Performance verification of new technologies and instruments aboard MiR satellite
marked one year since the small spacecraft MiR, developed and constructed in-house at the Reshetnev Company, was launched. Around a dozen of various experiments have been conducted aboard the satellite over this period.
This experimental spacecraft was launched into orbit with a view of providing a platform for testing recently developed technologies in the representative space environment. During its mission it has already flight-tested a number of advanced technical solutions produced by ISS-Reshetnev together with its associated companies and organizations. For instance, a new material – fiberglass which is used in the manufacture of booms for satellite’s magnetic-gravitational attitude control subsystem, has proved to be viable. Other solutions have also demonstrated their good performance, among which are a contour heat pipe employed by the thermal control subsystem and a module with specially developed concentrators attached to the solar array that reflect sun light onto the satellite’s solar cells, thus increasing its electric power supply capabilities. These are the solutions that were introduced by the Reshetnev Company. Apart from that, one-axis rotation rate measuring devices manufactured by RPC “Optolink” (Zelenograd) were tested as part of an optic fiber gyroscope, and a magnetometer produced by Ramenskoye Design Company was verified as well.
The MiR project has also attracted students and scientists from universities. They conducted an experiment during the satellite launch that involved using an observation camera – a joint effort between the Reshetnev Company and Siberian State Aerospace University (SibSAU). The camera captured the process of the satellite’s separation from the launch vehicle as well as the deployment of the magnetic-gravitational device’s boom. Besides, the performance of SibSAU’s Earth remote sensing camera was evaluated. To date more than 300 photographs of the Earth’s surface at resolution of about 350 meters have been obtained from this spacecraft. As for new pressure sensor, it has demonstrated good performance, too. The instrument was developed by Novosibirsk State University under the technical guidance of ISS-Reshetnev.
As a matter of fact, the MiR satellite has already exceeded its designed active lifespan of 1 year. Nevertheless, it is still healthy and the project participants keep operating the satellite.