The current status of Russian/CIS communication satellites
Ninas, Larry E.
Wight, Randy L.
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As part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by U.S. President George Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev during a July 1991 summit meeting, the U.S. agreed to expand civil space cooperation with the Russian Federation and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The goal of this MOU was "to increase the technical capabilities of both sides to respond to both natural and man-made disasters" and "to benefit from the capabilities and involvement of international and non-government organizations." This summit agreement has allowed the Russian Federation to offer unprecedented commercial and emergency relief access to their on-orbit communication satellites. This thesis presents a brief history of the SovietJRussian communication satellite program, and an examination of current systems as well as future and "on-order" systems. Simulations were conducted to determine the usability of the major systems (Gorizont, Ekran, Molniya and Raduga) from 16 geographic locations. This thesis concludes with an introduction to the Telemedicine Space bridge Project that is a direct result of the Bush-Gorbachev summit, and a shining example of Russian/U.S. cooperation in the satellite communication arena.
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