Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Another Space Age Cargo for Air Freight Carrier

The Outer Limits Represent a Valuable Source of Revenue for Russian Airline
Shipping News Feature

CANADA – RUSSIA – UKRAINE – OUTER SPACE – The start of the month saw another shipment forming part of the continuing role which Russian based freight airline Volga-Dnepr is playing in the current space programme. As we have reported previously the giant aircraft employed by the cargo carrier are essential in ensuring smooth, rapid intercontinental transit for the heavy, yet extremely delicate, pieces.

This time the shipment consisted of a fifteen tonne Ukrainian ‘Lybid’ satellite payload, en route from Montreal Canada to Krasnoyarsk Russia, onboard one of Volga-Dnepr’s IL-76TD-90VD freighter aircraft. The consignment was stowed within a special container to protect the satellite payload’s sensitive technology systems and a strict temperature environment was also applied throughout the flight to keep the satellite ‘stable’.

The Ukrainian state enterprise ‘Ukrkosmos’ is the developer and main builder of the Lybid satellite payload which was carried to Krasnoyarsk for test operations at the JSC Information Satellite Systems - Reshetnev Company (ISS), another developer and manufacturer of space modules. Volga-Dnepr was contracted by Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Corporation, in turn awarded a contract by the State Space Agency of Ukraine via Ukrkosmos.

The Lybid satellite, once completed and in operation, will be used to help develop Ukraine’s national system of satellite communications, including regional and international television and radio broadcasting, internet access services, data transmission, telephony, and videoconferencing using VSAT (very small aperture terminal) technology.

Aerospace cargoes represent one of the key and growing areas of Volga-Dnepr’s activity and over the past 22 years, the airline has operated 3,477 flights for aerospace customers using its An-124-100 and IL-76TD-90VD fleet. To date, over 100 satellites have been carried onboard the IL-76TD-90VD aircraft, including the Express AM5 and Express AM6 satellite payloads produced in Canada, which were transported to Krasnoyarsk at the end of last year.