Satellites météo russes: passé et rattrapage lent

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On sait que la Russie a perdu presque toute sa constellation de satellites météorologiques dans l'effonfrement de l'URSS. Les tentatives pour faire revivre une constellation fonctionnelle sont lentes et parsemées d'échecs et d'obsolescence du matériel. Y Zaïtsev, un conseillé de l'Académie des Sciences technologiques russe retrace l'histoire et fait le point pour l'agence Interfax. Pour ceux que cela intéresse c'est dans le spoiler ci-dessous.

12/29/2012 Russia still can not catch up with the leading space powers in the field of satellite meteorology

Revival of Russian meteorological constellation is slow, the spacecraft are not used to full capacity, he said, "Interfax-AVN" valid academic advisor Academy of Engineering Sciences Yuri Zaitsev.

"In 2009, launched the first of a series of advanced spacecraft hydrometeorological satellite" Meteor-M-1. "Removing other prospective satellite" Electro-L "was originally scheduled for 2006. Then transferred annually to run it, and took place only in 2011. However, it appeared that the defects on-board equipment and the "Meteor-M-1," and "Electro-L" are such that the devices could be used only with great limitations, "- said the expert.

Essentially it was a test instance of the new satellites, he said.

He noted that in 1970-1980 the USSR Space meteomonitoringu not much inferior to the world leader in this area - the United States. And then the problems began, he said.

He recalled that in 1979 drafted an international system of weather satellites in geostationary orbit. It was assumed that the operators of the system - the U.S., Europe, Russia and Japan will exchange data meteosemki that will develop accurate meteorological forecasts globally. Shortly after that launch their satellites the U.S. and Europe, and later Japan. In October 1994, was launched on Russian spacecraft "Electro-1." "Creation of the Russian unit was delayed for a long 15 years, and he worked in orbit for only four years. In 1998, its operation was stopped," - said Yu.Zaytsev.

According to him, it is better to have a situation with the Group of Russian low-orbit meteorological satellites. December 10, 2001 launched the device "Meteor-3M" - the first Russian Hydrometeorological companion volume information parameters which is quite in line with international recommendations.

"But by December 2003 silent three of his four transmitters. Sputnik began working at only 20% capacity: stopped giving information about the weather and the radiation environment, and only monitors the state of the northern ice" - said Yu.Zaytsev.

He recalled that the federal space program provided in 2005 to launch a spacecraft "Meteor-3M" № 2, and in 2006 - "Electro-2." "However, it was obvious that because of initially low quality, they are at the time of entry into orbit will be obsolete. Therefore it was decided to abandon their production and begin work on the development of improved devices," - said the expert.

For testing on-board equipment and testing in actual space flight preparation and launch of satellites was to continue, gradually improving on-board measurement system, he said. Initial plans called for the launch of three satellites "Meteor". They decided to add two devices in this series.

Perhaps by 2016, and will be the next-generation meteorological satellite "Meteor-MP". Number of satellites "Electro" will increase to three. The second satellite in the series will run over the Atlantic Ocean, the third - over the Pacific. The expert noted that, since the unit "Meteor-3M" first Russian gidrometeosputnik was fitted standard on-board radar systems for remote sensing.

The combination of instruments, operating simultaneously in the optical, infrared and microwave regions of the spectrum produces a comprehensive operational information for a wide range of tasks in the interests of hydrometeorology, oceanography, detection and monitoring of emergencies, environmental control, as well as the study of natural resources of the Earth, including geology, agriculture and forestry. Airborne radar system will be included in subsequent "Meteor".

In this case, the expert said, plan to use a multi-mode radar, a new generation of active electronically scanned array. This will give an opportunity to expand the list of solved problems with it and give a new quality-board information complex as a whole, he said. "The problem however is that it only plans and their implementation is far greater difficulties," - said Yu.Zaytsev.

He noted that satellite weather observations are very important. More than 80% of all natural disasters in the world are meteorological or hydrometeorological origin. In the 1950s, the damage from them is estimated at $ 4 billion a year, and in 1990 to $ 40 billion today it is close to $ 100 billion

"To predict the weather requires the inclusion of a variety of processes in the atmosphere and on its surface, as well as in space, in near and far, including the sun. Its radiation has a direct impact on the molecular composition and density of the upper atmosphere, which in turn determines the heat balance its lower layers.

No less important is the effect of various active phenomena on the Sun. Many of the "triggers" weather processes, including abnormal, initiated by cosmic reasons, "- said Yu.Zaytsev.

"According to expert estimates, forecasts with the reliability of 90-95% for the whole of the Earth for three days in advance by means of space weather systems are able to provide an annual savings of $ 60 billion," - said Yu.Zaytsev.

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