25. Mai 2017

A Soyuz rocket will launch Kanopus-V-IK infrared Earth observation satellite for Roscosmos July 14th 2017. In total, 77 satellites will be launched on Kanopus-V-IK mission. A reliable Soyuz-2 launcher with a unique Fregat upper stage will ensure injection of the primary payload and smallsats into 3 different orbits. Such flexibility can’t be found in any other launch system in the world. The launch date is scheduled for the 14th of July, 2017.

German Orbital Systems actively participates in the launch, by supplying a DCSM (Deployment Control and Separation Sequence Management) unit, ensuring that all 15 CubeSats will separate from Fregat upper stage in the right order and at correct time intervals. At the due moment, the system will give the signal to small satellite dispensers to open the doors of the container and release the CubeSats.

Some great features of German Orbital Systems DCSM unit:


  • Redundant architecture allows the performance of the separation sequence even in the case of systems failure, ensuring all the satellites will be ejected on time.
  • Reliable DCSM units software architecture


  • Modular architecture of the system allows to use DCSM unit for the separation of up to 40 satellites. In case there is a need for more – several independent DCSM units can be installed on the launcher
  • DCSM launcher “timing” model integrated into the unit allows satellite separation on different orbits with different heights. The precision of the separation timing is less than 10 ms.
  • The DCSM unit collects the telemetry of each deployment container (deployment time and status) and sends it to the Fregat, which then downlinks it to the ground control center.

This system was developed in mid-2015 year and it will go to space for the first time. Before its maiden flight, it has passed substantial and thorough testing during dozens and dozens of runs.

GOS/ECM Satellite

Satellite manufacturing

Now, the preparatory work is done and our team is heading to Baikonur for the final pre-flight works including the DCSM unit integration on the launch vehicle. The main goal of German Orbital Systems, for now, is to conduct the final tests of the whole separation system with the Fregat module and satellite deployers. This will include the test on the “proper behavior of the system” or end-to-end tests, which means that each satellite shall be separated in a correct order and with correct timing. After running the final round of tests, we will prepare the DCSM unit for the mission. Multiple trips to Baikonur for different members of our staff will be needed during the launch campaign.

After the last trip, the only thing which will be left is to take „Remove before flight“ pins out and wait for the launch day.