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Device name:MEP-1
Project name:COMPASS
Space probe:COMPASS
Space launcher:balist.r.?
Spaceport:submarine ?
Launch date:?
Pericentre [km]:350
Apocentre [km]:400
Inclination [°]:79
Orbital period:92 min

A programmable particle spectrometer MEP-1 (Monitor of Energetic Particles) has been developed in cooperation with University of Campinas (Brasil), Institute of Earth's Physics and Institute for Earth's Magnetism and Ionosphere (IZMIRAN) of Russian Academy of Sciences. The instrument was developed specifically for COMPASS microsatellite. The scientific objective of the COMPASS project include correlation between seismic - litospheric activity and geophysical phenomena observable from ionospheric altitudes, i.e., from Low Earth Orbit (LEO). As a part of the relevant phenomena, the variations of the energetic particle fluxes play an important role.

A significant feature of the MEP-1 device is its adaptability or re-programmability in the course of the space experiment, e.g., driven by current data analysis. The device performance is thoroughly defined by relative small configuration file (DLT), size of 128 bytes. The DLT defines the dynamic threshold setting over complete measurement cycle (1 second). Up to 128 DLT files are pre-defind in the instrument's PROM memory before the launch. Another 127 DLTs are located in the EEPROM and can be uploaded to the instrument on the orbit via the command link from operation centre, or, eventually by a user (PI) via Internet.

Launch of the COMPASS microsatelite to the LEO with altitude 350-400 km was planned with adopted ballistic missile from the nuclear submarine in Barents Sea already in 1997. Since then, the project scenario and schedule has been repeatedly changed. Despite the MEP-1 is finished / qualified for space operation since 1997, its launch to space still did not yet come true.

More popular about the project (in Slovak only):
Na palube kozmických sond - magazine for science and technology QUARK 2000/5.

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