Krona space object recognition station

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Krona is located in Russia
Coordinates43°43′01″N 41°13′54″E / 43.716917°N 41.231688°E / 43.716917; 41.231688
TypeSpace surveillance base
Site information
Site history
Built1999 (1999)

Krona space object recognition station (Russian: Радиооптический комплекс распознавания космических объектов «Крона», tr. Radiooptichesky Kompleks raspoznavaniya kosmicheskikh obektov "Krona") is a Russian military complex which is used to identify objects (artificial satellites) in outer space using telescopes and radar. It is part of the Centre for Outer Space Monitoring of the Russian Space Forces. The first Krona is near the village of Zelenchukskaya in Karachay-Cherkessia, North Caucasus. There is another under construction in the Russian Far East called Krona-N, near Nakhodka in Primorsky Krai.[1][2][3][4] In 2007 the then commander of the Russian Space Forces Vladimir Popovkin said that the Nakhodka Krona would start in 2008, however there were no subsequent announcements.[5]

The Caucasian Krona consists of two complexes - an optical one located on Chapal mountain (43°43′01″N 41°13′54″E / 43.7169171°N 41.2316883°E / 43.7169171; 41.2316883) above 2,000 metres and a radar installation 30 km away at a height of 1,300 metres (43°49′34″N 41°20′35″E / 43.82611°N 41.34306°E / 43.82611; 41.34306).[1] One site for the Nakhodka Krona is 42°56′8.52″N 132°34′36.37″E / 42.9357000°N 132.5767694°E / 42.9357000; 132.5767694,[6] and this site does not have an optical component.[7]


Krona was planned in the 1970s and onsite construction started in 1984. Testing started in 1994 and the site was operational in 1999.[1] A laser optical locator (lidar [6]) was added in 2005.[2] The original plan was for three sites - Zelenchukskaya, Nakhodka and another in the Pamir Mountains, the area Okno was built. The name krona (meaning 'crown') came from the appearance of the UHF band antenna which looked like a tree (krona dereva).[1]


The Caucasian Krona radar works in both the centimeter and decimeter bands. The UHF antenna is 20m x 20m and the SHF one consists of 5 rotating parabolic antennas which uses interferometry.[1][8] According to a 2007 television programme the UHF radar first discovers an object and discerns its orbit and characteristics. Then further detail and precise coordinates are discovered using the SHF radar. The lidar then targets the object and reflected light is picked up by the telescope.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Russia's Krona Space Reconnaissance System Profiled, Praised in TV Programme". BBC Monitoring/Red Orbit. 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  2. ^ a b Sofronov, Ivan (2005-05-28). "Космические войска получили лазерный локатор" [Space forces have a laser radar]. Kommersant. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  3. ^ Podvig, Pavel (2012-01-30). "Early warning". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  4. ^ СККП: Система контроля космического пространства Российской Федерации [SKKP: A system of space monitoring of the Russian Federation] (in Russian). Vympel. 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  5. ^ В 2007 году Космические войска обеспечили реальность сроков сдачи в эксплуатацию перспективного РКК "Ангара" [In 2007 the Space Forces gave a time for the commissioning of Angara] (in Russian). ITAR-TASS. 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  6. ^ a b Sourcebook on the Okno (в/ч 52168), Krona (в/ч 20096) and Krona-N (в/ч 20776) Space Surveillance Sites (PDF). Federation of American Scientists. 2008-12-30. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  7. ^ O'Connor, Sean (2008-06-13). "Soviet & Russian Space Surveillance Facilities". Retrieved 2012-03-12.
  8. ^ Контроль над космосом на высоте, или "Крона" в Зеленчуке [Control of space at a height, or 'crown', in Zelenchukskaya] (in Russian). Novosti Kosmonavtiki. April 2007. Archived from the original on 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2012-03-17.

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