07MOSCOW2927, ZHELEZNOGORSK: CLOSED CITY OPENS FOR SEARCH AND RESCUE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW2927 2007-06-18 14:21 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8386
PP RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHMO #2927/01 1691421
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181421Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1331
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0487
RUEHZN/EST COLLECTIVE
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1963

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 002927 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/RUS (SIKORRA, GREENSTEIN), EB/CIP/MA (GIBBS), 
OES/SAT (HODGKINS), L/NP 
 
BERLIN FOR ROBERT HAGEN 
 
STATE PASS TO NOAA (MEHTA) 
STATE PASS TO NASA (BARRY) 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: TSPA TSPL ECPS KTIA RS
SUBJECT: ZHELEZNOGORSK: CLOSED CITY OPENS FOR SEARCH AND RESCUE 
SATELLITE DELEGATION 
 
REF: A) MOSCOW 01637 
 
     B) 06 MOSCOW 02785 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Russian and American delegations met in the closed 
city of Zheleznogorsk June 6-8 to discuss simulated and experimental 
search-and-rescue (SAR) results from the Russian Global Navigation 
Satellite System (GLONASS) and the U.S. GPS system as part of their 
efforts to ensure interoperability and prepare for the 
implementation of a global Medium-altitude Earth Orbiting Search and 
Rescue (MEOSAR) system.  The Russians detailed their plans to begin 
deploying GLONASS by 2009 and to have a functioning SAR system by 
2017.  The Americans received a close-up look at the Reshetnev 
satellite production facility and two GLONASS M satellites.  END 
SUMMARY 
 
COSPAS-SARSAT Working Group 
--------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) From June 6-8, Russian and American scientists and 
engineers reviewed action items for the annual GPS-GLONASS Working 
Group on search and rescue (SAR) satellite systems and the most 
recent simulations and experimental results.  The U.S. delegation 
included representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center 
and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  The 
Russian delegation consisted of representatives of the Science and 
Industry Corporation of Applied Mechanics (NPO PM), the Russian 
Institute of Space Device Engineering (RIISDE) and the Federal Space 
Agency (Roskosmos). (NOTE: NPO PM designs and builds GLONASS 
satellites.  RIISDE is charged with design and deployment of the 
GLONASS system, both for the global navigation aspect and the search 
and rescue element.  Roskosmos has overall responsibility for 
launching the satellite program, but the Ministry of Defense 
exercises ultimate control over use of GLONASS. END NOTE) 
 
3. (SBU) Viktor Chebotarev, Chief Design Engineer for NPO PM, 
outlined the launch schedule for GLONASS M satellites, the model 
which will supplement and replace the approximately 15 GLONASS 
satellites currently in orbit.(NOTE: Official claims and media 
reports of the number of operational GLONASS satellites vary from 10 
to 17. END NOTE)  According to Chebotarev, three GLONASS M 
satellites will be launched in September and three more in December, 
bringing the total deployed--given retirement of obsolete or 
non-functioning satellites--to 18, the minimum number for operation 
of the global navigation system.  In 2008 Roskosmos plans three 
launches that will bring the deployment to a minimum of 24 GLONASS 
and/or GLONASS M satellites necessary for full configuration of the 
system (i.e. worldwide coverage). Starting in 2009, Roskosmos will 
have three launches of the GLONASS K satellite, a larger and more 
powerful platform with a longer lifespan of 10 years, which 
Chebotarev characterized as being in the "final design 
documentation" stage.  By 2017, the GOR plans that the GLONASS 
system will consist entirely of 24 or more GLONASS K satellites with 
SAR capabilities.  The head of the American delegation, Ajay Mehta 
of NOAA, reported that the United States is currently in the 
planning phase and could begin to deploy the GPS SAR system in 
2016. 
 
4. (SBU) Dr. Vladislav Rogalskiy, Head of the RIISDE Department for 
Global Navigation Satellite Systems, said that the GLONASS M 
satellites planned for 2007 launch did not have search and rescue 
(SAR) transponders, but claimed to some disbelief by the American 
side that these could be added.  He said the SAR components would 
have a lifespan of 10 years, matching the GLONASS K, which was 
designed to carry a SAR platform.  Rogalskiy added that, in 
deference to the GPS lead in the field, future GLONASS satellites 
would operate on two of the radio frequencies used by the GPS 
satellites.  He also outlined the program for setting up the initial 
ground station, which is located at RIISDE in Moscow, with antennas 
to receive satellite signals for the Medium Altitude Earth Orbiting 
(MEO) satellite system.  The trials will commence with preliminary 
tests of one antenna in the third quarter of 2007 and move to final 
tests of a two-antenna array by the fourth quarter of 2008.  He 
expects accuracy to be within 5 kilometers for 95 percent of the 
cases.  He said the GOR is hoping to obtain support from other 
countries, mentioning Canada specifically, for installation of the 
antenna array. 
 
Simulation vs. Reality 
 
MOSCOW 00002927  002 OF 003 
 
 
---------------------- 
 
5. (SBU) The American delegation offered results from "experimental" 
data (i.e. actual satellite and ground station observations) for &#x00
0A;beacon detection percentage and location accuracy obtained from the 
seven currently-deployed GPS satellites in the proof-of-concept 
(POC) system.  The criterion for "location accuracy" is detection of 
one signal burst by four satellites or detection of three signal 
bursts by each of three satellites.  This data showed a cluster of 
accuracy in northeastern North America, which confirmed expectations 
based on the angles of inclination and the locations of the ground 
stations.  The United States analysts emphasized that further tests 
will be undertaken to characterize the planned MEOSAR system more 
completely. 
 
6. (SBU) Both the American and the Russian representatives presented 
"simulation" analyses (i.e. computer projections) on expected 
location accuracy under varying scenarios using various ground 
stations.  The key difference was higher detection percentage and 
location accuracy from the Russian simulations.  The American side 
attributed this partially to underlying assumptions by the Russian 
analysts.  The Russian delegate presenting simulation results 
identified wind, waves and ocean current conditions as factors in 
their results.  The Russian side expressed great interest in 
comparing the American experimental results from actual satellite 
observations with their simulations. 
 
Closed City Opens Up 
-------------------- 
 
7. (SBU) Hidden amidst a green blanket of Siberian pine and birch 
forests, the city of Zheleznogorsk is visible from the air to planes 
leaving Krasnoyarsk, 60 kilometers away, with tall stacks belching 
smoke and steam from the RussAl aluminum factory and the nuclear 
power plant that produces weapons-grade plutonium.  Zheleznogorsk, 
with a population of 100,000, was founded in 1950 as a city closed 
to outsiders and devoted to the production of strategic materials 
for the Soviet military. In a sign of the importance attached to the 
meetings, the American delegation was met at the outlying gates of 
Zheleznogorsk by Nikolay Testoyedov, member of the Russian Academy 
of Sciences and General Director of NPO PM.  The city, graced by 
elegant buildings designed by Leningrad architects on their own 
city's model, is a showcase of the modern Soviet city.  Ironically, 
only a very few Russians even knew of its existence, since for a 
long time it was identified only by its postal code as "Krasnoyarsk 
26."  (COMMENT: In one scenic site at Krasnoyarsk, we were 
surrounded by a group of Russian schoolchildren, who told us in 
English that we were the first Americans they had ever met.  We were 
told that Krasnoyarsk, a city of one million people, has 100,000 
university students in its population.  END COMMENT) 
 
8. (SBU) As part of the program for the SARSAT delegation, Vasiliy 
Zvonar, Head of the Satellite Design Sector at NPO PM, arranged for 
a tour of the satellite production facility.  NPO PM is named in 
Russian fashion for Academician M.F.Reshetnev (pronounced 
"Reh-shet-nyov, with the accent on the final syllable).  Reshetnev 
is revered in Zheleznogorsk as one of the founders of Soviet space 
science. Like his teacher Sergey Korolev, known as the father of 
Soviet rocketry, Reshetnev came to this region of Siberia in 1939 
during the purges, but was ultimately restored to his position 
during World War Two. Zvonar told us that we were the first foreign 
group ever allowed inside the satellite facility. 
 
9. (SBU) The deputy head of the Satellite Design Sector and the 
deputy head of the Satellite Production Sector took us to the "clean 
room" and showed us one of the GLONASS M satellites that underwent 
vibration testing a day earlier in preparation for launch in 
September.  They said it took up to a year to prepare the satellite 
for launch.  With evident pride in their work, they also allowed us 
to examine another GLONASS M satellite and explained the design. 
The satellite is enclosed in a pressurized container to protect the 
instruments within. The deputy designer noted that the instruments 
on the GLONASS M were cheaper than on American GPS satellites but of 
less sturdy construction.  Zvonar told us that they sold about five 
satellite platforms per year to Japanese and French clients, which 
were loaded with the client's instruments and returned to Russia for 
launch. 
 
10. (SBU) Our guides also led us to the design and production 
 
MOSCOW 00002927  003 OF 003 
 
 
building where the GLONASS K prototypes are under construction. 
Using nanotechnology, circuits are precisely imprinted by electronic 
devices on a 40-ton granite slab.  However, the "honeycomb panel" 
aluminum insulation is prepared manually by workers with what 
appeared to be awls, poking the material to create minute air 
pockets.  We were told that there are 6,000 workers at NPO PM, but 
there appeared to be very few working in the GLONASS K facility. 
 
The New Space Environment 
------------------------- 
 
11. (SBU) Yevgeniy Nesterov, deputy head of the Roskosmos Office of 
Navigation of Automatic Spacecraft overseeing GLONASS, spoke warmly 
at a farewell dinner of the cooperation between his agency and NASA. 
 Zvonar toasted   GPS and GLONASS as the only two "great" global 
navigation systems, which was not so much a disparaging reference to 
the European Galileo system and other global navigation programs, 
but an acknowledgment of the primacy of Russian-American 
cooperation.  During the meetings, the Russian conferees repeatedly 
urged cooperation with the other satellite navigation programs and 
emphasized that ground stations were needed in southern Africa and 
South America. 
 
12. (SBU) COMMENT: NPO PM officials, RIISDE and Roskosmos extended 
extraordinarily warm welcomes to the U.S. delegation.  They were 
willing to share their data and details of their plans with little 
hesitation, except when it came to budget items.  The Russian 
delegation expressed strong interest in continuing to work with 
their American counterparts.  The American delegation would like to 
encourage them to begin work on the ground elements of the MEOSAR 
system.  Despite GLONASS lagging at this point behind GPS, it is the 
only other functional global PNT system. 
 
13. (U) NOAA delegation head Ajay Mehta cleared this cable. 
 
BURNS

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