Russia Develops New Satellite Control System

  • Russian software for designing and managing multi-satellite systems has been completed.
  • The Russian software will allow to design groups consisting of several thousand spacecrafts.
  • As part of the project, a software package has been created that allows to calculate the dynamics of multi-satellite groupings.

The initial stage of development of the first Russian software for designing and managing multi-satellite systems has been completed. Development and testing is carried out by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research in cooperation with the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

The Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) was created by decree #426 of the President of the Russian Federation “On urgent measures for preserving scientific and technological potential of the Russian Federation” and is a self-governed state nonprofit organisation in the form of a federal organisation controlled by the Government of the Russian Federation.

The Russian software will allow designers to design groups consisting of several thousand spacecraft. At the moment, according to the project description on the FPI website, the existing tools for modeling groups of hundreds and thousands of satellites, both in Russia and abroad, do not solve the problem comprehensively.

Multi-satellite systems are groups that consist of the several hundred, and sometimes thousands of the different and the same type of civil or military spacecraft. They are resistant to the single failures, and are more cost-effective due to advanced functionality.

Moreover, the calculations performed during testing allowed the Russian engineers to solve a number of applied problems of the modeling mixed groups that consist of a remote sensing and communication. This includes optimization of control parameters for advanced optical monitoring systems of near-earth space.

Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact with the object, and thus in contrast to on-site observation, especially the Earth.

As part of the project, a software package has been created that allows for calculations of the dynamics of multi-satellite groupings. It also includes their performance of target tasks and a mathematical description of the functioning of spacecraft that are part of the groupings.

The Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology is one of the leading Russian universities in the areas of physics and technology. The university holds a reputable position in the country and abroad for qualified graduate training.

The engineers developed lines of optimization methods and multivariate calculations to support decision-making in the design of promising multi-satellite systems. The first stage of the program has been tested. Already, it has implemented functionality that allows one to reduce the cost of designing and using multi-satellite systems to “eliminate the adoption of erroneous decisions.”

A systematic approach to the development and management will help reduce the failure rate. Failure of even a few satellites will not lead to a significant weakening of the “swarm.” That is, their functions will be taken over by neighboring devices.

Two such systems are currently being deployed: the well-known OneWeb and Starlink. Work is also underway on a Russian grouping of more than half a thousand satellites, called “Sphere.”

For the first time, the global initiative “Sphere” made the news in 2018. The essence of the project is to create a space infrastructure of several hundred satellites for various purposes. It is assumed that the system will allow you to solve a variety of tasks, from providing high-speed Internet access to remote sensing of the Earth.

It is clear the project is very relevant, especially relating to the focus on space by the myriad of nations around the globe.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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