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Friday, March 23, 2018

The all-seeing eye of the army: as in Russia, caught spy satellites

February 23, has long ceased to be only a professional holiday of military. We are celebrating this day as the day of unity of army and people, all those who defended, defends and ready to defend our Homeland. The team of “MK” congratulates all involved!

On the eve of our reporters visited one of the most sensitive sites of the Russian army, located in the suburbs. Center of space monitoring, which receives information about everything that is happening in earth orbit, seemingly inconspicuous. But its role in the security of the country cannot be overemphasized.

photo: Evgeny Semenov

The center was established shortly after the beginning of space exploration — March 3, 1965. Heart and brain center is the command post, where, as with the bridge, the management of the objects located thousands of kilometers from the Moscow region — in the Crimea, Altai, Karachay-Cherkessia and Tajikistan. All year round 24 hours all-seeing eye of electronic and optical equipment monitors the heavens. The information is directed to the computing center, where real-time tracked about 15 thousand space objects, each of which serve military literally know in person. On all existing or already failed spacecraft opened “personal Affairs”, in which the continuously recorded parameters. And the number of parameters one such object can be up to several thousand! The database is stored in electronic form, and if it is print, volumes will be up to the top to fill almost half of the premises of the command post.

Senior assistant head of Department captain Roman Fattakhov says that previously, many offices command post was occupied by the computer “Elbrus” — a unique development of domestic scientists and engineers, able to simultaneously work with data on thousands of objects, each of which moves with great speed around the Earth. To electronic mind “Elbrus” is not boiled, was created a complex system of cooling that took place throughout the building.

photo: Evgeny Semenov

In the Museum of the Center monitor space environment has preserved some interesting details of the “Elbrus” — the storage of information, in modern language stick. The first such devices appeared in the early 70-ies and was a good-sized suitcase. Capacity may seem ridiculous for such a size is only 3 megabytes, but this is quite enough to perform the tasks.

Workplace duty shift is somewhat similar to the mission control Center in Korolev — the same huge screen on the wall that displays the position of satellites. On the blue line resembling a sine wave, slowly moving mark Zarya Russian module of the ISS.

A few years ago, the Americans announced the alarm because of the possible collision with space debris station. After years of mastering near-earth space orbit appeared many spacecraft, which after the end of service life are in free flight. Some of them collide and disintegrate into smaller fragments. The fragments move at a speed of 7 kilometers per second, and the introduction of even small fragments of the station could lead to disaster — it will punch through any module. The astronauts were ready to evacuate, but CCCP reported that alarm to beat early. The high accuracy measurements allowed us to re-examine the data of Americans, and found that there was no danger, and this was confirmed.

photo: Evgeny Semenov

But, of course, one of the main tasks of the officers of the center — monitoring spy satellites.

We know the location of any military unit, says Fattakhov. — And so clearly we are in control of their situation, depend on our ability to either hide, or, conversely, to show our military installations.

It happens that under the guise of civilian communications satellites our “partners” are trying to run spies. However, after the launch of such “Trojan horses” give yourself atypical for civil objects behavior. Several times officers CCCP already caught by the hand of the country that is trying to spy in space.

Today the instrument, which monitors the space, allows you to see everything that flies at altitudes of up to 50 thousand kilometers. 2020 will be the modernization of equipment and the possibilities of space scouts will increase even more.


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