Disputes about the causes of the loss of the AngoSat-1 satellite are close to completion

VTB Insurance and Sogaz without proof of a freelance situation may not pay RSC Energia 121 million dollars. Then the corporation will have to create for Angola a second satellite in return for the deceased completely at its own expense - a minimum of $ 250 million.
AVEX company, which manufactured ARK-910 regulation and control equipment for the Angola telecommunications satellite AngoSat-1, claims that its products could not cause the loss of the device. Earlier the emergency commission considered several options, considering it a priority failure in the operation of the new power supply system, part of the equipment which was supplied by the company AVEKS. Conclusions of the commission, which investigates the causes of emergency in orbit since December 2017, should be made public in the near future: without the conclusion of the commission, insurance companies can not pay "Energia" insurance for AngoSat-1 in the amount of $ 121 million.

The fact that the cause of the abnormal situation on AngoSat-1 could be a malfunction in the equipment supplied by AVEKS, Kommersant's industry sources reported almost immediately after the loss of the spacecraft (see Kommersant on December 28, 2017). According to Kommersant's information, this company manufactured control and monitoring equipment (ARK-910) and power and control equipment (APU-310), which are an integral part of the satellite power supply system. To investigate the reasons, a special commission was set up whose work, as Kommersant reported to RSC Energia yesterday, is "at the final stage - the necessary documents are being processed." They stressed that the experts had already established the "most probable cause", but they refused to disclose it before the final completion of the work of the commission.

The top manager of one of the enterprises of the space industry says that the commission considered a whole list of versions, among which were the fouling caused by the triggering of pyro-locks in the separation of the head, the discharge of the battery batteries of the apparatus and a critical failure in the satellite's 100-volt energy supply system. According to him, the first two options were rejected during the debriefing (the gaseous mixture would not affect the operation of the systems, and the charge of the batteries at the time of launching the device into orbit was 16500 W · h), and the third until the last remained the main one.

In AVEKS, however, Kommersant was informed that the version with a critical power failure is of a hypothetical nature and "a reliable reason for the abnormal situation in the work of AngoSat-1 is still not established." At the same time, the company confirmed that they supplied the APU-310 and ARK-910 equipment for the Angolan satellite. "It (the hardware. -B") passed the whole complex of tests, including ground-based experimental testing and testing as part of the spacecraft, and was adopted by military acceptance of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, "the company added. They claim that there were no comments on the work of the APU-310, and after an abnormal situation with AngoSat-1, it was decided to conduct additional tests of the technological ground-based model ARK-910 with the participation of representatives of "Energia" "according to the methodology agreed by the parties." "The tests confirmed the working capacity of the ARC-910, which is formalized by the relevant protocols," AVEKS noted.

The experts' suspicions about the AngoSat-1 power supply system looked partly reasonable: the thing is that this device was equipped with a scheme with three power ratings (28 volts for Russian devices, 50 volts for certain types of European equipment, 100 volts for European apparatuses) . At the same time, the instruments of this company were installed on satellites Yamal-100 and Yamal-202 (launched in 1999 and 2003 respectively): their flight qualification was over 12 years and 14.5 years (the latter can be called a record for the Russian Federation ). Up to this point, AVEX in the part of satellites worked only on 28-volt systems, but in the part of power supply equipment for electric rocket engines - already at a voltage of up to 300 volts. In addition to AVEK, only one company, Module, could undertake such work. But with AVEX, Energia's communications were stronger: according to Kommersant's information, the company is involved in creating equipment for the satellites that are part of the Unified Space Detection and Combat Control System (EKSOiBU).

According to the Kommersant source, the final conclusions of the commission are extremely important for receiving $ 121 million of insurance payment for the lost AngoSat-1 (insurers were Sogaz and VTB-Insurance in the proportion of 50/50). On April 26, Energy sent insurers a notification of the loss: starting from that date, the corporation is obliged within 180 days to provide all necessary documents for obtaining insurance compensation (this includes the conclusion of the emergency commission). However, even if this amount is received, Energia will have to find additional funds, since the missing AngoSat-1 cost $ 252 million. The new device will hardly cost less.