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RSC Energia: acceptance tests of the equipment to study animal and bird migrations

March 13, 2017

Specialists from RSC Energia took part in acceptance tests of the qualification model of the ICARUS scientific equipment to study migrations of wild animals and birds.

The tests were conducted in Germany at the premises of the equipment developer - SpaceTech (STI). These included conducting functional and performance tests on the qualification model of the ICARUS equipment, inspecting the antenna unit and control computer OBC-I from the standpoint of fire safety, and developing the schedule of further activities.

Taking part in the tests, in addition to specialists from RSC Energia and STI, were representatives of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and State Corporation Roscosmos.

The scientific equipment of the joint Russian and German experiment ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) to study migrations of wild animals and birds will be installed on the International Space Station (ISS).

The equipment package cosists of the control computer OBC-I, which will be installed in the pressurized cabin of the Service Module Zvezda of the ISS Russian Segment, and an antenna unit, consisting of receiving and transmitting antennas. The unit is to be installed on the outer surface of the Service Module during a six-hour spacewalk.

The ICARUS project is unique in that it will allow trying out onboard the ISS and subsequently transferring onboard satellites a technology for tracking animals with much smaller mass, than those that can be tracked by the French system Argos (Advanced Research and Global Observation Satellite) used by scientists from various countries. This will become possible due to the fact that the mass of each of the ICARUS modules attached to animals and birds will not exceed five grams. At the same time this module includes a GPS/GLONASS receiver, radio receiver and transmitter, a storage battery, a solar array, temperature and acceleration sensors.

RSC Energia has been working on the ICARUS project since 2010 within the framework of space experiment (SE) Uragan (the principal investigator of the SE is RSC Energia, the scientific supervisor of the SE is Doctor of Engineering, professor Mikhail Belyaev) and scientific agreement about cooperation with German scientists. In November 2014, an Agreement was signed between Roscosmos and DLR about implementation of this project on the ISS Russian Segment. Taking part in getting the experiment ready are State Corporation Roscosmos, Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, DLR, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and SpaceTech of Germany.

RSC Energia is the leader in the rocket and space industry, and the prime contractor for manned space systems. The Corporation conducts work on the development of unmanned space and rocket systems (launch vehicles and orbital transfer vehicles), and high-technology systems for various non-space applications. Since August 2014, the Corporation is headed by Vladimir Solntsev.

ROSCOSMOS is a State Corporation established in August of 2015 in order to conduct a comprehensive reform of the rocket and space industry in Russia+. State Corporation Roskosmos assures implementation of the Government policies in the field of space activities and provides for them a legal and regulatory framework, as well as places orders for the development, production and delivery of space hardware and space infrastructure facilities. The functions of the State Corporation also include development of international cooperation in space, and creating conditions for using results of space activities in social and economic development of Russia.




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