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New Russian spotting system to detect rocket fragments in real-time mode

October 01, 2014, 7:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The spotting station was devised in order to detect rocket fragments in a real-time mode
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©  ITAR-TASS/Ministry of Defense / Andrey Morgunov

MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. Russia's Ministry of Defence will start operating the newest spotting system this year to detect falling rocket fragments. The system was developed at the Khrunichev research and production center to spot impact areas of parts of the carrier rocket Angara, the newspaper Izvestia writes.

According to the newspaper's source at the headquarters of the Air and Space Defence Forces, the possibility is considered to use the new spotting system at the Kamchatka rocket test site Kura during tests and training launchings of ballistic missiles.

The spotting station was devised in order to detect rocket fragments in a real-time mode. Territories allotted for rocket fragments impact areas in the Komi Republic and in Tomsk Region comprise mainly forests. In Komi, an impact area delves 40 km inthe the " Yugyt va" national park .

The falling parts of rockets fly to the ground at a supersonic speed, developing a sonic wave which spreads over to a considerable distance. The station will be able to detect those waves and determine rocket fragments impact areas within difference in time during which a sonic wave is recorded by modules.

Operating autonomously, the modules of one station contact one another via a radio channel, determine the fragment's flight path and an impact area, after which a module of the station transmits data to an Orlan pilotless craft.

In order to determine with the highest accuracy the coordinates of rocket fragments impact areas, it is planned to deploy three to five stations, with a distance between them being 80-100 km.

"Such a system makes it possible simultaneously to track up to 100 fragments, although, usually, it is needed to spot four to five ones," a developmen engineer said.

According to the newspaper's source in the management of the Khrunichev Center, the falling stages of Angara will not be collected immediately after launch, since impact areas are in a difficult-of-access terrain: the fragments will be collected in winter time.

A pilotless craft will be launched and maintained by specially developed autonomous field support stations: these are mobile bases for monitoring impact areas. They are mounted on a Kamaz truck with a high cross-country capacity.

"Impact areas are vast. They cannon be encompassed. Therefore, prior to the launch, people will be searched for by a heat-seeking pilotless craft: people usually enkindle a fire or their diesel generator is operating," the station development engineer explains.

The engineer said that an algorithm for the operation of the impact area coverage systems and their interaction with response services will be described in an agreement which the Defence Ministry is planning to conclude with the administrations of the Komi Republic and Tomsk Region in the coming weeks.

The first launch of a heavy-class carrier rocket Angara is scheduled for December this year. A light-class Angara was successfully tested on July 9, , 2014. According to information from the source in the management of the Khrunichev Center, the cost of the development of the development of the entire station to monitor Angara parts impact areas was not more than 160 million roubles.

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