The NSU Department of Aerospace Research: Test Center, Satellites and «Space Internet of Things»

The NSU Aerospace Research Department work began with the creation of on-board instruments designed to monitor various parameters of the space environment or the state of spacecraft subsystems. Here, the measurement of electrization, radiation levels, pressure temperatures, and various other on-board subsystems performance parameters are important. The development of this equipment for the automation of space experiments is one focus of the Department's work and it is still actively being developed by University researchers. 

To date, more than 100 instruments developed at NSU have been sent into space as part of various space missions. For example, this equipment is installed on all GLONASS series devices, on Elektro-L and Arktika-M series meteorological devices, on Spektr series orbital telescopes, and on many Russian Federation Ministry of Defense devices. 

The Department currently has 15 projects under development for federal programs including Russian lunar missions. Over the past 5 years, scientists at the Aerospace Research Department have been developing projects for the small satellite industry. In 2017 they began the development of their own modular satellite platform in the CubeSat format. This project was supported by the Federal Target Program of the Russian Federation Ministry of Science and Higher Education. NSU worked with an industrial partner, the Fifth Generation Design Bureau, to implement it. Three years later in September 2020, the NORBI CubeSat 6U satellite was launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome. The ultra-small spacecraft was assembled on the basis of a platform developed by NSU scientists. Now it is in orbit, successfully fulfilling all its flight tasks. The Department scientists are already working on the second satellite, its working name is Norby-2. 

Vitaly Prokopiev, Head of the NSU Aerospace Research Department, described their latest project,

NORBI-2 will have a more advanced precision orientation and positioning system. One of the payloads on the device is for Roshydromet. It is a solar telescope that is being developed jointly with another group of Russian scientists. They will test the technology of wireless data transmission on the satellite as a promising foundation for the organization of the «space Internet of things». 

An important step has been the emergence of our own testing center, which is equipped with all the necessary modern high-tech equipment. This allows the Department scientists to independently design a space mission on a turnkey basis: assemble the satellite, design the payload for the mission, and fully prepare it for flight. 

Early NSU physicists developed silicon carbide fibers for import substitution.