Joys of the week: reusable first stage and huge crop yield
Photo by: Sergey Mamontov/RIA Novosti

Photo by: Sergey Mamontov/RIA Novosti

Advanced technologies, nutritional and financial security should be the cornerstone of the steady development of Russia

Reusable first stage

The Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center has begun working at the project of a reusable first stage of a launch vehicle with retractable wings. The Russian scientists do not mean to copy Elon Musk's Falcon 9 - construction of his company SpaceX that can be landed on a deck barge in the ocean. Alexander Medvedev, Chief Product Architect of the Roscosmos State Corporation, says that they need a spacecraft that would land on a runway like an aircraft: "The algorithm of landing designed for SpaceX vehicles is not appropriate for us, as our carrier rockets do not travel over the sea, so we cannot land it on a barge. Even if we could, it would not necessarily be the optimal choice for landing, because there are such inhibiting factors at sea as crosswinds and ship motions."

In addition to that, Russia is a Eurasian state, so ground landing is not only more convenient but also authentic choice.

The construction of this unique vehicle will be headed by Pavel Lekhov, one of the engineers who had worked at the first Soviet (and then Russian) spaceplane Buran.

In fact, the Khrunichev Center has been developing a reusable launch vehicle for over 20 years, and now it is time to turn blueprints and models into real spacecraft.

3D printing of a turboshaft engine

Scientists and engineers of the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Aviation Materials (SRIAM) created the first Russian 3D printed turboshaft engine for unmanned aerial vehicles. This small-size engine is designed for drones that can serve a number of various economic purposes.

Every single part of the engine is the product of the additive manufacturing of the SRIAM. The unique technique of layer-by-layer laser melting, used in that project, has also been developed in the Institute.

Except higher production rate and simpler production process, the value of 3D printing is realization of advanced technological ideas. For instance, the SRIAM engine features a combustion chamber with one of the walls 0,3 mm thin. Traditional technology would simply not allow that.

The SRIAM has been working with additive manufacturing since 2015; back then, they had designed and produced a vortex generator for the turbofan engine PD-14. As of now, more than two hundred generators have been 3D printed and put to use.

Turning lathes from Penza and good old times

At the end of June, the company Stankomashstroy, based in Penza, launched the production line of CT16K20 turning lathes, which are the advanced version of the Soviet 16K20 machines. Parts for these lathes are produced by the manufacturers from Penza Oblast and adjacent districts. The rate of industrial localization amounts to 58%.

The CT16K20 turning lathes were designed and built in the framework of the import substitution program. These machines excel their foreign analogues in a number of characteristics: the Russian induction motors and electrical pumps are up to 20-30% more reliable. The Soviet prototypes were considered too heavy, but the manufacturers have turned that disadvantage into an advantage. The considerable weight of the one-piece underframe of the CT16K20 model (1100 kg) adds stability to the device, which increases production rate without loss of quality.

"Sunflowers" in the Arctic

A sunflower will bloom in the Russian Arctic; such is the name of a new over-the-horizon radar that will have been deployed by 2017. "Sunflower" is the unique radar system that can locate enemy objects over the radio horizon; it was designed and tested by the engineers of the Research Institute of Long-Range Radio Communications. "Sunflower" creates a radar field of short-wave signals that can stretch over the radio line of sight and locate distant targets. According to the specifications of the "Sunflower" radar, it can track up to 300 overwater and 100 airborne object at the distance of 200-500 kilometers (depending on the type of the target).

There are three "Sunflower" radars currently in operation: on the Sea of Japan, Sea of Okhotsk and Caspian Sea.

Military technologies for civil medicine

The application of the military technological advancements and cooperation between the medical and military industry were discussed at the conference titled "Russian military industry - new opportunities for medical industry" that had been held in Tula on July 1. The discussions were confirmed by examples: for starters, the Ural Plant of Optomechanics had launched the production of equipment for 32 perinatal states under construction in 30 regions of the Russian Federation. Moreover, the manufacturer had produced few prototypes of intensive care units and cleanrooms for hospitals. At the same, the KBP Instrument Design Bureau (established in Tula in 1927) is developing equipment for laser surgery of the third generation, the Tulamashzavod is producing tomographic scanners, and the Slava factory is releasing medical robots.

Apples from Ingushetia

On the same day, July 1, the Head of the Republic of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov had promised to export 7 thousand tons of apples and other fruit to 20 regions of the Russian Federation. Throughout the years past, the Republic had mainly supplied Moscow and Saint Petersburg; now, it is planning to extend its economic reach.

According to Yevkurov, the development of gardening "should create more jobs and increase the Republic's income and volume of production".      

Besides fruit specialization, Ingushetia will also develop meat and honey production.

Agriculture is the only industry in Ingushetia that can solve the dire problem of the Republic, which is deficit of jobs (lowest rate of employment in the country).

Сбор урожая зерна

Harvesting crops. Photo by: DPA/TASS

Predicting high yields

The Russian Federation Ministry of Agriculture reports that as of the beginning of July, farmers and farming machines have threshed over 4.8 million tons of grain, productivity of land amounting to 42,4 centner per hectare. In comparison to the previous year, the crop yield has increased at 13,4%.

The total gross of agricultural plants is expected to be as huge as 106 million tons. The Head of the Ministry Alexander Tkachyov is even more optimistic: he predicts 110 million tons if the conditions are favorable. 

Translated by: Daniil Yakovenko

Оригинальный текст (original)

Russia Incognita Далее в рубрике Russia IncognitaНекомпетентность американских аналитических служб объясняет странные заявления западных политиков о России


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