In 2017, we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the first rescue operation carried out by the international search and rescue system COSPAS-SARSAT. For us, this date is also significant by the fact that the signals about the disaster that happened to the crew of a small plane in Canada, were sent by a Russian low-orbiting spacecraft of the system COSPAS-1.
Since then, the COSPAS-SARSAT system has changed significantly, the spacecraft with the search and rescue system function in both low and geostationary orbits. In total, during the operation of the system since its launch, more than 41 000 people have been rescued.
Currently, the State Corporation ROSKOSMOS together with industry enterprises, representatives of the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, as well as with foreign partners, conducts an active policy for the development of the international COSPAS-SARSAT program.
In the near future, the Russian low-orbit constellation will be reinforced with the Meteor-M No. 2-1 and No. 2-2 spacecraft will carry the COSPAS-SARSAT search and rescue equipment on board. Within the framework of the current Federal Space Program, work is planned to create an advanced search and rescue equipment for the Meteor-M, Electro-L, Arktika-M, and Louch-5M satellites. In addition, a new complex of ground facilities is being developed, designed to replace the technology of the previous generation with simultaneous improvement of its main performance characteristics. Within the scope of the Federal Target Program “GLONASS”, a payload is developed for the Russian segment of the future medium-orbit search and rescue system.
It is necessary to remember another significant event: In 2012, the crew of a Canadian helicopter was rescued for the first time using the COSPAS-SARSAT relay equipment installed on a GLONASS spacecraft.
In the history of the Russian participation in the international COSPAS-SARSAT program, there are many glorious moments and major achievements. This international program serves an extremely noble purpose: saving lives. In addition, the development of the national segment of COSPAS-SARSAT is also a matter of our country’s own security. We need to constantly move forward and stay strong in the pursuit of our goals.
Director General of ROSKOSMOS State Corporation
You have before you a special issue of the “Rocket-Space Device Engineering and Information Systems” journal devoted to the 35th anniversary of the international system of search and rescue COSPAS-SARSAT, that is the most humane space system working for the mankind benefit. The journal includes the most important and interesting articles, which reflect the status of the COSPAS-SARSAT system and the ways of its further development.
The issues of the present status of the COSPAS-SARSAT system are discussed and the basic principles of the offered concept of the development of the Russian segment are analyzed in the paper of Romanov A.A., Kuzenkov A.N., Tyulin A.E. et al.
The article of Studenov V.V. notes that since the beginning of the implementation in 1982, the COSPAS-SARSAT system has provided the help at the rescue of at least 41 750 people in 11 788 incidents. Only in 2016, the emergency data of COSPAS-SARSAT were used in 885 incidents at the rescue of 2250 people.
The paper of Antonov D.V. is devoted to the issues of the estimation and optimization of a service area of the Medium Earth Orbit Local User Terminal (MEOLUT). The results of the mathematical simulation of the size of the service area depending on the planning algorithm and number of the antennas installed on the MEOLUT are presented.
The possibility of adding two channels of the geostationary segment already in existence to the ground station with four antennas of the MEO segment is analyzed in the paper of Antonov D.V., Arkhangelsky V.A. et al. The results of the mathematical simulation of the service area of the received station with six channels are given.
The article of Antonov D.V. presenting the experimental results of the determination of the locations of a slowly moving emergency radio beacon by means of the MEOLUT equipped with 4, 6 or 12 antennas finishes the review of the MEO segment of the COSPAS-SARSAT system.
The paper of Boyko S.N., Isaev A.V. et al. opens the subject heading “Radio Engineering and Space Communication”. It offers a promising design of the antenna, which is built into the emergency radio beacons of the second generation of the COSPAS-SARSAT search and rescue system, which provides the required efficiency of radiation.
The article of Romanov A.A., Kondrashov A.S. et al. presents the evolving scheme of the realization of the unified onboard complex of the search and rescue system, which can be used on spacecraft of all segments of the COSPAS-SARSAT system.
The results of the application of continuous engineering methods when organizing the operations on the adaptation of a search and rescue complex onboard the spacecraft of the Meteor-M type are given in the article of Romanov A.A. and Romanov A.A.
The paper of Arkhangelsky V.A. and Seleznev V.V. is devoted to the analysis of the ways to increase the accuracy of the determination of the emergency radio beacons locations independent of the GNSS on the COSPAS-SARSAT ground stations. The method allowing one to achieve a significant increase in the accuracy of the determination of the locations of narrow band emergency radio beacons is described in detail in the article.
The article of Arkhangelsky V.A. et al. crowns the journal. The results of the flight tests of the Russian geostationary segments of the COSPAS-SARSAT system created on the basis of the Louch-5A and Louch-5V spacecraft and also the results of the international tests of the geostationary search and rescue satellite system based on Louch-5A are given in the paper.
“Rocket-Space Device Engineering
and Information Systems”
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