Red Cape"). Imagery of the westernmost end of the peninsula has still not been updated. The work has not advanced far enough to clearly recognize all the features, but some similarities with the other three Sledopyt sites are becoming evident (including the foundations for a circular array of antennas). There are also signs that foundations are being laid for the 70m high calibration tower about 1 km east of the main construction site near the road going to Sukhodol (not seen in the attached image).

There is more to go on than just the Google Earth imagery to get a good look at the construction site. There is a 24-minute video on YouTube with aerial views of Red Cape taken from a drone on April 17. Some elements of the construction site are clearly visible in the video, including what may be the foundations of the H-shaped control building that I mentioned in the previous post (see attachment 2). The video is simply called "Sukhodol. Red Cape. Construction site". I'm not sure if the person who posted this is aware of the fact that this is a Ministry of Defense building project. True, the site is not yet recognizable as a SIGINT complex, but I still wonder how much longer this video will stay online.


Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #14 on: 08/18/2021 10:52 pm »
A draft contract recently published on zakupki.gov.ru provides some insight into the status of work at the Sledopyt SIGINT sites.

https://zakupki.gov.ru/223/contract/public/contract/view/general-information.html?id=11894841

The contract is for work called Sledopyt-SZI NSD, which stands for “system to protect information from unauthorized access” (probably a combination of hardware and software). It is to be carried out by the same subcontractor that was assigned last year by NII to develop a data relay system connecting the space surveillance headquarters in Noginsk-9 (code-named 3006M) with the four Sledopyt sites (see Reply 11). This probably means that the SZI NSD system is designed to ensure that the data exchange takes place via secure channels. 

The following timelines are given:

Installation of the system and start-up work:

-1511/1 (Noginsk-9) : Nov 25, 2021- Jan 24, 2022
-1511/2 (Pionerskiy): Jan 25 – Feb 23, 2022
-1511/4 (Shakhi) : Feb 24 – Apr 26, 2022
-1511/3 (Sukhodol): Apr 27 – May 27, 2022
 

Preliminary testing of the system and fine-tuning based on the results of the preliminary tests:

-1511/1 - 1511/2 – 1511/4 : May 28 – Jun 30, 2022
-1511/3 : Jul 1 – Jul 14, 2022 

The SZI NSD system is also to be installed at a facility co-located with the 1511/1 site known as Opora (same timelines as for 1511/1 itself). As can be determined from earlier documentation, this is a communication facility situated about 2 km south of the actual 1511/1 site, not far from the 70-m high calibration tower. This may be the central communication hub for the Sledopyt network.   

The installation of this system doesn’t necessarily mean that the sites will be operational by the middle of next year. It could possibly be tested irrespective of the status of other elements of the sites. Still, the timelines do indicate that the construction of 1511/3, which began only months ago, is moving at a very fast pace, as is confirmed by the satellite imagery posted here recently.   

 

Offline B. Hendrickx

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Liked: 1357
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: Project Sledopyt: eavesdropping on foreign satellites
« Reply #15 on: 04/30/2022 09:48 pm »
New Google Earth imagery taken in March shows progress being made on the 1511/3 Sledopyt site near Sukhodol. The H-shaped control building (referred to in documentation as "505") is taking shape (attachment 1). The foundations for that were already visible in images as well as a YouTube video made about a year ago (see Reply 13). About 0.5 km northeast of that building an array of six structures has appeared (attachment 2). This is also seen at the other Sledopyt sites and is called "503" or "IPK-S", designed to pick up satellite signals with what are called "medium frequencies" ("S" stands for "medium"). There are no clear signs yet of IPK-N  (low frequencies) and IPK-V (high frequencies).

The latest images of the 1511/2 site in Pionerskiy (November 2021) show that little or no progress has been made in construction there since late 2018 (attachment 3). Only the control building and the IPK-S complex seem to be ready. The same goes for the 1511/3 site in Shakhi (latest imagery is from May 2021). The site near Noginsk-9 (1511/1) was the most advanced in construction in the latest available imagery from June 2020.

Tags:
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement SkyTale Software GmbH
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1