REUTOV /Moscow Region/, April 2. /TASS/. The Research and Production Association of Machine-Building (part of Tactical Missiles Corporation) has launched work on developing active phased array radar mini-satellites that can help monitor the Arctic, Company CEO and Chief Designer Alexander Leonov said on the sidelines of the conference on cosmonautics on Friday.
“We are now developing very small active phased array radar satellites on our own initiative and using our own funds. Their weight and dimensional characteristics are almost five times lighter than the parameters of the Kondor [Russian radar satellite],” he said.
The new mini-satellites will be launched in a cluster of several units atop a carrier rocket, he said. “We are specially making this design to place up to six-eight satellites on a Soyuz carrier rocket,” Leonov said.
A cluster of such satellites will be needed for monitoring the situation in the Arctic and quite fits into the Russian Sfera multi-purpose orbital constellation planned to be created, the chief designer said.
“It is difficult for optical satellites to operate there: it is either dark or cloudy while radar satellites solve this problem,” he said.