Author Topic: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite  (Read 8333 times)

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Starting a program thread here on Razdan, Russia’s next-generation electro-optical reconnaissance satellite currently under development at the Progress Rocket and Space Center (RKTs Progress) in Samara. Sporting a telescope with a 2.35 m diameter primary mirror, it should at least match the capabilities of the US KH-11/KENNAN reconnaissance satellites introduced back in 1976.

Some aspects of this project were already discussed in the thread “Future photoreconnaissance and other Russian military satellites”, mainly on the basis of research done by Stan Black. This is an attempt to provide an overview of what is currently known about this project.

Razdan is the name of a river in Armenia that flows through the nation’s capital Yerevan. Razdan is the Russian spelling of the name, which is also transliterated from Armenian as Hrazdan. This continues a tradition of naming digital reconnaissance satellites after rivers in former Soviet republics that was begun with Neman (a series of RKTs Progress satellites launched between 1991 and 2000) and Araks (two NPO Lavochkin satellites launched in 1997 and 2002). The river Neman flows through Belarus and Lithuania and the river Araks (also known as Aras) flows through Turkey, Armenia, Azarbaijan and Iran.

The Razdan project was revealed in the Russian press by the “Kommersant” newspaper in July 2016:
https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3049019

Referring to “two informed industry sources” as well as publicly available procurement documentation, the newspaper said Razdan (also known by its military index 14F156) was scheduled to replace the Persona electro-optical reconnaissance satellites, three of which were launched in 2008, 2013 and 2015 (the first one failed shortly after launch).  Preliminary plans called for the launch of the first three Razdan satellites in 2019, 2022 and 2024. The third satellite would be the first to carry a new optical payload developed by the “Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant named after S.A. Zverev” (KMZ) and feature a mirror with a diameter of over 2 meters.  The Persona satellites, the newspaper noted, carried an optical system developed by another company (LOMO, based in St.-Petersburg), but the article did not say anything about the optical payload for the first two Razdan satellites. 

No more details on the project emerged in the Russian press after the publication of the Kommersant article.  However, quite some information on the project can be extracted from procurement documentation publicly available on the zakupki.gov.ru website, a few RKTs Progress documents available online as well as a handful of other sources. In this summary I will provide links only to the most relevant sources of information.

The documents show that the project officially began on 19 June 2014 with the signing of a contract (nr. 1420187209502010128000192/14-4-51/539/ZK) between RKTs Progress and the Ministry of Defense. Another contract for the project was signed by the same two parties on 26 September 2016 (nr. 1622187308551452246000192). This is rather unusual and may be indicative of problems in the early stages of the project that necessitated changes to the original plans. The same pattern was seen in NPO Lavochkin’s Araks-R radar reconnaissance project (original contract signed in 2012 and subsequently renewed in 2016 after the project ran into trouble). Another possibility is that the original contract only called for finishing the preliminary design of the satellite and that the second one was for developing the definitive version of the satellite. This would explain why immediately following the signing of the 2014 contract the design of some subsystems was assigned to more than one subcontractor, apparently on a competitive basis.   

While the individual satellites are referred to with the military index 14F146, the index for the overall project (the “space system” in Russian terminology) is 14K046. Not yet known are the designators for the Razdan “space complex” (the combination of satellites and ground-based infrastructure) and the Razdan “rocket and space complex” (the combination of the launch vehicle and cosmodrome infrastructure). As can be inferred from two RKTs Progress documents, the design of the satellite takes place in RKTs Progress’ department 1032 under the leadership of chief designer Oleg G. Fedorenko. In the next post I will talk about the optical payload of Razdan.

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite
« Reply #1 on: 12/11/2019 09:59 pm »
OPTICAL PAYLOAD

Razdan’s optical payload (the so-called “electro-optical complex” or OEK) is named Sevan, after the Armenian lake from which the Razdan river originates. As noted above, the 2016 Kommersant article suggested that there would be two different optical payloads for Razdan, one unidentified one for the first two satellites and another one (a 2m+ telescope built by KMZ) for the third and subsequent satellites. Procurement documents indeed show that RKTs Progress signed contracts for Sevan’s preliminary design on 1 July 2014 with two telescope manufacturers, KMZ and LOMO. This work was to be finished by the end of that year.

https://zakupki.gov.ru/223/purchase/public/purchase/info/common-info.html?regNumber=31401759583
https://zakupki.gov.ru/223/purchase/public/purchase/info/common-info.html?regNumber=31401759506

However, there is no trace of LOMO in later documentation on Sevan, raising the question if the information provided by Kommersant was correct. It would be highly unusual anyway for one and the same type of satellite to switch to a different optical payload after just two missions, which most likely would also require changes to the design of the bus.

It is known that in 2016 LOMO was picked to develop the high-resolution optical payload for RKTs Progress’ civilian Resurs-PM satellites, which will gradually replace the current Resurs-P satellites in the 2020s. Resurs-PM’s high-resolution optical payload has been identified in some recent publications as Elegia and will have a telescope with a 1.5 m mirror (although some earlier publications gave a diameter of 1.2 m). That mirror is almost certainly being developed for LOMO by the Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory (LZOS).  LZOS’ corporate magazine “Spektr” recently mentioned two 1,540 mm mirrors to be delivered to LOMO, presumably the mirrors for the first two Resurs-PM satellites.

http://lzos.ru/upload/iblock/c02/c02060643aba0996bbcdf71846f65cda.pdf
(see p. 4)

The mirror is seen in this photo:
http://visualrian.ru/hier_rubric/photo/5466060.html

LZOS also built the 1.5 m mirrors for Araks and Persona. There is evidence that the 1.5 m mirrors flown on the three Persona satellites (part of an optical complex called 17V321) were manufactured by LZOS last century for a RKTs Progress reconnaissance satellite called Sapfir, which never flew. The fact that Resurs-PM and Persona have primary mirrors of the same size is a strong indication that Resurs-PM is essentially a civilian outgrowth of Persona with the addition of a medium-resolution payload (see attachment 1 for a drawing of Resurs-PM).  The telescopes do have different optical assemblies. Whereas Persona has a triple-mirror Korsch telescope, Resurs-PM will use a two-mirror Ritchey-Chrétien telescope.

The only telescope manufacturer seen in post-2014 documentation on Sevan is KMZ. While LOMO’s continued involvement in Razdan cannot be ruled out, a more likely scenario is that LOMO and KMZ were both invited to propose optical payloads for Razdan in 2014 and that KMZ was ultimately selected as the sole manufacturer. Unlike LOMO, KMZ is part of the powerful Shvabe holding, which unites several dozens of organizations that form the core of Russia’s optical industry. That may have helped it secure the prestigious contract for Sevan, while LOMO had to content itself with the Resurs-PM contract, which in many ways looks like a repetition of the work it did earlier for Persona. 

It also turns out that KMZ began developing the technology for Razdan’s optical payload  even before the project officially got underway. In late 2013 it won a tender organized by Roskosmos under the name Zerkalo-KT (“zerkalo” means “mirror” and “KT” stands for “space telescope”). The purpose of this was described as “the development of technology to manufacture lightweight primary mirrors for advanced large-size and very high-resolution space telescopes for remote sensing of the Earth”. The technical specifications can be found here:

https://zakupki.gov.ru/pgz/public/action/orders/info/order_document_list_info/show?notificationId=7312264

The goal was to build a mirror with a diameter of “up to 2.5 m” (although 2.3 m is the specific size given elsewhere in the documentation) as well as a composite structure to house the mirror. The mass of the mirror was to be “no more than 550 kg” and that of the entire structure “no more than 780 kg”. The system was to have a “service life” of at least 10 years, 3 years for storage on the ground and 7 years for use in orbit.

KMZ was awarded the contract (nr. 140-K709/13/396) on 9 December 2013. Strangely enough, the only other bidder was RKTs Progress, which itself has no background in optical technology. The documentation shows that Zerkalo-KT came to a premature end in February 2015,  but it is obvious from other sources that KMZ continued work on the system in later years. A possible explanation for this is that Zerkalo-KT started out as a civilian project financed by Roscosmos, but that the space agency stopped the money flow in early 2015 once the mirror became incorporated into the Ministry of Defense’s Razdan project. 

One KMZ paper published in late 2014 briefly described the work on the Zerkalo-KT mirror, giving the diameter as 2.5 m. A drawing published in the article showed a computer model of the mirror (see attachment 2)

http://contenant.ru/pdf/8.pdf
(see p. 38-40)

KMZ seems to have received the final go-ahead for developing Sevan four days after RKTs Progress renewed its Razdan contract with the Ministry of Defense on 26 September 2016. Procurement documents published in 2018 for themes called Sevan-NTS, Sevan-DKO and Sevan-DKI contain a contract number (1619187310651452246001869) that through other documents can be traced to a contract signed directly between KMZ and the Ministry of Defense on 30 September 2016. This, again, is quite unusual, because as a payload supplier, KMZ would be expected to act as a subcontractor to RKTs Progress. The fact that the Russians deviated from standard procedure here may point to the special importance that the Ministry of Defense attaches to this payload. Apparently, it wants to place the development of Sevan under its direct supervision.

A key partner of KMZ in Sevan is the Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory (LZOS), which is responsible for building the mirrors. KZM actually teamed up with LZOS for the Zerkalo-KT project in 2014, possibly even before Razdan was approved.  LZOS’ annual reports for 2014 and 2015 mention a theme called Zerkalo-KT GZ (where “GZ” stands for “primary mirror”), with the 2015 report giving a mirror diameter of 2.4 m. The reports can be downloaded here:
http://www.disclosure.ru/issuer/5026000300/

At least two publications acknowledge LZOS’ involvement in Razdan/Sevan:

http://lzos.ru/upload/iblock/ad0/ad06d8eac8ae50ca97e3a5c8c1703f36.pdf
(LZOS’ corporate magazine “Spektr”, April-May 2018) (see p. 29)

http://www.contenant.ru/1electron_mag/tezis/lzos.pdf
(proceedings of a conference organized by LZOS in October 2019) (see p. 14)


Another issue of Spektr (Sep-Oct 2018) provides some more insight into Sevan’s design, without mentioning the project as such.
http://lzos.ru/upload/iblock/c02/c02060643aba0996bbcdf71846f65cda.pdf
(see p. 4)

An update on the activities of LZOS’ Department 95 said that work was continuing on the manufacture of “a set of special-purpose optics consisting of a 2.4 m primary mirror, a 540 mm aspherical secondary mirror, an aspherical off-axis tertiary mirror and auxiliary collimating equipment”. It added that complex aspherical lightweight mirrors require long production times. “Special purpose” is a term commonly used in Russian as a synonym for “military” and there can be little doubt that this is a reference to Sevan, which therefore appears to use a triple-mirror configuration.

The June-August 2018 and September 2019 issues of “Spektr” mention containers needed to transport mirrors, including one for a 2.350 mm mirror. This must be the exact diameter of the primary mirror (with 2.4 m being a rounded figure).

http://www.lzos.ru/upload/iblock/59e/59e6b81e7774f5cad61f3ef546381455.pdf
(see p. 4)
http://www.lzos.ru/upload/iblock/3b4/3b4f556686d7672a2efc1069dfa1ed6c.pdf
(see p. 5)

Procurement documentation for the transportation of the three mirrors appeared online in late 2018/early 2019.

http://zakupki.gov.ru/223/contract/public/contract/view/general-information.html?id=5785356
http://zakupki.gov.ru/223/contract/public/contract/view/general-information.html?id=5785422
http://zakupki.gov.ru/223/contract/public/contract/view/general-information.html?id=6708560

Although the documentation doesn’t refer to Razdan or Sevan, it contains the number of the contract signed between the Ministry of Defense and KMZ for Sevan on 30 September 2016. Contracts for the transportation of the secondary and tertiary mirror were signed on 13 November 2018 and for the primary mirror on 20 March 2019. The documentation includes drawings of the mirrors inside their containers (see attachments 3, 4 and 5). These confirm that the diameter of the primary mirror is 2.350 m.  The diameter of the secondary mirror seems to match the published value of 0.54 m and the diameter of the tertiary mirror can be estimated at about 0.40 m. The documentation also has the dimensions of the containers and what appears to be the combined mass of the mirrors and the containers:

-primary mirror: (length/width/heigth) 3500х3500х930 mm / 4400 kg
-secondary mirror : 1200×1100×615mm / 450 kg
-tertiary mirror:  1500×1220×570 mm / 600 kg

The material used for the construction of the primary mirror (and, presumably, the others as well) is called SO-115M, also known as Sitall or Astrositall. This is a crystalline glass-ceramic material developed in-house at LZOS back in the Soviet days and has been used in many Russian space-based mirrors, including the 1.5 m mirrors flown on Araks and Persona. LZOS publications acknowledge that materials such as silicon carbide (used by ESA’s Herschel and Gaia observatories) and beryllium (used by the James Webb Space Telescope) are superior in performance, but they point to the relatively low cost of Sitall and its ultra-low coefficient of thermal expansion. Work on silicon carbide mirrors in Russia is currently only in an experimental phase.

Presumably, Razdan’s telescope is a Korsch three-mirror anastigmat, more specifically a Korsch type 2 configuration with an off-axis tertiary mirror. More background on Korsch telescopes is here:
https://www.ssl.berkeley.edu/~mlampton/6687-23.pdf

The 17V321 payload of the Persona satellites also uses a Korsch optical assembly.  One article written by a KMZ specialist earlier this year includes a diagram of an optical assembly that may well be that of Sevan, although it doesn’t show the tertiary mirror. One of the sources given in the references of the article is the Sevan preliminary design.
http://contenant.ru/jorn2.pdf
(see p. 75)

It is interesting to note that the primary mirror has almost exactly the same diameter as the two primary mirrors that the US Defense Department donated to NASA in 2012 for use aboard astronomical satellites (one of which will fly on the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope or WFIRST). These are believed to be mirrors that had originally been manufactured for the KH-11 spy satellites. The donated mirrors were reported to be part of a three-mirror assembly, although the tertiary mirror was not included in the donation because it was not needed for the astronomy mission. The Hubble Space Telescope also has a 2.4 m primary mirror  (original plans to fly a 3 m telescope on Hubble were apparently shelved to unify the design of the Hubble mirror with that of the KH-11 mirror and thereby save costs).   

The main structural elements of the telescope seem to be built in-house at RKTs Progress and by a company called SKTB Plastik, which also builds the composite structure of the Resurs-PM telescope. Pyzoelectric actuators needed to maintain the proper shape of the mirrors are supplied by a company called “PO Start named after M.V. Protsenko”. Apparently, KMZ’s main role in the project is to integrate various components delivered by other subcontractors. 

It is also possible to identify the CCD image sensors that will be used by Sevan. These are called Kem-PKh (Кемь-ПХ) and Kem-MS (Кемь-МС) (Kem is the name of a river in the Republic of Karelia in the northwest of Russia). They were linked to Razdan in RKTs procurement documentation quoted on this website:
http://mapgroup.com.ua/news/1582-rossiya-sozdaet-novye-sputniki-vidovoj-razvedki-razdan-14f1156

The CCDs are manufactured by NPP Elar, which has also produced CCDs for other RKTs Progress Earth imaging satellites, including Persona, Resurs-P and Resurs-PM. The Kem CCDs were briefly mentioned in papers presented by NPP Elar at remote sensing conferences held in 2018 and 2019:

http://www.vniiem.ru/ru/uploads/files/conferences/180524/sbornik_tezisov_2018.pdf
(see p. 74)
http://www.vniiem.ru/ru/uploads/files/conferences/190513/sbornik_tezisov_2019.pdf
(see p. 78)

The first paper misleadingly links them to Resurs-PM, while the second does not link them to any specific satellite. Both papers describe them as time delay integration (TDI) CCDs. Kem-PKh has a 9x9 um2 pixel size and is intended for panchromatic imaging and Kem-MS has a pixel size of 18x18 um2 and is intended for multispectral imaging in four channels. The same CCD pixel sizes are seen for Resurs-PM’s high-resolution panchromatic imaging system and medium-resolution multispectral imaging system (four channels). However, these CCDs have different names, namely Pribor-OEK-9 and Pribor-SR/Kombi and therefore may not be identical to Sevan’s CCDs. Pribor-OEK and Pribor-SR were research programs carried out in the first half of the decade to develop new technology for respectively high-resolution and medium-resolution Earth imaging sensors. While they seem to have been primarily geared to Resurs-PM, some of the results may also have been applied in Sevan.

The Kem CCDs are also the subject of several contracts on the zakupki.gov.ru website. These show that environmental testing of the CCDs was subcontracted to TsNII RTK (Scientific Center for Robotics and Technical Cybernetics), an organization based in St.-Petersburg that is best known for developing space robotics systems as well as the Kaktus soft-landing control system of the Soyuz spacecraft. It was given preference over a Moscow-based organization called RNII Elektronstandart, which usually performs these types of tests.

The electronic subsystems for the optical payload (known as the “System for Reception and Conversion of Information or SPPI) are together referred to as Sangur-2R/1. Analogous systems for Resurs-DK1, Resurs-P and Resurs-PM are called Sangur-1, Sangur-1U and Step-29 and were all developed by NPP OPTEKS, an affiliate of RKTs Progress.

The next post will deal with some of Razdan’s other systems.


Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite
« Reply #2 on: 12/11/2019 10:09 pm »
OTHER SYSTEMS

Razdan’s main propulsion system is a liquid-fuel system being developed by KB Khimmash (the former “Isayev bureau”), now part of the Khrunichev Center.  It is called a “combined engine unit” (ODU). The only available procurement documentation talks about “the adaptation of the ODU”, a possible indication that the engine unit is a modified version of an earlier one. Other documents show that NIIMash in Nizhnyaya Salda manufactures thrusters for Razdan called 11D428A-16. These are 129 N thrusters burning UDMH/nitrogen tetroxide that have been used on other Russian spacecraft, including Soyuz.  One document mentions four sets for the “Razdan flight unit” “totaling 100 thrusters”. 

Procurement documents also reveal that Razdan will carry an electric propulsion system. However, they don’t make it possible to identify the manufacturer of the system, which should be either OKB Fakel or the Keldysh Research Center. The only valuable information that can be gleaned from the documentation is that the system will use xenon tanks built by NIIMash in Nizhnyaya Salda.  NIIMash is known to have produced a xenon tank called MSKV-50.000.000 which has flown on a number of satellites using OKB Fakel’s SPD-100 stationary plasma thrusters. The development of  a “power supply and control system” for the electric propulsion system was assigned simultaneously to NPTs Polyus and AVEKS in July 2014, apparently on a competitive basis.
 
One NIIMash document also sheds some light on the purpose of the electric propulsion system. It says the company provides small-size subsystems for the electric propulsion unit, adding that it will be used for fine orbital adjustments which will make it possible to increase the ground resolution of the on-board optical complex. This most likely means that Razdan will at least periodically operate in very low orbits to obtain maximum resolution and regularly use its electric propulsion system to counter atmospheric drag. This is reminiscent of tests recently conducted by Japan with an experimental imaging satellite called Tsubame or “Super Low Altitude Test Satellite”, which used xenon-fueled ion thrusters to fight against aerodynamic drag as it dropped to altitudes as low as 167 km.  Razdan may well be be the first ever optical reconnaissance satellite to carry an electric propulsion system.

Razdan will also have an electromechanical attitude control system that makes it possible to orient the satellite without consuming propellant. This is provided by the Scientific Research Institute of Command Instruments (NIIKP) in St.-Petersburg. The company manufactures control moment gyroscopes (CMG), rotors which are spun at constant speed and are mounted on gimbals to provide attitude control. On 1 July 2014 NIIKP was awarded contracts to work out the preliminary design for two types of control moment gyroscopes for Razdan with an angular momentum of 30 Nms and 250 Nms. Later documentation only mentions a 250 Nms CMG (called SGK-250). This seems to be identical in performance to a CMG called 14M533, which is carried by the Resurs-P and Persona satellites (so presumably these are two names for an identical system).  Subsystems for SGK-250 are named Kardan (“Gimbal”) and MSSKM-016. MSSKM stands for “Magnetic System for Unloading Momentum” and is needed to desaturate the CMGs by removing excess angular momentum from the spacecraft.   The MSSKM-016 system will also be installed on Ekipazh, a nuclear-powered military satellite of KB Arsenal.

Other subcontractors for Razdan include:

- TsNII Elektropribor: for a gimballess inertial system using electrostatic gyroscopes (used for accurate attitude determination)

- Institute of Space Research (IKI): for Earth sensors (BOKZ) and Sun sensors (OSD) to be used in the attitude control system

- PAO Saturn: for photovoltaic cells and lithium-ion batteries to be used in the power supply system. According to one document,some of the cells were tested on a ground model of a Persona solar panel. Confusingly, NPP Kvant, another Russian company specializing in solar panels, according to its 2016 annual report studied the need to import solar cells for Razdan under a research project called Razdan-N BF-E.

- NPTs Polyus and AVEKS: for the power supply control system

- Russian Space Systems (RKS): for the on-board telemetry system (BITS)

- Scientific Research Institute of Precision Instruments (NII TP) : for the on-board command and measurement system (Topaz-R) and a high-speed data relay system

- NII Submikron: presumably for the on-board computer system

- Russian Institute for Radio Navigation and Time (RIRV):  for on-board navigation systems (BSKVU-R)

- Scientific Research Institute of Precision Mechanics (NII TM) : for the development of a so-called “Information Elimination System” (SLI). This is defined on the company’s website as an autonomously operating system that can eliminate information (including what is called “coded information”) in case certain parameters “exceed acceptable limits”. It apparently includes a set of specialized sensors to continuously monitor various on-board systems. In the early days of the space program, NII TM developed in-flight destruct systems for unmanned Vostok and Voskhod spacecraft as well as the Zenit spy satellites to ensure that they didn’t land on foreign territory in case of an anomaly.  However, since Razdan is a non-recoverable satellite, it can be assumed that the SLI system is not intended for that purpose.

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite
« Reply #3 on: 12/11/2019 10:21 pm »
LAUNCH VEHICLE / OUTLOOK

With Razdan having a more advanced optical payload than its predecessors and possibly also a new bus, one may wonder if it remains within the launch capacity of the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle. While launch schedules on both this forum and the “Novosti kosmonavtiki” forum do give the Soyuz-2 as the launch vehicle for Razdan, none of the documentation that I’ve seen specifically links Razdan to that booster.

In this respect it is interesting to mention an article written in 2016 by specialists of RKTs Progress and the Samara National Research University:
 
https://journals.ssau.ru/index.php/vestnik/article/view/3063/3002

The authors describe a technique to compare the efficiency of various types of “telescopic electro-optical complexes” (OETK) for Earth remote sensing satellites (both in terms of performance and cost). In order to demonstrate that technique, they compare two optical systems which they call OETK-1 and OETK-2 (see the attached Tables 3 and 4). In Table 3 they give the basic parameters of the two optical systems and in Table 4 they use that data to extrapolate the characteristics of satellites that could carry these optical systems. 

As can be seen in Table 3, the diameters of the primary mirrors are 1.5 m for OETK-1 and 2.3 m for OETK-2. The sources for the data in Table 3 are a 2002 paper by Yevgeni Malamed (for OETK-1) and an online article on the KH-11/12 spy satellites by Charles Vick of the Federation of American Scientists (for OETK-2) (although most of the numbers given for OETK-2 in Table 3 are not in that article).

Malamed is known to have been LOMO’s chief designer of a space-based optical complex with a 1.5 m mirror, most likely Arkon and/or Persona. The data seen for the satellite carrying OETK-1 in Table 4 almost certainly closely match those for the Persona satellites (the orbit parameters given actually are those of Persona). The characteristics calculated for the hypothetical satellite carrying OETK-2, according to the authors, “more or less correspond to those of KH-11”.  These include a maximum mass of 11 tons, a maximum diameter of 2.14 m and a maximum length of 13.1 m.

The authors conclude their analysis by saying that the satellite with OETK-2 not only has a better performance, but is also more cost-effective than the one with OETK-1, despite the need to use a heavier launch vehicle “such as Angara-5 or Proton”. They do add that it would be preferable to reduce the mass and size of the OETK-2 satellite in order to make it compatible with the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle. This could be achieved by reducing its lifetime, productivity and power consumption and “introducing new technical features” which the authors don’t specify.

Although Razdan is not mentioned by name in this article, it is logical to assume that this study reflects research done by RKTs Progress on a KH-11 class satellite. It doesn’t tell us which booster Razdan will use, but does indicate that efforts were made to make the satellite compatible with the Soyuz launch vehicle. In fact, it looks like there is not much choice. Russia currently doesn’t have a Zenit-class medium-lift rocket that bridges the gap between the Soyuz family and Angara-A5/Proton. The Soyuz-5/Irtysh rocket currently under development will only fly from Baikonur and/or Vostochnyy, whereas the military will likely want to fly Razdan from their own cosmodrome at Plesetsk. A medium-lift version of Angara called Angara-A3 never made it beyond the drawing board and the Angara-A5 is only configured to fly from Plesetsk with upper stages. Therefore, it does look like the mass and size of Razdan must somehow have been reduced sufficiently to launch the satellite with the Soyuz-2 rocket, possibly with a large tailor-made nose fairing to house the Sevan telescope with its 2.35 m primary mirror. The most powerful rocket of the Soyuz-2 family, the Soyuz-2-1b, can deliver 7.470 kg to a 81.4° orbit and 6.900 kg to a 98.3° orbit from Plesetsk.

Launch dates given for the first three Razdan satellites in current online launch schedules are still the same as those given in the 2016 Kommersant article. One contract signed on 1 October 2016 for the delivery of electrostatic gyroscopes for the first two Razdan satellites gives the expected launch preparation periods as 1 January-30 October 2020 for satellite nr.1 and 1 January-30 October 2021 for satellite nr. 2. However, these dates are likely to have slipped since then. Like many other Russian space projects, Razdan may well have suffered delays due to both budgetary issues and Western-imposed sanctions that have complicated the supply of electronic components for Russian satellites.   

For the time being, the Russian military will largely have to count on the two surviving Persona satellites to provide high-resolution imagery until Razdan becomes available. Based on the information provided in the 2016 RKTs Progress article, the Persona satellites have a design lifetime of 5 years. Kosmos-2486 (Persona nr. 2) and Kosmos-2506 (Persona-3) have been in orbit since June 2013 and June 2015 respectively. The Ministry of Defense also has a small experimental reconnaissance satellite in orbit (EMKA/Kosmos-2525, built by VNIIEM), which may be a precursor of a series of small-size reconnaissance satellites called Razbeg, currently under development at VNIIEM. The Russian military are also known to rely on civilian Earth imaging satellites to fill gaps in coverage by the reconnaissance satellites.

Offline Stan Black

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Re: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite
« Reply #4 on: 12/13/2019 03:39 pm »
Found this:-
Quote
Проведение входного контроля, отбраковочных испытаний, диагностического неразрушающего контроля, разрушающего физического анализа электрорадиоизделий для комплектования агрегата 14Д520.0000Б-0 изделия 14К046
Volga upper stage features 14Д520.0000А1-0, 14Д520.0000А-0-01 is found on 14Ф145 and 14Д520.0000А-0 on Resurs-P.

Also reference to Plesetsk:-
Quote
«Проекту технической документации на изделие 14К046»
http://plesadm.ru/documents/1689.html


« Last Edit: 12/13/2019 04:32 pm by Stan Black »

Online leovinus

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Re: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite
« Reply #5 on: 12/13/2019 05:09 pm »
I might have missed it above (thanks for the input btw!) but what do we know these about the quality of Russian mirror/telescope producers? I mean, just because they want to imitate a KH-11 mirror, and can produce a  "x" meter mirror does not mean it is usable.

As an amateur astronomer, I remember very well the Soviet union wanted to outdo the American Mt. Palomar telescope, which has a 5m mirror and great scientific output, and therefore it built a 6m telescope in the late 70s. However, it never worked great and was not usable at the time to do better science than on Mt. Palomar.  Therefore, I'd love to hear more about current optical  engineering approaches in Russia, and how that compares to e.g. Keck/ELT/JWST mirrors. Similar question for China actually ;)

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite
« Reply #6 on: 12/14/2019 08:38 pm »
Found this:-
Quote
Проведение входного контроля, отбраковочных испытаний, диагностического неразрушающего контроля, разрушающего физического анализа электрорадиоизделий для комплектования агрегата 14Д520.0000Б-0 изделия 14К046
Volga upper stage features 14Д520.0000А1-0, 14Д520.0000А-0-01 is found on 14Ф145 and 14Д520.0000А-0 on Resurs-P.

Thanks for that. Do you have a link for that?
14D520 is a "combined engine unit" (ODU) developed by KB Khimmash for the Yantar bus (used by Resurs-DK, Resurs-P, Lotos-S) and for the Volga upper stage. The one for Volga is described as consisting of the 17D64 main engine and sixteen S5.142 thrusters, all burning nitrogen tetroxide/UDMH. The particular index that you found for Razdan's ODU (14Д520.0000Б-0) is also seen in this Khrunichev procurement plan for 2017 (KB Khimmash is part of Khrunichev):

https://zakupki.gov.ru/epz/orderplan/printForm/view.html?printFormId=4061440

This mentions "the use of materials for products 14D520.0000B-0 and S5.153.000-0-02".  I'm not sure if that should be interpreted as meaning that Razdan's 14D520 ODU uses a different type of thruster than that of Volga. As I mentioned in one of my posts, there is also evidence that Razdan uses thrusters of NIIMash called 11D428A-16. It's hard to explain why one and the same satellite would use thrusters manufactured by different companies, so this remains something of a mystery.
 
Anyway, what this information tells us is that Razdan likely is based on the Yantar bus. It does look like the bus has undergone some significant changes, particularly the inclusion of an electric propulsion system.

The other link that you gave is related to environmental impact hearings for Razdan at Plesetsk.


 



Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite
« Reply #7 on: 12/14/2019 09:23 pm »
I might have missed it above (thanks for the input btw!) but what do we know these about the quality of Russian mirror/telescope producers? I mean, just because they want to imitate a KH-11 mirror, and can produce a  "x" meter mirror does not mean it is usable.

As an amateur astronomer, I remember very well the Soviet union wanted to outdo the American Mt. Palomar telescope, which has a 5m mirror and great scientific output, and therefore it built a 6m telescope in the late 70s. However, it never worked great and was not usable at the time to do better science than on Mt. Palomar.  Therefore, I'd love to hear more about current optical  engineering approaches in Russia, and how that compares to e.g. Keck/ELT/JWST mirrors. Similar question for China actually ;)

Not an easy question to answer. As I mentioned in one of the posts, the material used for Razdan's primary mirror is a glass-ceramic material called SO-115M, also known as Sitall or Astrositall. It was developed by the Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory (LZOS) back in the Soviet days. There is a short English Wikipedia page on it here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitall

Here is a LZOS article (both in Russian and English) which describes this material in more detail and compares it to some other materials used for the manufacture of mirrors:
http://www.photonics.su/files/article_pdf/4/article_4645_507.pdf
It also links the use of this material to space-based mirrors with diameters up to 2.4m, which is why I'm assuming that it was the material chosen for Razdan's primary mirror (which has a diameter of roughly 2.4 m).

I understand that silicon carbide mirrors are the state of the art these days. In one article LZOS specialists acknowledge that silicon carbide outperforms Sitall in every respect, but they say Sitall is much cheaper. However, it's not just a matter of price, but also of technological know-how. According to the authors, the main problem the Russian optical industry is facing in the production of silicon carbide mirrors is their "light scattering effect" (something they for some reason nickname the "orange peel effect"), which makes it impossible to use them in the visible part of the spectrum. The article (only in Russian) is here:

http://contenant.ru/contenant_journal/НОМЕРА%20ЖУРНАЛОВ/2017/Том%2016%20номер%201.pdf
(p. 28-46)

It's interesting that you mention the 6 m telescope at Zelenchukskaya (in the North Caucasus). Its mirror was also built by LZOS, but was made of a material called S-316, which pre-dates even Sitall. It was originally installed in 1974 and then replaced by another one in 1979. When that started showing signs of corrosion early this century, they decided to refurbish the original mirror and put that back in place. I understand that happened early last year. A couple of pictures are here:
https://aftershock.news/?q=node/618019

If memory serves me right, the problem with this observatory is not only the poor quality of the mirror, but also the fact that the observations are often hampered by poor weather. In other words, they didn't pick the best of locations for this observatory.  But that's a different story altogether.


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Re: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite
« Reply #8 on: 12/19/2019 09:54 am »
It looks like two Razdan satellites (14F156 nr. 1 and 2) are currently under construction. This can be deduced from documentation that appeared on zakupki.gov.ru a couple of days ago:

https://zakupki.gov.ru/223/contract/public/contract/view/general-information.html?id=8153174

On 16 December RKTs Progress signed a contract with a company called NPO Tekhnomash for what is called "analysis of deviations from technical and design documentation" and "assessment of the efficiency of measures taken to eliminate [these deviations]." This analysis needs to be performed for the following satellites and upper stages:

- 14S46 nr. 8 and 9 (Volga upper stages)
- 47KS nr. 4, 5 (Resurs-P)
- 14F148 nr. 3, 4, 5, 6 (Bars-M)
- 14F156 nr. 1 and 2 (Razdan)

For most of the satellites (including 14F156 nr. 1 and 2) this analysis needs to be performed between 13 January and 31 December 2020, according to the documentation. As usual, this information is not easy to interpret, but it doesn't necessarily mean that none of these satellites/upper stages will fly in 2020. What it does seem to tell us is that so far contracts have been signed for the production of only two Razdan satellites. 



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Re: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite
« Reply #9 on: 12/19/2019 05:44 pm »
On 16 December RKTs Progress signed a contract with a company called NPO Tekhnomash for what is called "analysis of deviations from technical and design documentation" and "assessment of the efficiency of measures taken to eliminate [these deviations]."
A Russian analog for some of the functions of RAND, Aerospace Corp., and the Bellcomm contract for Apollo?
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Re: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite
« Reply #10 on: 11/30/2021 06:19 pm »


https://lawnotes.ru/sudpraktika/sou/reshenie-_-12-666_20-ot-30.10.2020-kirovskogo-rayonnogo-suda-g.-samary-(samarskaya-oblast)


A court document published in October last year makes it possible to determine that at least one system that has caused delays in the Razdan project is 14R314, an on-board system designed to interact with what is called the “unified command and measurement system” (UKIS) Topaz. This has been described by other sources as a modified version of the Russian ground control network capable of working with Russian military satellites in all types of orbits (its civilian equivalent being "Klyon"). Topaz is being developed by the Scientific Research Institute of Precision Instruments (NII TP) under a contract signed with the Ministry of Defense on December 26, 2011. NII TP was supposed to have delivered 14R314 as well as ground test equipment for the system (designated 14N636) to Razdan’s prime contractor (RKTs Progress) in April 2020, but hadn’t done so yet by mid-September 2020.

The document refers to the government contract for Razdan signed between the Ministry of Defense and RKTs Progress on September 26, 2016, which covered work on the project “in the period 2014-2022”. Actually, an initial contract for the project had already been signed by the two parties on  June  19, 2014.  Only two Razdan satellites are mentioned in the document (14F156 nr. 1 and 2), confirming indications from procurement documentation that these are the only ones that were supposed to be built on the basis of these contracts. So far there is no evidence that the construction of more Razdan satellites has been approved. It would seem Russia is counting on these two satellites to provide high-resolution reconnaissance imagery until at the least the end of the decade, complemented occasionally by lower resolution imagery obtained by the smaller Razbeg satellites of VNIIEM.

As is known from other sources, the Ministry of Defense concluded a separate contract for the development of Razdan’s optical payload (called Sevan) with the Krasnogorsk Zverev Factory (KMZ) on September 30, 2016. This was a rather unusual move, because work on the payload is usually subcontracted by the prime contractor. It suggests the Ministry of Defense wanted to place the development of Sevan under its direct supervision. Court documents released late last year and early this year now show that RKTs Progress itself is a subcontractor to KMZ for this work. KMZ assigned work to RKTs Progress under the Sevan contract on August 10, 2017. No details are given on the exact nature of that work. The documents are here: 

https://kad.arbitr.ru/Card/ff5adaa9-4f21-482c-b281-23c058eab9c5


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Re: Razdan: Russia's KH-11 class reconnaissance satellite
« Reply #11 on: 09/06/2022 07:56 pm »
I recently came across an article from which it appears that Razdan was originally planned to use mirrors made of silicon carbide, a material never used earlier in Russian space-based optical systems. The article was published in the September 2014 issue of an in-house magazine of the Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory (LZOS), which is responsible for Razdan’s mirrors.

http://lzos.ru/upload/iblock/3c5/3c539cbdfac86c551bcd7746ba5aad30.pdf
(p. 10-11)

The article said that Razdan would “most likely” carry a primary mirror made of “modified silicon carbide” and measuring “at least 1.5 m”. This would have to pave the way for later space-based optical systems with diameters of 3 to 4 m. At the time of writing, Razdan was one of several space projects that LZOS had just begun working on and which were expected to materialize in the coming three to five years. Another one mentioned in the article is Zerkalo-KT, identified by other sources as a project assigned by Roscosmos to both the Krasnogorsk Zverev Factory (KMZ) and LZOS in late 2013 to develop a space-based telescope with a primary mirror of up to 2.5 m.

I earlier speculated that Zerkalo-KT evolved into the telescope eventually selected for Razdan under the name Sevan. This has three mirrors, with the primary mirror measuring 2.4 m. Evidence suggests the mirrors are made of a material known as SO-115M, Sitall or Astrositall. This is a crystalline glass-ceramic material stemming from the Soviet days which is inferior in performance to such materials as silicon carbide (used by ESA’s Herschel and Gaia observatories) and beryllium (used by the James Webb Space Telescope).   

So is it possible that Razdan will fly silicon carbide mirrors instead of larger SO-115M mirrors or that the latter will be introduced only at a later stage? Two things may indeed point in that direction. First, an article in the Kommersant newspaper in 2016 which disclosed the existence of Razdan claimed that the 2+ m telescope was supposed to make its debut on the third satellite, with the first two satellites carrying another (unspecified) type of mirror. Second, as pointed out here earlier, the Progress Rocket and Space Center, Razdan’s prime contractor, received two separate contracts for Razdan from the Ministry of Defense, one on June 19, 2014 and the other on September 26, 2016.  Four days later, on September 30, 2016, KMZ was awarded a separate contract from the Ministry of Defense for the development of the Sevan payload (with LZOS acting as a subcontractor to KMZ). Possibly, the 2014 contract was for the satellites carrying the silicon carbide mirror and the 2016 contract for the satellites carrying the larger 2.4 m mirror. Still, other available evidence does not support this scenario.

Work on silicon carbide mirrors was pioneered by the Vavilov State Optical Institute (GOI) back in the Soviet days, but the bulk of the research in this field in the past decade or so seems to have been done by LZOS. Some details are given in LZOS’ annual reports and in articles published by the company in 2016-2017. From these it can be learned that LZOS received two contracts for this research from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, one covering the period 2012-2014 and the second covering the period 2014-2016.

The first contract resulted in the construction of an experimental 775 mm mirror, although the material for the mirror was supplied by an unidentified foreign partner. Under the second contract, awarded to LZOS on August 29, 2014 under the name Stabilnost (“Stability”), the company was supposed to build experimental mirrors without any foreign assistance. However, according to an article published by LZOS in late 2017, the work was hampered by “the economic crisis and the decreasing value of the ruble” (a result of the sanctions imposed after the 2014 annexation of Crimea). In the end, LZOS managed to produce 300 mm and 540 mm experimental mirrors using a German-built high-temperature vacuum furnace (images of the 300 mm and 775 mm mirrors are in the attachment). Although the articles do mention the possibility of producing a 1.5 m silicon carbide mirror (the diameter planned for the Razdan mirror), there are no indications that such a mirror was ever manufactured. Moreover, annual reports of LZOS up to 2020 continue to mention silicon carbide mirrors as a type of technology to be implemented in the future. 

In short, the work done by LZOS on silicon carbide mirrors by 2020 does not seem to have reached a level of maturity where they would have been ready to be installed on the first two Razdan satellites. That does seem to have been the case for the larger Sevan payload. According to LZOS’ annual report for 2020, primary, secondary and tertiary mirrors for Sevan had been “shipped to the client”, indicating they were ready for integration with the telescope.

It is also questionable if two different types of optical payloads could be hosted by identical satellite platforms. Most likely, the switch from one type of payload to another would necessitate the design of a basically new type of satellite with a different index and name.  Documentation related to both the 2014 and 2016 government contracts refers to one and the same type of satellite (14F156/Razdan). So the most plausible conclusion is that while silicon carbide was considered as a material for Razdan’s mirrors in the early phases of the project, that idea was abandoned at a relatively early stage.

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