Russian Aerospace Defence Forces will be getting an upgraded space surveillance system located in Tajikistan, known as Okno-M.
The upgraded system performs the task of automatically gathering information on space objects and monitor objects in space, including those in geostationary orbit, at a distance of 120 to 40,000 km, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported today.
The Okno-M station, based in Tajikistan in Central Asia, is an integral part of the space surveillance network of the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces’ Space Command. The surveillance station successfully underwent state tests late in 2014.
The newly-developed optoelectronic system for detecting space objects was designed completely in Russia. It possesses increased detection capabilities, better channel capacity and a wider range of characteristics for processing data on space objects.
The capabilities of the modernized complex are four times greater than those of its predecessor. The optoelectronic station traces space objects solely at night. Sunlight is reflected from the objects, which provides the system with the necessary information.
Okno-M is fully automated and has the ability to operate without human intervention, keeping track of both previously recorded and newly detected objects. When the system is in passive mode, its power consumption is fairly low and it requires as much electricity as a 150-unit apartment block.
Construction of the previous Okno (meaning 'window' in Russian) station, one of the key elements of Russian space intelligence, commenced in 1980 in the clear sky zone in the Pamir Mountains near the Afghan border at a height of 2,200 meters above sea level.