RKS is developing a new system for docking spacecraft

(ORDO NEWS) — A universal system for docking spacecraft in near-earth and lunar orbits is being developed by the Scientific Research Institute of Precision Instruments JSC (NII TP), a company of the Russian Space Systems holding (RKS, part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) according to the terms of reference of RSC PJSC Energy”.

Experts have started to manufacture a prototype of a radio engineering system for mutual measurements for a promising spacecraft – a signal parameter meter (ISM).

The new system is fundamentally different from the previous ones. It is housed in an unpressurized space of a promising ship or station, has a high radiation resistance and is built mainly on a domestic element base. The system has increased measurement accuracy of motion parameters, less weight, dimensions and power consumption in comparison with the currently used Kurs-NA equipment. It is assumed that it will be used to ensure the rapprochement of the promising Russian reusable manned spacecraft “Orel” with objects of near-earth and circumlunar infrastructure.

Sergei MEDVEDEV, Chief Designer of Mutual Measurement Systems, NII TP: “The ISS equipment is primarily intended for operation in lunar orbits, therefore, it must have increased radiation resistance. The requirements for other influencing factors, including mechanics, are also significantly higher; therefore, the design of the system is fundamentally changed and consists of a set of board-frames.

The ISS equipment will be located not in a sealed, but in the unit compartment, which also imposes new requirements for maintaining the temperature regime of operation and for the element base used. Only the operating wavelength range has been preserved. The appearance of the system has also changed significantly. An integrated information channel appeared, which made it possible to halve the number of transmitting and receiving devices.

Thanks to this, the weight and dimensions of the new system will be significantly reduced, the accuracy of measurement of motion parameters will be increased, especially in terms of radial speed – now it is several millimeters per second. In the future, the ISS equipment can also be used at orbital stations. ”

At the same time, the enterprise is proactively working on the creation of an optical system for measuring the parameters of the relative motion of spacecraft. This technology will allow for search, rendezvous and docking both with cooperative (acting in concert) and uncooperative (independent and independent) objects in near-earth orbits and beyond. Its use is especially important when solving problems of repair and refueling in space, and is also useful in the fight against space debris. The SRI TP has worked out the appearance of the system, carried out mathematical modeling of the main algorithms and tested laboratory models: a working group is developing a functional model.

For many years, the company has been developing, manufacturing and operating mutual measurement systems for the search, rendezvous and docking of spacecraft. Measurements during automatic docking with the ISS are now carried out by the Kurs-NA system developed by NII TP.



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