A Loutch communications system installed outside ISS
A special broadband communications system module, made by Reshetnev Company for the Russian segment of the International Space Station, has been successfully installed on the exterior of the Zvezda service module.
The installed electronics equipment will provide Ku-band communications and message relay services for the Russian segment of the space station, ensuring higher data transfer speeds from and to the station, including large volumes of research experiments, photo and video materials, and videoconferencing sessions. The communications system is intended to enable real-time data exchange between the Russian segment of the station and ground controllers via Loutch data-relay satellites.
Orbiting the Earth on the geostationary orbit, three satellites of the Loutch system (all designed and built by ISS-Reshetnev Company) are capable of linking the ISS with the ground during those periods when the station is not visible from the Russian territory.
The Loutch multifunctional space-based data-relay system is based on ISS-Reshetnev’s Loutch-5A, Loutch-5B and Loutch-5V satellites. Each of them enables two-way real-time data transmission between low-orbiting space technology objects and ground control centers.