The role of the space control system (SSS) in ensuring the national security of the country is difficult to overestimate today. 17 July 2013 was exactly 25 years since the establishment of the Main Space Intelligence Center of the East Kazakhstan Region. What path has he traveled during this time and what tasks does he solve today?
The SCCU is an integral part of the country's aerospace defense and has its own characteristics. This is a large information system that combines the capabilities of all the facilities of the Ministry of Defense and civilian agencies, designed for continuous, continuous and global assessment of the space situation in both peacetime and wartime.
Only in the USA and Russia
KKP system has its history creation and development. The need to monitor space objects has arisen since the launch of October 4 1957, the first artificial satellite of the Earth, with the beginning of the space age. The clearly defined tasks of continuous and continuous monitoring of space objects raised the question of developing means of observing and processing measurement information that would allow taking such measures that would be able to carry out space activities with guarantee.
Currently, we can trace the dynamics of the increase in the number of space objects. If in 60-ies the number of KOs was in the hundreds, in 80 – 90-e, in the thousands, then today we are talking about tens of thousands of objects and this is far from the limit. But this phenomenon has a negative side. Intensive exploration of space, the destruction of a number of KOs for various reasons led to the fact that a large number of fragments appeared in orbits, representing a real threat to both operating spacecraft and manned space station. There was even the term "space junk".
At the first stage of the creation and development of the SCCE, the tasks of monitoring the state of the spacecraft were solved by attracting funds from the ANS, ABM, and optical observation stations of the Astro Council of the USSR Academy of Sciences. But even then it was understood the need to have their own specialized means of the PSC system.
In 1975, the CCKP was established, which was armed with the multiprocessor computing complexes Elbrus-1 and Elbrus-2. The center is capable of processing a large flow of radar and optical information. In the same years, the large-scale construction of specialized means of the space monitoring system began. By this time, the flow of radar and optical information had reached an enormous amount, over 60 of thousands of orbital measurements per day, and the need for precise determination of the orbital parameters of a single orbit by position and time increased sharply.
By the end of 80-s, it became obvious that such a system should have unified management, because the funds were located at a considerable distance from each other, and their subordination did not allow to effectively solve the tasks.
17 July 1988 was formed a separate corps control space, which was later transformed into a division, and today - in the Main Center for the exploration of the space situation. The first corps commander - Lieutenant-General A. Suslov, generals G. Dobrov, V. Derkach, S. Lobov, O. Frolov, V. Lyaporov, A. Nestechuk, who later led the formation, laid the foundation of today's national KKP system.
I emphasize that the SCC is a national system of a country that is unique. Hence, its main strategic mission is to ensure continuous global monitoring of the state of the space situation in order to create the security of the space activities of our state. It is probably clear to everyone that today’s outer space is the area where the main means of command and control are concentrated. weapons, intelligence, communications, navigation, meteorology of foreign countries, and the space itself, along with the sea, land and air, is gradually becoming the main sphere of warfare. As the experience of conducting military operations of the last decades shows, it is precisely through outer space that all groups of forces are managed, all types of reconnaissance are conducted, and communications are provided. And such systems are developing in all countries.
At present, only the Russian Federation and the United States have national space control systems, but other states participating in international space activities are moving towards the creation of such systems. First of all, the countries of Europe, through the European Space Agency, and China. And here it is important to be able to obtain reliable information about the space situation.
Therefore, the main tasks that are defined for the Main Center for Space Intelligence are:
Based on these tasks, the role of the PSC system in the implementation of the national security of the country is determined. It consists in informational support of solving problems of countering threats emanating from space, in space, unhindered deployment and operation of domestic spacecraft groupings, as well as assessing other hazards associated with man-made obstruction of outer space. Their solution is possible only within the framework of a single information triad: missile attack warning systems (SPRN), antimissile defense (ABM), and space control (PSC). And such an embodiment of combat capabilities will be implemented in the framework of the intensively created system of aerospace defense of the country, where the SCCU is given the most important place as the main information component.
Debris in orbit
In accordance with the Treaty on the Principles of Activities of States for the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies of January 27, 1967, which is the basis of international space law, more than 100 countries are parties to the treaty and have access to space.
For us as specialists today, we need to know everything about outer space: how many KOs in orbits, their characteristics, in what state they are, are controlled or not, the influence of space on KOs, etc. One of the main tasks is to maintain the Main Catalog of Space Objects , that is, a single database of all KO. Now only the Russian Federation and the United States have the ability to maintain such directories, which, in accordance with international treaties, regularly exchange this information.
The CO catalog is intended for long-term storage of orbital measuring, radar, optical, radio engineering, and special information about space objects of artificial origin at an altitude from 120 to 40 thousands of kilometers. It contains information about a space object: number, orbital characteristics, signs, coordinates, etc. Total order of 1500 indicators.
Today, there are more than 15 thousands of space objects in various orbits, of which 1250 are operating domestic and foreign spacecraft. But a lot of different debris. What are they dangerous? If the control of an operating spacecraft may be influenced by a person in order to correct his orbit and prevent collisions and destruction, the remaining objects are just the danger that can lead to various man-made accidents and catastrophes. That is why the problem of space debris is most relevant. And in order to influence this situation, to calculate the possible options for its development, the Main Catalog of CRs is kept.
At present, only about 10 percent KOs are rotating around the Earth, which can be influenced to varying degrees, and about 90 percent represent space debris, while the actual number of KOs that fit this category significantly exceeds the counting capacity (estimated to 100 thousand KO).
As can be seen from the analysis, unfortunately, today it is physically impossible to have complete information about all QOs, especially small ones. The capabilities of specialized tools do not yet allow to obtain the characteristics of all types of QOs (improvement of the PSC system in accordance with the Program for the creation and further development of the SSSC up to 2020 of the year will significantly improve our capabilities by 2020). One of the main problems is the impossibility of influencing such processes in order to prevent undesirable consequences.
What can this lead to? To a collision, and consequently, to destruction and, as a consequence, the appearance of an even greater number of QoS in orbits, disabling of the spacecraft, disruption of the functioning of various space systems, such as communications, navigation and others. All this in case of unfavorable development of the situation is fraught with serious financial losses and loss of life. For example, a small fragment of just over one centimeter in size can completely destroy any spacecraft.
But it is in space. Possible consequences associated with the fall of KO to the surface of the Earth. For example, a KO of more than one meter in size leaves the orbit once a week. And our task is precisely to anticipate such a situation, to determine with what degree of probability it will occur, where, in what area there will be a fall. We consider situations related to changes in the parameters of functioning, orbital characteristics, and dangerous approaches, daily.
The most significant examples are:
Is it possible to influence this situation? On the one hand, it is possible if the spacecraft is controllable; on the other hand, it is impossible if it is out of control.
I will give examples of the fall of KO on Earth:
The essence of the work of specialists of the Main Center is to constantly analyze this situation and influence it in time. How?
The first. Timely issue information to relevant consumers about the space situation: launches, maneuvers in orbit, changes in their parameters, and dangerous proximity. Today, for three or more days, we can determine the parameters of a KO approach, allocate dangerous ones among them. So, we consider dangerous approaching KOs that meet the following criteria: on kilometer altitude ± 7,5, along kilometer orbit ± 7, kilometer across orbit, 7 kilometer, which means rather high probability of collision of approaching KOs.
The second. In order to ensure the safety of manned flights, continuous monitoring of the presence of dangerous approaches to the ISS is carried out. For example, in April 2011, the American side issued data on the presence of a fact of dangerous convergence with the ISS of a fragment of the destroyed Chinese spacecraft Fenyun-1-3. The parameters presented by them turned out to be so dangerous that the issue of evacuation of the space station crew was considered. After careful calculations were made by the national PSC system, a refutation of the dangerous rapprochement with the ISS, issued by the American side, was received. For two turns to rapprochement, the United States recognized its mistake. In November, a similar situation arose for 2012. The US side issued a warning about a dangerous approach to the ISS of a fragment of unknown origin with the number NORAD 81662. Our system after the calculations did not confirm the danger. Later on, the Americans agreed.
If we talk about sufficiently long time intervals, then in the 2012-m system of the PAC, 21 detected a dangerous convergence of CRs with domestic spacecraft. In the same year, our specialists accepted and processed over 17 millions of radar and about four million optical measurements, detected and included in the general account over 200 KO, recognized and taken to support the 150 order of newly launched spacecraft and elements of their launches, monitored around 180 maneuvers Spacecraft in orbits, the termination of the ballistic existence over 150 KO is determined with the definition of the area of the possible fall of 70 of them.
The main center of CSC is armed with modern high-tech specialized means of collecting coordinate and non-coordinate information about CR. Among them, the Center for Space Control (CKKP), designed for receiving, storing and processing in automatic mode information about space objects coming from the facilities of the KKP, PRN, PRO systems, Russian Academy of Sciences, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
The Main Space Intelligence Center also includes the Krona radio-optical space object recognition complex, which performs the tasks of detecting spacecraft in the range of a radar facility, determining their motion parameters, cataloging the reflective characteristics of space objects in the radar and optical wavelength ranges, including optical image.
In addition, a unique optical-electronic space object recognition system "Window", located in the Republic of Tajikistan, plays a crucial role in the functioning of the PSC system. The complex is designed to detect space objects in the survey area, determine the parameters of their movement, obtain photometric characteristics of space objects and issue information about them to the PSC center.
The GC RKO also includes an information processing center, an information and analytical center, and a number of other specialized means.
All of these tools are currently performing mission duty. Only the main center of space missile defense is able to pinpoint exactly where the spacecraft is at any given time and how it behaves in orbit. The SC RKO is a center for generalizing all information about space, especially in the event of emergency situations in orbit with various spacecraft.
In recent years, the entire weapons system has been upgraded, which will expand the existing Main Catalog to 30 thousands of objects. By the 2020 year, with the commissioning of new stations of the space monitoring system, the Aerospace Defense Forces will be able to continuously monitor near-earth space in all moods and all altitudes, which will make it possible to track small-size space debris. The newly built and modernized stations will allow monitoring objects with dimensions already 10 centimeters, which will significantly increase our ability to maintain the Main Catalog of space objects and protect the national security of the Russian Federation.