Russia’s Energia is developing a digital control system for what it claims will be the first all-digital satellite – the Yamal 300. Energia is in pre-contractual talks with satellite operator Gazcom, having just received requirements from the telecommunications subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom.

“Yamal 300 will have 100% digital control. No one else has done this yet,” says Energia satellite department team leader Egor Frolov. “We expect the results of this development will be used on manned and unmanned Mars missions.”

The Yamal 300 follows the 1,300kg (2,865lb) Yamal 200, first launched in November 2003. Alenia Spazio provided antennas for the Yamal 200 and the merged Alcatel Alenia Space is expected to do so for the Yamal 300. The new satellite will have larger solar arrays using amorphous silicon technology, and lithium-ion batteries in place of the Yamal 200’s nickel hydrogen.

Yamal spacecraft are among 15 new commercial satellites planned under Russia’s 2006-2015 space programme to provide communications and digital television for the whole country. The Yamal satellites are also being considered as an alternative for communication with the International Space Station.


Source: Flight International