At the very end of February, Roskosmos successfully launched the Soyuz-2.1b rocket with the Fregat upper stage and the Russian spacecraft Arktika-M No. 1 from the site No. 31 of the Baikonur cosmodrome. Now the first image taken by this hydrometeorological space satellite has been published …
Currently, “Arktika-M” is undergoing flight tests. This apparatus, developed at the S.A. Lavochkin, is intended for regular (with a frequency of 15-30 minutes) surveying of the Arctic region of the Earth, being in the apogee of the highly elliptical orbit of the “Lightning” type.
The spacecraft “Arktika-M” is equipped with two MSU-GSM scanners. Filming of everything available for observation from the apogee area is carried out in ten spectral ranges (seven of them are thermal), which makes it possible to solve the problems of operational meteorology, hydrology, agrometeorology, climate and environmental monitoring.
The minimum required composition of the orbital group for full-fledged operation is two spacecraft “Arktika-M”, but the second will be launched into orbit only in 2023. In the future, it is planned to create a constellation of three such satellites, which will allow monitoring the surface of the planet and the seas of the Arctic Ocean around the clock, regardless of the weather. The polar region of the Earth is not available for observation from geostationary orbit.
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