LoScrittoio.it thanks Dr Stanislav Klimov (Russian Space Institute) to provide kind permission to reproduce this article.






project was named on the initiative of Russian and Australian schoolchildren





Space is the area of vital interests of mankind. Education and its first stage, school, is the natural approach to make people realize it. Exploration of space relies upon rocket and space technology, and the earlier the public will "touch" it, the faster and better results of space exploration will be obtained. A wide program of school micro-satellites would be an element of such an approach.





The micro-satellite is a kind of teaching aid, rather expensive and sophisticated mainly because it employs high technologies, not available for school education. Hence , technical aspects of the Project should directly involve participation of advanced branches of science and engineering. To develop the concept of school research micro-satellite an ad hoc dedicated team (VTK - Russian abbreviation) was set up including highly skilled specialists from a number of Institutes of The Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow State University and leading organizations of space industry. "Kolibri-2000" is being designed and manufactured in The Special Design Office of space instrument engineering, Space Research Institute, RAS, with participation of leading organizations of Russian space industry.





Since practically it is impossible for school children to manufacture onboard high-technology devices and facilities, the VTK, ad hoc Dedicated team thoroughly develops a concept of schoolchildren involvement in the research school projects. Participation of Russian and Australian schoolchildren in the project determined its goal - comparative investigation of near-Earth space over the territories of Europe, highly developed industrially, and of Australia, less exposed to technogenic impact.


The end of 2000 is the maximum of the 11-year cycle of solar activity. Hence, the other objective of the project: study of processes with 1) sporadic increase of intesity of fluxes of solar cosmic rays affecting the radiation belts of the Earth; and with 2) ejections from the solar surface of plasma clouds, interacting with the geomagnetosphere and triggering sharp changes in the magnetic and electric fields in the ionosphere and on the Earth surface.

Both these objectives are integrated into the most topical program of the new millenium - SPACE WEATHER study.

The circular orbit 300-400 km high, into which Kolibri2000 will be launched after jettisoning from the near- Earth station MIR or the ISS Orbital Station, seems attractive for research school projects. Here, maximally close to the top atmosphere processes of "space" and atmospheric weather are very intertangled. It is a paradox, that till now physical processes at such altitudes have never been well investigated. It is so, since ballistic lifetime of sattelites at these altitudes is short enough (4 to 6 months), therefore a long run of observations does not seem possible without regular launching new sattelites. With MIR and ISS in orbit, the problem is rather simplified.





Schoolchildren of Russia and France participated in the development, testing and delivery (in November 1998) to the Russian Orbital Station MIR of the communication satellite SPUTNIK-41. Then the satellite had been functioning in the orbit close to that of the station for about a month. Radio amateurs from different countries confirmed that they had received 25,000 messages from that satellite. In his greeting to the participants in the youth Space Program, in connection with that satellite launch, the President of Russian Federation said: "I believe it is not only a fascinating but also a promising trend in youth education. It may involve many talented children into scientific and technological activities, help bring up highly-skilled specialists, encourage the development of international youth cooperation in science and technology.

To some extent the Kolibri Project continues that trend but at a higher level.





A characteristic feature of the project "Kolibri-2000" is the solution of the task of using micro-satellites in the interests of improving school education and involving schoolchildren in space technologies.

They may be engaged perform certain scientific programs, making high accuracy measurements of physical parameters of space in the immediate vecinity of the station MIR or the International Space Station (ISS).

Now, when a research program may be implemented aboard a school micro-satellite, it becomes not only expedient, but also justified to encourage schoolchildren to participate: 1) in recording scientific information, in its processing, interpretation, archiving; 2) in its exchanging with partners and in making much higher the educational level in cousmonautics and space physics, as former passive tasks are added with genuine regular work easily controlled by professionals: supervisors and scientists.

A radioline in the radio amateur frequency range is employed on Kolibri-2000 to dump scientific payload data to the participants in the Project.

This also offers an opportunity to any radio amateur to get - in a standard form - round-the-clock transmitted general voice information about the Project and to listen to a space hymn.






Ravenswood and Knox have announced their involvement in the joint Russian-Australian school satellite research project.

Groups of schoolchildren from Ravenswood and Knox have been selected to work as the Australian team which will receive data from a micro-satellite to be launched from the Russian Space Station "MIR" or from the International Space Station - ISS.

Schoolchildren from both Schools will use video-conferencing and e-mail to work with Russian higher school students and schoolchildren from the Centre of Computer Technologies at The Institute of Atomic Power (Obninsk, 100km outside Moscow) and with the Space Research Institute (IKI) RAS. Schoolchildren from Ravenswood and Knox meet regularly and maintain dialogue within the project through e-mail. E-mail contact with Russian participants is proving to be valuable due to the exchange of ideas and information. One of many advantages both student groups gained, is the anticipated cultural exchange including visits between the two countries.

On July, 27, 2000 a group of Russian schoolchildren and adult specialists arrived on an eight-day visit to Australia. There the Russians commenced training of students at a ground-based station, so that they could receive, process and interpret information from the satellite. A transmitter/receiver station will be equipped at each School.

The unique feature of the project is that it allows students to make first steps in research in Solar-Earth physics at a sophisticated level. The project also considerably facilitates the opportunity for cooperation in academic research between students from two diverse nations. The school satellite will study the structure and intensity of low-frequency electromagmetic fields around the Earth. Students will also analyze data on the intensity of high-energy particles penetrating from the Sun to the Earth's upper atmosphere and investigate anomalies over Australia.

The satellite will also enable students to monitor the Earth's weather systems from space.



Organizations - participants of the project "Kolibri-2000".

* Russian participants in the Project:

* Space-rocket corporation "Energy" (RKK "Energy"), Korolev;

* Space Research Institute, RAS (IKI RAS), Moscow;

* Special Design Office of space instrument making of the IKI (SKB KP IKI), Tarusa;

* Nuclear Physics Institute of MSU (NPI MSU), Moscow;

* Institute of Atomic Power (IATE), Obninsk;

* Research laboratory R?S??, group PLIS (PLIS), Kaluga;

* Joint-stock company "Mag-Sensors", St.-Petersburg;

* Institute of terrestrial magnetism, ionosphere and radiowaves propagation of the RAS (IZMIRAN), Troitsk;

*Research and Production Association for Engeneering(NPOMaschinostroenie);

*Design Buro "Polet";

* Ad Hoc Dedicated Research Team (VTK), involving specialists from the above listed, and other organizations.

The project is supported by the International Astronautic Federation (IAF) of UN.

The project "Kolibri-2000" is the non-governmental, noncommercial project which is not pursuing of the investment purposes and tasks, and not intended to get any the profit or income of its realization in any form. The work on realization of this project will be carried out by management on a gratuitous basis.

Base school establishments are the schools of Obninsk connected to the Centre of Computer Technologies at Institute of atomic Power (of Obninsk), and Sydney satellite project uniting schools: Knox Grammar School (for the boys) and Ravenswood Girls School (for the girls). The main stations to receive scientific information and managements are set up at the Centre of Computer Technologies and Sydney satellite project. Reserve stations are in Kaluga (PLIS), Moscow (IKI), Korolev (R?? "Energy"), Tarusa (SKB KP), Krasnoznamensk.

The plan "Kolibri-2000" is authorized with time for completion November. The planned term of delivery "Kolibri-2000" on the "Mir" or the ISS is December 2000 ­ February 2001 simultaneously with the next cosmonaut expedition.



1. General mass
- up to 20 kg.
* Design (construction)
- six-coal prism with dimensions of 1250 mm (height), 500 mm (described diameter)
* Speed of data transfer from DOKA-15B
- from 300 up to 4800 bod.
* Power supply
- up to 30 W
* Orientation of a gravitational axis to the Earth
- it is not worse + /- 100, the accuracy of definition is not worse + /- 50.
* Time of active operation
- not less than 4 months
* . Antenna system
- 144 / 430 ?Hz
* Functional structure:

a complex of the scientific equipment (analyzer of particles and electrical field, flux-gate magnetometer); system of a command radioline, service and scientific telemetry; system of data gathering and management; system of power supply; passive system of thermal regulation; system of magnetic-gravitational orientation



The chief of the project,

The deputy director of IKI,

doctor of engineering science,

academician of the International academy of information,

honourable academician of academy by it. K.E.Tsiolkovcki,

winner of the State Prize,

Tamkovich Gennadyi Mikhailovich

Tel: +7(095) 333 -12 ­22