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Telecom Platforms

Clearly the most ambitious GEO communications satellite project was led by the Energiya NPO (prior to its becoming RKK Energiya) with the objective of launching enormous telecommunications platforms with masses of up to 20 metric tons in GEO. First proposed in 1989 as a means of coordinating and consolidating numerous national communications systems, the idea of a high-cost, high-capacity GEO satellite was received with muted enthusiasm.

While providing one solution to the problem of overcrowding in the GEO ring (reportedly, three platforms could replace 32 conventional GEO satellites), the concern about a launch failure of the Energiya booster or of an on-board support system (e.g., attitude control) which would cause the loss of the entire spacecraft was difficult to overcome. Under the original Energiya NPO and Energiya-Marathon Association proposal, a Phase 1 system (1994-1997) would include three 17.8 metric ton platforms to meet USSR internal communications needs as well as communications with Europe and Asia. The 7.6 metric-ton payload would draw 12 kW from the total 16 kW on-board power supply to operate a host of transponders at 1.6/1.5 GHz, 6/4 GHz, 14/11 GHz, and 18/12 GHz through antennas ranging from 1 to 8.5 m in diameter. The design lifetime was rated at 10 years. If successful, a Phase 2 system (1997 2000) might be deployed with 4-5 even larger satellites to form a Global Space System. A total platform mass of 20 metric tons could support a 9 metric payload package and a 24 kW electrical power supply system. Antenna dimensions would grow to up to 20 m in diameter, while transponder frequencies would increase to 60/50 GHz. To increase the payload capacity of the Energiya launch vehicle, a two-stage liquid oxygen/hydrocarbon upper stage would be replaced with a single liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen upper stage. Although financing for the project was in hand in 1992, the cancellation of the Energiya launch vehicle program ended the super-heavy Globis satellite project. However, as late as October, 1994, such platforms were still being proposed (References 363-368)..

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Page last modified: 10-04-2016 19:07:55 ZULU