by Alexander KHODYREV, Cand. Sc. (Law), Mayor of Reutov,
Gerbert YEFREMOV, Cand. Sc. (Tech.), chief designer and Director General, Engineering R&D Association
The earliest chronicle mentions of the village of Reutovo date back to the year 1495. It was a military outpost which got its name from a huge alarm bell, called "Reut", suspended from the main watch-tower. A link in the chain of Moscow's defenses, the "Reut" warned the capital of enemy inroads from the east for nearly 300 years.
From the end of the 13th century Reutovo was the family estate of Prince Morozov and a favourite countryside leisure spot of the Moscow elite. In 1824 the Moscow merchant and industrialist Ivan Pokhvisnev chose the site for his cotton-spinning mill. The date is regarded as the birthday of the well-known plant Reutovskaya Manufactura, the oldest and biggest in this area, whose products won the Big Gold Medal at the All-Russia Fair as far back as 1831.
In 1843 the factory and the village of Reutovo became the family estate of the industrialist Mazurin. A workers' settlement was built, but it was only in 1940 that the place was granted an urban status together with its present name.
Today Reutov borders on the Moscow Ring Highway, occupies an area of more than one thousand hectares and has a population of over 72 thousand. The town boasts all modem conveniences, a developed infrastructure and rich historical traditions.
What we call the "urban core" of Reutov today is its Engineering R&D Association which boasts an eventful history of its own. It all started back in 1944 when a local aircraft pilot-plant was turned into this country's first R&D Bureau for pilotless aircraft. The post of its director was given to Vladimir Chelomey - later a Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Within a span often years Bureau experts and engineers developed and supplied to the army several cruise missiles - 10XH, 14 and 16X - which could be launched from the TU-2 and PE-8 aircraft and also from deck or ground launchers.
But even despite all of its impressive achievements, the Chelomey R&D Bureau was disbanded in 1953. Its "second birth" took place only in 1956 and largely thanks to the personal efforts of its outstanding founding father and brilliant scientist. This time around it was the Reutov Engineering Plant that provided the foundation for what was codenamed
All-Union R&D Bureau Number 52 and its "specialty" was the development of novel military hardware. Within a span of four years it grew into one of the most technically advanced centers of its kind. Three of its branches cropped up from 1958 to 1962 and the "products" dreamed up by their experts were mass-produced at aircraft factories in Dubna and Saratov. By that time the main avenues of the Bureau's activities took their final shape.
The first was the development of sets, or complexes, of cruise missiles for surface vessels and submarines and also for ground or shore sites. They were equipped with radar hom-
ing warheads and could engage marine targets at large distances. The advent of these weapons made it possible to fully reequip the Soviet Navy and establish a parity with the United States which relied on its strike aircraft carriers. Another "preoccupation" of the Bureau experts were ballistic missiles and space carrier rockets. And the third area, directly linked with the second, were mission control systems for military and civil manned and unmanned space probes and stations.
The research programs on the Bureau's list were prompted to a large extent by the mounting international tension of the 1960s which called for the development of ICBMs. And a whole "family" thereof was designed within a short span of time code-named YR- 100 (SS-II). All represented original designs and left the grounds of the manufacturing plant in transport launchers which could be made operational in a matter of seconds. These projects became our national defense priority with no other country being in possession of missiles of this class.
The year 1957 saw the launching of the Soviet space program, and the R&D Bureau Number 52 occupied a prominent place therein. In 1961 its experts developed and put into orbit the world's first spacecraft with what was called aerodynamic stabilization (boundary-layer stabilization). This was followed by a "torrent" of inventions. In 1963 Bureau experts designed (the standard description - "the first in the world's - will later be omitted here as an obvious repetition) what was called the maneuverable, or steerable, satellite POLYOT-1 which could alter its altitude and orbit inclination with the help of its own powerful thrusters. This was followed by COSMOS-252 and a satellite for a system of global surveillance from space with an on-board radar for all- weather marine monitoring.
Using their experience with ICBMs, Bureau 52 experts designed a new carrier rocket YR-500. The initial or launch mass of its a twostage version reached 500 tons which made it possible to place into near-earth orbits payloads of up to 17 tons. In 1965 it was used for launching the PROTON-1 space station - the first of four probes for studies of high-energy and super high-energy particles. After that the YR-500 probe was given the name of PROTON. For more than 30 years now this carrier rocket has been used on various space missions, maintaining its reputation as one of the most powerful and reliable of its kind. It is used for launching manned orbital stations, geostationary satellites and lunar modules as well as heavy unmanned and interplanetary probes.
A basically new stage of activity opened up for Bureau-52 (named Central Engineering R&D Bureau since 1966 - CERB for short) in 1965. Its experts started work on what they called a manned rocket-space complex for global monitoring of the surface of the Earth. This included a space station (named ALMAZ, like the whole complex) and a space transport with a recoverable lander for the crew. The results of the very first tests under the project exceeded all expectations and the ALMAZ provided the foundation for a whole "family" of Russia's manned space stations. Its sealed pressure hull provided the prototype for the MI R station together with the space transport used on the mission.
The first launch of the ALMAZ (commonly known as SALYUT-2) took place in 1973 and the following year saw the SALYUT-3 mission during which cosmonauts Pavel Popovich and Yuri Artyukhin worked in orbit for 15 days. The practical experience of operating these space stations fully confirmed the expectations of their makers.
In 1976 CERB scientists and engineers started work on unmanned space probes equipped with instruments for what was called the comprehensive monitoring and surveillance of the Earth. These included a radar, fitted with numerous optical devices, operating in the visible and infrared bands. The engineers attached special importance to the first of these instruments which was expected to possess a vast data-gathering potential from orbit. In the first place, observations with its help have to be kept up around the clock, irrespective of the lighting or weather conditions, including the cloud cover. Secondly, the instrument had to be highly sensitive to ground surface geometry, water bodies of all kinds and also to choppiness of the sea. And, thirdly, the radar had to
probe the ground surface to the depth of several meters and assess shelf relief on the basis of some characteristic phenomena on the sea surface (like ripples, choppiness, etc.).
When all was said and done, the first space probe of this type - COSMOS-1870, was placed into orbit in 1987. For the next two years the probe sent back to Earth radar images of the surface of the Earth and of the ocean with a resolution of 20 to 25 km. The mission covered studies under 12 research programs pursued by academic and specialized institutions. In 1991 the probe was succeeded by an improved version, called ALMAZ-1, which transmitted digital radar images with a resolution of 10-15 m. The probe remained in orbit for one and a half years.
In 1983 the Central R&D Bureau was given its present name of the Engineering R&D Association. And a year later passed away its founding father - Chief Designer and Director General, Academician Vladimir Chelomey One can hardly overestimate his outstanding contribution to the development of this country's rocket technology and space research, and his legacy still calls for a through and comprehensive studies and assessment.
Today the Association is one of the leaders of Russia's aerospace research. All of its projects have been brought together within a program called PRAGMATIC COSMOS. Its key project concerns the development of the STRELA space carrier on the basis of the PC-18 (SS-19) * ICBM. Most of the features of the prototype unit will be preserved in the new design and this will help retain its high dependability (the combat modification boasts a record of 143 successful launches out of a total of 146). And the potential users will be offered the lowest rates for space launches in the light-carrier category.
The above complex should become operational in 2002 and will be launched from the Svobodny cosmodrome (Amur Oblast, or province). It is from this location that one can ensure placing space probes into orbits with inclinations in the range of 51-63 0 and 90-98 0 and also into sun-synchronous orbits (with all of its solar panels always locked on the sun). And it is exactly these parameters that are in greatest "demand" in most commercial launches.
The STRELA will deliver into space payloads of up to 1,500 kg (with a special service module available for that purpose). And it can also be used for placing into geostationary orbits some smaller satellites
* See: V. Utkin et al., "Ballistic Missiles: Peaceful Uses", Science in Russia, No. 5, 2000 . - Ed.
with plasma boosters * , such as the RUSLAN- MM ** . Its orbital mass is only 550 kg with a payload of 125 kg. The accuracy of maintaining the flight parameters by longitude and latitude is within 0.1 0 and its active service life is no less than 10 to 12 years. The satellite will offer a broad range of communication services including digital data transmission, access to Internet, TV and radio relays, telephone and fax links and so on and so forth.
The Association experts are also working on smaller space probes for radar and optical-electronic sounding of the Earth. And it should be pointed out that the design and operational experience associated with such probes is currently available but in a few leading countries (now in orbit are two such non-military probes which belong to Canada and European countries. As for the United States, Japan, Germany, Italy and Great Britain, plans are afoot for similar launches in 2002-2004). The remote sensing satellites currently being developed in Reutov will be equipped with multifunctional radars and synthesizers operating in the radio broadcasting band (wavelength of 10 cm). It will be possible to conduct detailed ground surveillance with a resolution of 2-5 m within a band of 10-20 km and in the visible range with a resolution of 5-22 m and belt width of 20-150 km. The satellite will be able to pick up and transmit images of the zones, or belts, to the right and left of its flight trajectory.
The Engineering R&D Association was the first in this country to embark in 1993 on a practical implementation of the idea of building space probes on the basis of what we call small-size unified, or standard, space platforms with a mass of about 500 kg. Using up-to-date technologies, this approach will help cut down the time and cost of the development of novel space technology Additional savings can be obtained by means of a transition from the expensive carrier rockets of the medium and heavy class to the aforesaid STRELAs. For example, as compared with the cost of a PROTON launch at current world prices - which is 60 to 70 mln US dollars at the minimum, the launch of a payload using Russian conversion rockets will cost no more than 8 to 10 mln dollars.
And our Association does not live by "cosmic bread" alone, so to speak. Much of its time and efforts is devoted to information technologies - those for its own uses, such as fully automated life support, and also those available to our customers. The latter include, for example, a versatile set of programs which can be used as a basis for a data-handling service for any kind of user. Also of interest are information office systems for air and railroad terminals and bus depots.
A special place is taken by studies under a project called XXI- Century Home which makes use of the tried and tested life-support technologies for orbital missions. Studies in this area also cover early diagnostics of the conditions of oil and gas pipelines, using detector robots moving inside a pipeline, or with the help of some external sensors carried on board small aircraft.
The Association is also dealing with various ecological projects. This includes, above all, technical innovations for more effective uses of solar power, such as solar heating panels for high- temperature drying of various materials, for water heaters, electric units and water desalination plants.
* See: Yu. Kolesnikov, "Minor Satellites to Handle Major Tasks", Science in Russia, No. 4, 1994 . - Ed.
** See: "Tune to Ruslan-MM" in this issue. - Ed.
Summing up the above, it should be pointed out that the Association has succeeded in its central objective which has been to preserve and maintain its "brain" and scientific and technical potential which we regard as the key to our success in the new century.
Finally, a look at the other two major plants looming on our urban horizon, although none of them can match our "whale". One is the Reutovskaya Manufactura mill, which was mentioned in the beginning. It is a modem plant with up-to-date equipment which turns out excellent yam. Orders for it come from some world-class firms.
And there is also the state-owned enterprise called (in a translation from Russian) the Reutovo Pilot Plant for Prosthetic Devices. It appeared on the scene in 1946 as an ortopaedic-prosthetic workshop. Until 1960 this was an R&D unit of the Central Research Institute of Prosthetics which was later turned into a factory. In recent time the list of its products has been substantially broadened with the addition of some prophylactic and rehabilitation equipment.
In view of an appreciable "shrinking" of the federal defense orders in the 1990s, there was a marked ebbing of the financial support for the city in general and its industries in particular. At that stage the city fathers placed their stakes on the development of the local research and production potential and private enterprise. Municipal research centers on problems of sustainable development were set up (founded by the municipal authorities and the Russian National Committee for the Promotion of UN Program for the Environment, the INITSIATIVA and Business Development [Bizness-Razvitiye] firms). And the results were quick in coming with 1,500 private enterprises being registered in 1999. As compared with 1996, the local budget swelled by 33 percent with 40 percent falling to the share of small and medium companies. And it may be interesting to take a closer look at some of these enterprises.
The main preoccupation of the BION-ENERGOTERM R&D firm are energy-saving and environment-friendly technologies using some non-traditional sources of heat and electricity for house and home, industrial and agricultural facilities. The list of its products includes solar hothouses with electric lighting for the northern regions of Russia and areas with adverse environment (such as solar heating units and electrical generators with arsenide-hallium solar cells and gas catalytic generators).
Another member of our small-business community is the NAUKA firm specializing in the development of experimental structures made of shape-memory materials. * Their principle of operation is based on the property of some materials to "memorize" their shape at a certain temperature. Their shape can be altered with changing temperature, but it shall be restored when such an alloy gets back into the "original" conditions. Based on this principle are certain really powerful lifting jacks, or blood vessels expanders, for example.
The KEMEKO firm is specializing in a completely different area, developing new chemical technologies and introducing them to the local factories and plants in cities like Omsk, Novokuybyshevsk and Perm. This primarily concerns the processes of hydrogenation of aromatic fractions in high-octane motor fuel production, the utilization of coal-tar chemical industry products and the production of petrochemical benzene.
Also located in our town are some minor factories of building, electrical, textile and other machinery and equipment. One of them is the ROSSKETMASH firm set up jointly in 1995 by the Engineering R&D Association and the German firm KET (Magdeburg). It specializes in the processing technologies for industrial and household wastes and manufacture of items from secondary raws. Two plants have already been set up for the reprocessing, crushing and sorting of ferroconcrete wastes and structures (one in Reutov and the other mobile one in Moscow) with the daily capacity of 300 m 3 .
The municipal authorities and the management of our Association are pursuing what they call a constructive policy of business cooperation under the motto " Enterprise to the Town and Town for the Enterprise". As a result the town has been able to considerably improve its material and social status and even emerge on the international arena, taking part in programs of the Union for the Development of "Naukograds" (science cities) and the Gore- Chernomyrdin Commission.
Finally, the Reutov Development Program won a recent contest "Innovative Centers and Naukograds" conducted in Russia by European experts in conjunction with the RF Ministry for Industry, Science and Technologies. Reutov scored this victory together with three other centers of industry and research - Obninsk, Troitsk (both in the Moscow Region) and Koltsov (Novosibirsk Oblast) which triumphed over the 65 other contestants from Russia.
Thus, we feel it is fair to say that Reutov's road into the future is bright and clear and its available resources make it possible to tackle any and all research and social problems which the future may have in store for our "naukograd".
* See: V. Pushin, "New Functional Materials", Science in Russia, No. 6, 2000. - Ed.
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