Geophysics research on ISS Russian Segment

Uragan Experiment

Natural and man-made disasters entail a great number of victims and have a devastating effect upon the economies of many countries. Due to this fact, it is required to arrange at the ISS a permanent monitoring of the areas where natural and man-made disasters are forecasted, as well as prompt notifying public bodies and local authorities about unfavorable or disastrous development of events.

The experiment further develops a sequence of visual observations of the Earth surface started earlier at the Mir station. The ISS RS-based subsequent expeditions will build up an automatic observation system designed to watch the development of catastrophic events via electronic-optical equipment, which is on a par with the world standards set in its characteristics and provides round-the-clock monitoring capability. Initial classification and decoding of catastrophic event signs will be carried out by cosmonauts onboard the ISS RS using a dedicated software.

During conduct of a spaceborne experiment operational recording and downlink transmission of data on catastrophic event origination, development and scope are planned to be carried out.


Observation and registration of development of ISS RS downlinked catastrophic phenomena and development of criteria of classification and decoding of catastrophic phenomena indications.


  • Conduct of the underlying Earth surface visual observations by original data uplinked by radiograms with recording of catastrophic phenomena development processes using video and photographic equipment.
  • Test of ISS RS downlinked hardware and Earth surface observation methods under actual restrictions.
  • Receipt of new experimental data of high resolution spectral measurements of underlying surfaces with spatial interpolation for scientific and practical purposes in conditions of further development of ERS system during survey using Photospectral system (PSS) Science Hardware.

Science Hardware Used:

"Photospectral system" is designed to record the reflected radiation spectrum of underlying surfaces within the range of 350-1050 Nm wave length, unequivocally "referenced" to ISS RS downlinked high resolution color images.

Science hardware "Photo spectral system" is made as a compact autonomous monoblock that makes possible to carry out analysis directly on-site of the process monitoring and also onboard the space vehicle.

The hardware is equipped with a mounting bracket with rotation angle sensors, the data of which enables to make geographic reference of images and recorded spectra to a specific image frame.

Photospectral system

Flight Equipment Used:

  • HDV Sony HVR-Z7 video camera;
  • Nikon D3X digital camera;
  • SIGMA AF 300-800 F/5.6 lens;
  • AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4 video lens with 1,7 and 2,0 video converters;
  • Laptops.


  • Mini-DV video tapes;
  • PCMCIA cards;
  • PCMCIA adapter;
  • HDD hard disk.

Expected Results:

  • Generation of computer-aided data bases on recorded catastrophic phenomena.
  • Preliminary development of decoding criteria for downlinked images of catastrophes with their classification.
  • Generation of mathematical models to forecast catastrophic phenomena development on the Earth surface, including tsunami, ice shearing, etc.

ISS Crew

Hoshide  AkihikoHoshide

leg Novitskiy Novitskiy

Petr Dubrov Dubrov

Mark Vande Hei Vande Hei

Robert Shane

Megan McArthur McArthur