Sun Feb 28, 2021 06:55 UTC
Arktika (Russian: Арктика) is a constellation of satellites being developed by Russia with the aim of providing better satellite coverage for the Arctic territories in the field of telecommunications, meteorology and navigation. The objective is to support the economic development of these regions. Indeed, Russia has vast territories above the Arctic Circle that are poorly served by satellites optimized to cover lower latitudes.
The Russian government has been working on the Arktika project since 2007. The development of the first satellites was entrusted by Roscosmos to the Russian aerospace manufacturer NPO Lavochkin. The research institute IKI is in charge of developing the magnetometer while RKS provides the MSU-GSM multispectral imager. The announced schedule calls for the launch of five satellites between 2021 and 2025. Four types of satellites are to be placed in orbit:
- Two Arktika-M satellites are dedicated to weather coverage and emergency communications. The payload includes a multispectral MGU-GSM imager and transponders for telecommunications and meteorological systems. The 2.1-ton satellites are developed by the Lavochkin company. They use a Navigator platform and are based on the architecture of Elektro-L weather satellites from the same manufacturer.
- Three Arktika-MS1 satellites providing communications between commercial cell phones are developed under the supervision of Gazprom. They operate in a 24-hour high orbit with an orbital inclination of 63°.
- Three Arktika-MS2 satellites provide the same service for government communications, air traffic control and relay with satellite navigation systems.
- A pair of Arktika-R satellites is to be launched into a sun-synchronous orbit to search for natural resources, determine ice thickness and water temperature, and detect pollution. Its main instrument is a radar working in the 9.5 to 9.8 GHz frequencies with a spatial resolution of up to 1 meter and a swath of between 450 and 600 km.