Subj: Znamya: The World's First Prototype Solar Power Satellite
From: DB2OS @ DB0FD.#NDS.DEU.EU (Peter)
To:   AMSAT @ EU 

About Znamya (Pronounced: 'Z-nam-YA'}: 

Significance of Znamya 2.5: Znamya 2.5 is the world's first controlled
global demonstration of space to Earth beamed solar power. If the
deployment is successful and the combined Progress/Znamya spacecraft can
be controlled accurately, people all over the world will be able to see
for themselves the reality of power from space. And the average person
could understand that the Sun can be harnessed as an energy source 24
hours a day, instead of just during daylight hours. This demonstration
could significantly accelerate the global acceptance and reality of
Solar Power Satellites. 

It is not likely that any cities in the U.S. will be illuminated by
Znamya 2.5 during the 24-hour experiment. To date, there has been no
announcement of which cities elsewhere in the world will be illuminated 

Note: The difference between Znamya 2.5 and the earlier Znamya 2 is that
2.5 will be able to fix the reflected light on a given Earth target for
several minutes. The reflected light from Znamya 2 was only visible as a
flash of light from the Earth. Znamya 1 was a ground engineering test
model, it never flew in space. 

Environmental Concerns: 

Over the past year, both the Space Regatta Consortium and Energia LTD.
have been receiving complaints from the amateur astronomy and
environmental communities. We have responded to their concerns with the

Artificial illumination will only be conducted over infrastructure-poor
cities and industrial zones in regions of the world that experience long
polar nights. If we are not able to provide economical precision,
illumination we will not develop this application. The entire program is
still in the R&D stage. Space power releases very little waste heat and
no CO2 into the Earth's environment. We see a potential for future
photovoltaic SPS in developed countries. However, we do not see a future
need for space illumination in developed countries, such as the US. 

Summary of Znamya-2.5 Space Reflector Deployment: 

The Znamya-2.5 experiment is an intermediate step within the SolarKraft
flight development program. As Znamya-2 was, Znamya 2.5 is supported by
the Mir Space Station transportation infrastructure; also the reflector
is integrated and deployed from the Progress-M spacecraft. 

The main goals of the experiment are: 

           Verify the principal improvements of
          the film structure,  

           Test a prolonged and controlled "Novey
          Svet" (New Light) illumination

           Operate the reflector using a new
          tele-operated attitude control mode,  

           Further test the operational ability of
          the combined spacecraft and film


The launch of Znamya 2.5 into space took place on October 27, 1998
aboard Progress M-40. The deployment is planned for February 4, 1999
following the undocking of Progress M-40 from the space station. The
undocking of Progress M-40 is planned to take place at 1:00 PM Moscow
Time. The nominal duration of the experiment is 24 hours. Both the Mir
and Progress M will complete 16 revolutions around the globe and cover
all of the world continents except Antarctica. 

Experiment profile: 

While Progress M-40 is still in a docked configuration to Mir the space
station crew will install the reflector equipment in the docking
transfer tunnel, connect and test the deployment system. After
undocking, Progress M-40 will perform several maneuvers and fly to a
pre-set safe distance from the station. Once it is confirmed that the
Progress is in position, the deployment of the Znamya 2.5 reflector will
be performed. 

After testing of the tele-operated manual remote control mode, the Mir
crew will set the desired attitude of the spacecraft in preparation for
the New Light experiment. During next several orbits, the reflector will
illuminate the night side of Earth in the hours just after sunset. 

By observing the reflected spot of light on Earth, the Mir crew will
control the reflector attitude so as to keep it fixed on a desired
region. Upon completing the experiment, the reflector will be jettisoned
from Progress M-40 and both the reflector and Progress spacecraft will
be de-orbited. 

      Reflector Specifications of Znamya 2.5:  

      Reflector diameter: 25 meters (83 feet)  

      Light spot diameter on Earth: 5-7 kilometers
      (3-4 miles)  

      Estimated brightness on Earth's surface: 5-10
      full moons (lunettes)  

      Fixed target illumination duration: 1-4 minutes  

      Reflector thickness: 7 microns  

      Experiment duration: approximately 24 hours  

Summary of the Znamya-2 demonstration flight experiment: 

The Znamya-2 space demonstration experiment was conducted on February 4,
1993. Znamya-2 was the first solar sail deployment in space. The
20-meter (66 feet) thin film structure was successfully deployed from
the Progress M-15 spacecraft by the use of centrifugal force. 

The main goals of the Znamya-2 experiment were: 

Verify the concept of the system, test stability and other
characteristics of the structure, control the large thin film structure
in the space environment, conduct New Light experiment to illuminate the
night side of Earth. 

The following equipment and procedures were used to implement the

Use of the Mir Space Station, which included the cosmonauts, Mir
instrumentation, telemetry systems, and ground control network. A
specialized deploying device was installed in the transfer tunnel
leading to the docked Progress M spacecraft. Existing and flight proven
spacecraft equipment prototypes were used as much as possible, such as
the unique abilities of Progress M spacecraft. The systems of the
Progress M became available after the completion of its main mission of
providing cargo delivery to the space station. 

The deployment device accommodated a thin film reflector that was
divided into eight sectors and wound on eight reels. This device
incorporated a drive to rotate the film structure and two additional
drives for pivoting the deployed structure to test it for stability. The
Mir crew G. Manakov, and A. Polischuk installed the device after they
removed the docking mechanism and tested the reflector control system. 

The following operations were performed after Progress M undocked: 

       Maneuvering the Progress into a desired position, 
       deployment of the thin film structure, 

       dynamic stability test of the rotating flexible
      structure with the reflector,  

       attitude control of the spacecraft,  

       New Light experiment,  

       jettisoning of the film structure after
      completion of the experiment.  

Znamya-2 demonstration experiment was monitored using telemetry and
visual devices (the Mir crew took still pictures and shot video clips).
All experimental data confirmed principal decisions used on Znamya-2.
The Progress M spacecraft with the large thin film structure deployed
proved to be stable and controllable. 

The first illumination from space took place in the early hours before
sunrise over Western Europe. A reflected spot of light of about 5 km in
diameter traveled at a speed of 8 km/hour from southern France through
Switzerland, Germany, Chec. Republic, Poland and disappeared in early
sunlight in Byelorussia. Unfortunately, the weather was not favorable in
Western Europe that morning due to heavy cloud coverage. Still, many
people reported seeing a flash of light, such as a report from a weather
station in the German Alps. 

After the film structure was jettisoned from the Progress M, it was seen
in clear sky over Canada. Many more people reported seeing Znamya-2 and
still pictures were taken. Due to the imperfect shape of the reflector
after jettisoning, the estimated brightness was rather low
(approximately 1 lunette). 

A future space illumination system would be comprised of several
reflector constellations. A single constellation could provide lighting
services to several large cities. The most effective illumination from
space is in Polar Regions of Earth during the long winter nights. A
space illumination system may also be of great value and help as an
emergency lighting system in areas effected by large-scale disasters. 

Znamya-3 experiment -A significant step forward:

Znamya-3 experiment is a significant phase of the SRC reflector
development program. It requires substantial modification of a Progress
M spacecraft. An additional thin film reflector of much larger size
(60-70 meters) will be incorporated to the outer spacecraft structure. A
new control device will also be introduced which will allow the
spacecraft to control a large moment of inertia without using reaction
control thrusters. The Znamya 3 reflector may also incorporate an array
of thin film photovoltaics into the reflector structure as part of the

The main goal of the Znamya-3 experiment is to test a new reflector
concept and design in space, and verify major design characteristics.
Experts of SRC are also working to design a panel-less (monolithic)

Schedule: The experiment is planned to be ready for flight by 2000-1. 

SolarKraft - A building block for space power and propulsion: 

SolarKraft is a spacecraft equipped with a solar sail solar reflector or
photovoltaics. The first SolarKraft was conceptually designed for the
Columbus-500 project in 1988. The future development of SolarKraft
technology will be based on concepts developed from the results of the
Znamya experimental reflector program. 

The future SolarKraft will have a thin film reflector of 200 meters and
a very Low Mass (about 500 kg). For attitude control a concept of a
coupled gyroscope reflectors is used. The "main reflector" and the
additional so-called "control reflector" of a smaller size form the
gyroscope. The concept of this SolarKraft as a whole would make it
possible to perform all maneuvers (rotation and translation) without any
fuel consumption. 

This SolarKraft would be a basic component of a future space
illumination or power system. Also it could eventually fly to other
planets of the solar system. This thin film space technology may also
find its way for other applications, for example, as a solar power
satellite, passive reflectors, wake shield facilites, space debris
protection shields and others. 

Space Regatta Consortium (SRC) - was formed in 1990 by RSC Energia as
the leading participant. 

Funding of the Znamya experimental program was accomplished through SRC.
To date RSC Energia carries the largest part of expenses. At early
phases the program was also sponsored by several other Russian