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Some $180m needed to create next Belarusian-Russian satellite

Society 27.07.2017 | 14:14
Piotr Vityaz. An archive photo
Piotr Vityaz. An archive photo

MINSK, 27 July (BelTA) – About $180 million will be required to create a Belarusian-Russian satellite for the remote sensing of Earth, BelTA learned from Piotr Vityaz, Head of the Office of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

Piotr Vityaz said: “The new satellite is expected to cost about $180 million. The sum includes all the expenses, including insurance and launch. Technical parameters have been agreed. It is now necessary to get funding for the next year. The Belarusian company Peleng has already started designing core equipment for the new satellite at its own expense. The Russian company VNIIEM is busy developing the platform using its own funds, too. The innovative project will allow expanding the areas of application of space data.”

There are plans to insert the new satellite into orbit in late 2020 – 2021. It will become part of the existing Belarusian-Russian constellation of satellites, which are designed for the high-resolution remote sensing of Earth. The satellite will be controlled in proportion to investments. The same approach will be used to data acquisition. The new satellite will boast improved technical parameters in comparison with the existing Belarusian satellite BKA. This is why the new satellite will be able to accomplish so much more.

According to Sergei Zolotoi, Director of the R&D enterprise Geoinformation Systems of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB), chief designer of the Belarusian system for the remote sensing of Earth: “It will be a brand new satellite. American satellites of this class weigh about 2.5 tonnes. The Belarusian-Russian satellite will weigh under 1 tonne. New materials and manufacturing technologies will be used to create it. All of that will have to be modelled and tested on Earth before proving right the design solutions in outer space.”

The work to create the new satellite proceeds in accordance with the memorandum signed by the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and the Russian space agency Roscosmos. In the past Belarus and Russia created a joint ground-based infrastructure for controlling the Belarusian satellite BKA and the Russian one Canopus-B as well as the system to receive and process the data they send. The BKA satellite has been working as part of the Belarusian-Russian orbital group of satellites for the remote sensing of the Earth for five years already.

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