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From SPIRAL to MAKS

Technical Inventions in the NPO MOLNIYA

Gusinsky I.I.
The contribution of the inventors and engineers improving production process in the decision of complex technical problems at creation of the BURAN Orbital Spaceship as well as experience of organization of the inventions, rationalization and information ensuring in the NPO MOLNIYA are considered in the paper.

The development of reusable Orbiter’s airframe in a short period and at high scientific and technical level wouldn’t be possible without maximum use of creativeness of production personal – scientists, designers, technologists, investigators, operatives and workers. The labor collective of NPO MOLNIYA consisting of specialists with wide experience in aviation and space industries as well as young graduates of leading institute of our country – MAI, MGU, MVTU, MATI, MFTI, MIFI and other – started researchers on BURAN project in 1976.

BURAN Orbiter was fundamentally new space flying vehicle and therefore its development required new principles of designing, production, testing, pre-launch preparation and flight control. It was necessary to gather and analyze all available patent and scientific information, estimate technology and technique level in that field and solve which of technical solutions stored in the world invention funds could be used without offence against copyrights. The program of patent, license invention and rationalization works, new technique and information provision introduction was created. It included:

  • organizational management of representatives on inventions and rationalizations in NPO MOLNIYA departments;
  • raising the level of patent engineers and representatives’ skill in patent law;
  • development of internal enterprise standards on different aspect of patent treatment;
  • creation of scientific, technical and patent information and information office for it;
  • patent and rationalization automated control system creation;
  • creation of automated system of scientific, technical and patent information;
  • creation of department plans on patents and rationalization;
  • creation of complex plans for introduction of new techniques.

In accordance with this program all departments appointed representatives. Each of them was connected with patent curator with whom they conducted organization activity. The rights and obligations of representatives were determined by approved Provision. All patent engineers and representatives have graduated from Higher State School on Patent and Rationalization Activity and many of them – Central Institute of Advanced Training in Patent Activity (The Institute of Industry Property and Innovation). Active inventors have passed course on ‘Methodology of Technical Creativeness’.

To provide information for inventors effectively the enterprise has created:

  • automated system of patent information ASPI PLIZ which contained large bibliographic database on world’s inventions;
  • automated system of patent information ASPI SKOBKI which contained abstracts of patent, scientific and technical papers;
  • terminal unit of INFO-TASS system connected by dedicated line to TASS database which allowed to get scientific and technical information by personal computer, communication unit and printer in 1…2 days after publication abroad;
  • memo provision system for providing enterprise directors with scientific and technical information on prospect developments;
  • selective distribution system for scientific and technical information consisted of 185 terminals.

Bulletins, reviews and release bulletins were being produced constantly.

Created information database allowed to conduct patent researches during all phases of development, practically on all themes. The activity conducted by patent and information services in close co-operation with design departments became the basis of high patenting ability and product novelty level.

The patent researches included methodical management of all works beginning from patent searches and ending with estimation of patent situation estimation, juridical analysis of selected materials and collection of information about patent novelty.

The major volume of works connected with document viewing, studying and selection was entrusted on designers.

There was constant activity on invention detection and request drawing in the enterprise. This activity was included in long-term department plans and was conducted in close co-operation of designers, patent representatives and patent engineers.

During BURAN project development, in NPO MOLNIYA 2899 applications for possible inventions were filled and granted, 1992 inventors certificates and patents were issued, 9 applications on industrial model were registered, 7 certificates and patents were issued, 3 applications for trademark were registered and 3 certificates were issued.

The BURAN orbital plane construction was protected by patent for invention registered under Number 1789067 and name ‘Gliding Reusable Aerospace Vehicle’, the authors – Dr.: Lozino-Lozinsky G.E., Samsonov E.A., Voinov L.P., Seletsky Ya.I., Tarasov A.T. and Dementyev G.P.

The constructional realization of BURAN distinguished by composition integrity, elements’ balance state, simplicity and conciseness of forms and creating integral expressive artistic appearance off orbital plane was also protected by patent on industrial model registered under Number 29707 and name ‘The Reusable Aerospace Glider’, the author – Dr. Lozino-Lozinsky G.E.

To provide horizontal flight tests of BURAN Orbiter a flying laboratory consisting of airframe with the same outlines and location of aerodynamic control device as BURAN have as well as four twin airbreathers placed symmetrically along OP vertical symmetry plane in gondolas was created.

Such engine location increases precision of performance characteristics at subsonic modes of flight. The indicated technical solutions got the following guard documents:
Certificate for Invention No. 1688552 ‘The Flying Laboratory for Horizontal Flight Tests of Gliding Reusable Aerospace Vehicle’, the authors – Dr.: Lozino-Lozinsky G.E., Samsonov E.A., Voinov L.P., Seletsky Ya.I., Tarasov A.T. and Dementyev G.P. and Certificate for Industrial Model No. 29705 ‘The Flying Laboratory’, the author – Dr. Lozino-Lozinsky G.E..

The Certificate for Invention No. 265642 ‘The Reusable Thermal Protection System’, the authors - Dr. Lozino-Lozinsky G.E., Voinov L.P., Seletsky Ya.I, Sokolov V.E., Osin M.I., Konstantinovsky S.G., Fedorov A.V., Tumin A.M., Senozadsky V.I., Neyland V.Ya., includes heat protection tiles location on BURAN Orbiter’s surface in high-beat areas. The tiles on BURAN Orbiter’s surface are placed at normal to major lines of approaching flow thus providing favorable streamline mode of lower surface of vehicle. As a result heat emission reduces and it assists to increment of heat protection shielding efficiency.

The Auxiliary Power Unit, designed by thee following specialists – Dr. Saenko V.I., Bautin A.A., Savrasov A.V., Ievlev A.V., Fatkov Yu.A., Teglev Yu.P. - has got legal assistance (Patent Certificate No. 202242).

The BURAN Orbiter wouldn’t have been created on the basis of existing materials, that’s why serious researches, designing, production of experimental batches as well as testing of absolutely new materials were conducted.

More than a hundred patents were created on honeycomb sandwiches and their production technologies. They were used, as example, for designing and production of rudders – air brake, elevons, balancing flaps and other. Chief specialists of enterprise conducted the activity in this field: Dr. Gofin M.Ya., Kulikov V.I., Shirokikh D.P., Shalunov S.A. and other.

High position was occupied by inventions of heat protection materials and constructions and their production technologies made by Mr.: Davidov I.Z., Filin Yu.V., Mrs.: Tagunova L.I., Udachina N.E. and other.

In co-operation with VIAM, VILS, NIAT, VERKHNESALDINSK Metallurgy Experimental Plant, DNEPROPETROVSK Institute of Pipe Industry new steel, titanic, aluminum, aluminum-lithium and other materials in form of sheets, pipes, flanges were created. 85 patent certificates concerning material components, testing, processing, covering and other were issued. The greatest contribution in that trend was made by Mr.: Khorev A.I., Stichinsky V.V., Bliznyukov Ya.A., Goryunov, A.P., Sergeev K.N., Zykov E.V., Mrs. Bulgakova S.G., Mr.: Potopalov A.V., Borobsky N.G. and other.

15 Patent Certificates were issued in the name of Mr.: Vulfovich L.V., Dudnik N.P., Panfilov B.V., Mrs. Kulikova G.V., Kurochka G.M., Mr.: Perov B.V., Mashinsky G.P. These inventions were made on non-metallic materials (glues, thermal insulators, sealing, covering, greases, composites and other), their production technologies, testing devices and methods developed in co-operation with VIAM, HIRP, VNIIPP, NII COMPOSIT, NII GRAFIT.

The active invention activity of designers – Menyalov V.M., Astakhov V.V., Vanchurin R.D., Nikitin E.S., Koloskov V.M., Eliseev Yu.L., Ezhov V.P., Andrianov V.N., Khlyupas O.N., Gorbenko A.Ya., Kireev Yu.V., Shibanov V.A., Vinogradov V.I., Troitsly V.M., Pogorelov N.M., Pevzner S.M. and other – accelerated development of original constructions for BURAN Orbiter’s airframe. More than 300 patent certificates were issued in accordance with their researches.

The great achievement of BURAN Orbiter was developed and showed its efficiency automated control system for flight and landing. In this trend more than 200 inventions were created. Their authors are Mr.: Lysenko A.P., Mrs.: Korobova T.N., Lineva E.O., Mr.: Galushko L.V., Altshuler A.Sh., Shiryaev I.N., . Dorfmann G.E., Karlin V.S., Lavrinovich V.V., Buntov V.A., Mrs. Pokrovskaya T.N., Mr.: Volodin V.D., Fedorov V.E. and other.

Thanks to application of new materials and original constructional solutions it was claimed to create, at great extent, new experimental base including unique stands, devices, models, measuring devices. There were created: FSSE and PDST stands, cryogenic thermal vacuum complex, oil-free high-vacuum evacuation system and control, measuring and control system, sun ray imitator producing radiant flux from the Sun, tribology complex stand for testing on friction and others. In this trend more than 200 inventions were created. Their authors are Mr.: Bolshakov G.A., Shevtzov Yu.P., Chugunov O.D., Andriankin O.A., Gorshkov N.V., Russin L.P., Timofeev V.A., Ivankevich B.I., Tadeush A.A., Karpanov V.P., Dmitriev V.K. and many others employees of enterprise.

BURAN Orbiter’s production have required creation of new production divisions equipped with modern manufacturing equipment, development and mastering of new engineering processes. In this trend more than 100 inventions were created. Their authors are Dr. Bashilov A.S., Mr.: Kirasirov E.N., Bogdanov B.V., Vshivkin L.K., Karachun P.I., Reshetnikov D.A.

At BURAN Orbiter’s development the serious problem was to introduce nondestructive check-up of products. The methods and devices for measuring of thickness, strength, humidity, surface damages, transparent damages, damages in thin-walled and layer-built constructions and other were created. These researches were conducted in co-operation with many other organizations, for example, NII SPEKTR. Their results have allowed creation of more than 50 engineering solutions, which were protected by the patents (the authors – Dr. Konnov V.V., Mr.: Morgun V., Gavrilov N.N., Gagin E.N., Demidov V.V. and other).

In addition to the inventions, created in NPO MOLNIYA, during BURAN Orbiter’s development other organizations have obtained more than 1000 patent certificates. In particular, VIAM – more than 100 inventions, TMZ – about 50 inventions, EMZ named after Myasischev – 82 inventions, GIPRONII AVIAPROM – 36 inventions for stands and stand equipment, AZ NAUKA – 147 inventions.

At APU development, stands, models, units and equipment for experimental processing workers, foremen, technicians, laboratory assistants of Experimental Plant and Design Bureau showed non-ordinary creativeness. They introduced 14100 rationalization proposals. The acceleration of experimental check-up of patents, rationalization proposals and their introduction into production was caused by NPO MOLNIYA plans on mastering and introduction of new techniques. The most actual proposals of industry and national economic importance were being included into complex plans on mastering and introduction of new techniques of the Ministry of Aircraft Industry. That way reach-through passing of inventions and rationalization proposals in accordance with scheme: ‘idea birth –documentation – manufacturing – tests – introduction into production was provided’.

Good stimulus for those times for active participation in scientific creative work was competition between different enterprises and within enterprise – between departments on best staging of invention and rationalization. During the whole period of development and production of BURAN Orbiter NPO MOLNIYA occupied leading positions in the industry. On competition results, which were being summoned up annually, NPO MOLNIYA was rewarded by third-degree diploma three times, second-degree diploma once and first-degree diploma nine times.

Wide distribution at that time have received competitions on mass reduction, review of youth scientific creative works which also were good stimulus for active participation of young employees, developed their creativeness, respect to work, interests to invention and rationalization activities, aspiration for showing their knowledge, abilities and gained experience.

During development of BURAN Orbiter many employees have defended their doctoral thesis.

The rank of ‘Honored Inventor of Russia’ was given to Mr.: Andriyankin O.O, Gorshkov N.V., Elensky A.I., Russin L.P., Trubin V.P.

The rank of ‘Best Inventor of Moscow’ was given to more than 70 employees. Annually, on competition results the ranks of ‘Best Inventor of NPO MOLNIYA’ were being given.

The direct organization of patent and license activity as well as invention and rationalization activity, conducting of patent researches for determination of engineering level, trends, patenting ability and novelty, planning and controlling of mastering and introduction of new techniques were commissioned to patent department of NPO MOLNIYA. Great contribution to this activity belong to Mr.: Gusinsky I.I., Lomtev A.V., Popov I.S., Mayorov O.N., Ovchinnikov A.I., Vakhrushev A.G., Mrs. Radkova N.A.

The coordination of patent and license activity as well as invention and rationalization activity with other enterprises was conducted by the Ministry of Aircraft Industry: Deputy Minister Dr. Bratukhin A.G., Chief of Main Engineering Department Mr. Talaev, Director of NIAT Department of Invention Mr. Panchishny I.M.

The information provision was entrusted to Department of Scientific and Technical Information headed by Mr. Bochkovsky G.M. and Mr. Shapovalenko V.A.

During development of BURAN Orbiter the scientific and technical reserve, which is still topical, has appeared. The scientific and technical achievements of NPO MOLNIA are summarized in general report, which is valuable for conversion planning. However, realization of these scientific and technical achievements requires considerable expenditures and that is the reason why they still stay unclaimed.

In 1993-1995 several projects were (MOLNIYA-1 plane, Aerospace plane, HERACLES carrier-plane) demonstrated on Universal Show of Inventions, Scientific Researches and Innovations ‘Brussel-Evrika’. They have received Gold Medals with honors.

In spite of changes happened in economics and patent legislation invention and rationalization experience of NPO MOLNIYA is of great interest at the moment. This experience demonstrates role of well-organized patent and license activity as well as rationalization studies at development and creation of new engineering objects.