November 28, 2022

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Rebuilding the Meteor-3 missile

Polish missile program. We build rockets into space

SIR (Inexpensive Sub-orbital Missile), an inexpensive sub-orbital missile. This is the name of the Peron development program. Perun – the Slavic god of thunder and lightning – in the XXI century again released streams of fire. What’s more, unlike its old ideas, this time it has a specific form of missile that has been built and tested in Poland.

Contemporary peron measures less than 12 meters in length and 45 centimeters in diameter. When filled with fuel, it weighs more than 900 kg, and its purpose is to travel beyond the imaginary limits of space. It is located at an altitude of 100 km above the earth’s surface Karman line.

Perun is a missile developed by a Polish company space forest, which operates in the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park. If all goes according to plan – and the tests are promising – it is the Perun, powered by the SF 200 engine built in Poland, which will soon launch from outer space with a 50kg payload. What are these flights for?

And this is explained by the head of the Space Forest, Robert Magira: – Our rocket should be a model research rocket, which makes measurements in the case of microgravity, that is, very low gravity, which occurs, for example, on the International Space Station. Today, experiments on similar missiles can be carried out, for example, in northern Sweden (Esrange) and Norway (Andoya). However, accessing this type of research is very expensive and difficult.

Cheaper and no waste

This not only means lower costs for large space programs, but also free space for millions of interested parties. Sending a satellite into orbit (especially small or nano-satellites) has become financially feasible even for small businesses or universities.

Space Forest also wants to revolutionize the industry by offering space services much cheaper than its competitors. The way to do this has also worked for SpaceX – it’s about building rockets however you like can be reusedAs a result, the fuel burned during the mission is only an irreversible loss. Perun This is what it is supposed to be – the basic elements of the rocket must be recycled, thanks to which it will be possible to use them again and again.

Perun’s solutions were tested with a series of missiles fisherman soup. The recent Bigos 6 test allowed testing of the Thrust Vector Control (TVC) system – control of the engine thrust vectors.

This solution allows you to control the position of the missile and counteract interference from, for example, a wind gust. The test involved firing the missile, which was tilted from the vertical position in the starting position – thanks to the correct operation of the TVC Bigos, it returned to the correct position.

The Łukasiewicz Research Network – Aeronautical Institute has been developing its ILR-33 AMBER missile for a similar purpose for several years.

Forgotten Missile Program

At that time, the team he leads was implementing the Polish Meteor missile development program. Its purpose was to study the Earth’s atmosphere and provide access to its upper layers. By throwing dipoles through the warhead, its movement can be tracked during landing military radarsIt was possible to check the direction and strength of the wind at different altitudes.

Rebuilding the Meteor-3 missile
Image source: © Lic. CC BY-SA 4.0, Szaroblekitny, Wikimedia Commons

Rebuilding the Meteor-3 missile

With this program, Poland joined the ranks of the world leaders – only five other countries were able to conduct research on the upper atmosphere. Moreover, thanks to the Meteor-2 missile tests, Poland may have joined the countries capable of sending objects into space. Perhaps, because the altitude of 92 km was confirmed with certainty (the reflection of the radar signal from the ejected dipoles of Meteor was recorded at this height), but the missile flew higher.

Unfortunately, in the mid-70s, the promising program ended. The reasons are not entirely clear – apart from the problems of funding further research, political pressure was also mentioned, as well as Poland’s accession to the international program Intercosmos. However, the effect was such – after a series of promising tests – the development of Polish missiles was suspended for almost 40 years.

Poland is bolder in space

Only a decade has passed since the first Polish satellite, the PW-Sat, was put into orbit. This time was enough for more Polish satellites to appear in space – PW-Sat 2, Lem or Światowid.

Polish space agency Bolsa – was initially treated with a pinch of salt by many commentators – it became an important institution, involved in terms of partnership, for example in European Space Agency (ESA) projects. Polish companies also participate in space missions, for example Kryotech.

It is also worth noting the research constellation BRITE, or the commercial constellation, created in cooperation with Poland Polish-Finnish ICEYE satellitesWhich is currently providing the Ukrainians invaluable services during the fight against Russia.

In this context, it was the great news of construction a few years ago Polish military satellite, among other things, to equip the army with new reconnaissance capabilities, is part of the long path that the Polish space sector has traveled in just 10 years. Taking into account the pace of its development, we can be sure that it will not end with the Perun or the ILR-33 AMBER missiles.

See also: US F-22 Raptor fighters on the latest model

Łukasz Michalik, journalist at Wirtualna Polska