Ground Tracking Stations

The ground-based tracking station is an integral part of Spektr-M ground-based scientific complex and it operates in conjunction with the onboard highly informative radio complex (VIRK-M), forming the spacecraft-Earth radio link.

Ground Tracking Stations:

  • Provide pointing of the tracking station antenna to the spacecraft and performs tracking of the spacecraft during communication session;
  • Extract scientific, service and telemetric information from the received signal, with subsequent transmission via communication lines to data processing center and flight control center.

Spektr-M spacecraft will be located in heliocentric orbit near the Lagrange point (L2) of the Sun-Earth system. Due to its great distance that is more than 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth, it is necessary to use ground antennas with a mirror diameter of at least 40 meters in order to compensate for the attenuation of the signal in outer space. In Russia, such antennas can be RT-64 (Kalyazin) and RT-70 (Yevpatoriya).

Example of possible ground tracking stations for Millimetron observatory: Kalyazin (64 meters), Evpatoriya (70 meters)