As noted above, the Lavochkin NPO proposed in 1990 the creation of a LEO store/dump communications network called Bankir. However, 1992 documents from Lavochkin NPO indicated the Bankir name was now used in reference to a geostationary communications system comprised of Coupon satellites of the Globostar Satellite Communications System. The Bankir network began operations in 1993 via the existing Potok system of Geyser spacecraft. By 1997 a constellation of four Coupon spacecraft is envisioned at locations above the eastern Atlantic (9.5 degrees W) and the eastern and western Indian Ocean (55 degrees E, 86.5 degrees E, and 91.75 degrees E).
Each 2.5-metric-ton Coupon will employ sophisticated phased-array antennas for transmission footprints tailored to user specifications. The basic spacecraft will carry 16 Ku-band transponders. The Coupon spacecraft bus is derived from the newest generation missile detection satellites. The Bankir network is being organized by the newly established Russian firm of Global Information Systems, Inc. The Elas NPO will provide the transponders and the ground stations (References 288, 323, 348-355).
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