of the XXVI RadioAstron Meeting
Moscow, 18-20 July 2001
The meeting was hosted by the Astro Space Center, Moscow, Russia
A demonstration of the engineering model of the 10-m space radio telescope (SRT) antenna unfolding, and the engineering models of spacecraft were given by Lavochkin Association (LA). These models will be tested at LA in 2001-2002.
The SRT test facilities were inspected at the site of Pushchino Radio Astronomical Observatory. The facilities are ready for radio astronomical tests of engineering model of SRT in 2002.
The general status of the project was presented by N.S. Kardashev. Main achievements since the previous meeting (Moscow, October 1999) are:
- the engineering model of SRT antenna with many elements of flight model is
manufactured and ready for space qualification tests;
- the complete engineering model of electronic SRT complex (with exception of the Neuchatel/ESA Hydrogen maser) was tested as interferometer with "zero" base line;
- upgraded 22 GHz on-board LNA and MFS converter are under preparation;
- the high apogee orbit were studied in details and it was approved as principal, 28-h orbit is considered as a reserve one;
- vibration tests of spacecraft engineering model was completed, electrical tests was started and the first flight model of spacecraft is under fabrication;
- the construction of special building for test calibration of SRT in Pushchino was completed.
V.E. Babyshkin presented the overall timeline of the RadioAstron
mission implementation. It has the following main components:
- end-to-end tests in Pushchino of the RadioAstron radio telescope:
engineering model - September 2002,
flight model - May-July 2003;
- final assembly of the S/C EM - December 2003.
Current results and the plans for STR and Interferometer tests were reported during meetings at LA and PRAO ASC (see Agenda).
During the Meeting with Deputy Director of ROSAVIAKOSMOS Mr. G.M. Polishuk it was declared that status of the SRT development and the current situation with the test facilities in Pushchino, as well as the provision of necessary funding, ensure the possibility that the scientific payload and spacecraft bus will be ready for launch in the autumn of 2004 - middle of 2005.
Presentations and discussions concerning scientific program of RadioAstron mission have shown necessity to increase angular resolution compared with the VSOP project.
The following actions items have been formulated as a result of general discussion:
- The meeting expresses concerns about continuing support and funding for the
NASA & NRAO tracking stations which were built for Radioastron and VSOP
- ASC & NRAO should speed up preparation of the contact for construction and
delivery of the 22 GHz LNA for the SRT. A meeting between the ASC and NRAO
representatives in Green Bank or in Moscow is desirable for shortening the
- The ASC asks ESA and Neuchatel Observatory to resume construction of the SRT
onboard Hydrogen maser. This maser is particularly crucial for the RadioAstron
project with the high (350,000 km) orbit currently planned.
- The meeting encourages the participating observatories and institutes to consider pre-launch observations that would be used for determining the best observing strategies for RadioAstron mission.
- The ASC and Green Bank Tracking Station have to test the interfaces to be used in tracking of RadioAstron.
- It was recommended to ASC, LA and JPL to study the necessity of a high accuracy on-board accelerometer for orbit determination.
- Next RadioAstron meeting will be held in Moscow on August 26-29, 2002.