The WSO-UV telescope will be launched by a Proton medium-class rocket. All launch facilities will be provided by Russia. The observatory is expected to operate during 5+5 years.
The orbit of WSO-UV has been optimized for:
- minimizing the geocoronal contribution to the UV background (especially Lyman-alpha and OI emission);
- allowing efficient monitoring on time scales from hours to days of astrophysical sources (transiting planets, active stars, quasars...);
- optimizing the coverage from the tracking stations in Spain and Russia.
The foreseen WSO-UV orbit is geosynchronous, with an inclination of 51.8 degrees and ascending node over the meridian of the Canary Islands (Spain) to guarantee visibility for, at least, 20 hours/day. Additional criteria taken into account for the orbit selection are: avoidance time of the Earth radiation belts, continuous visibility zones (when two or three ground stations are working), minimum stay in the Earth shadow, stability of the orbit and the characteristics of the available technical equipment of the space and ground segments for radio communication. The projection of the WSO-UV orbit on the Earth's surface is plotted below.
The telescope is planned to be launched by a Proton medium-class launcher equipped with a Fregat accelerating module. WSO-UV will be launched from the Russian facilities in Baikonur.
WSO-UV uses the NAVIGATOR platform that is designed as a unified unit for several missions. This platform has flown the Russian missions SPECTRUM-R and ELECTRO. The main characteristics of the platform are: