Cosmos 1383 was part of a 6-satellite Soviet military navigation system distributed in orbital planes spaced 30 degrees apart, and launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome aboard a Cosmos rocket. Navigation information was derived from Doppler-shifted VHF transmissions (approximately 150 and 400 MHz) of the satellite position and orbital data. By acquiring fixes from several satellite, a user's location could be calculated with an accuracy of 100 m. The time needed to ascertain a position was dependent upon the user's latitude and the number of operational spacecraft in orbit. Normally, accurate location determination could be made within 1-2 hours.
From 1982 several Tsikada maritime navigation satellites were equipped with the supplemental COSPAS / SARSAT international space search and rescue system for locating vessels and aircraft in distress search and rescue package. These were designated 'Nadezhda'. From 1995 these satellites were equipped with the Kurs system for better location of air, sea, and ground craft in distress and for transmittal of digital data to the Kurs Centre. These were designated Nadezhda-M. Signals at 150,00 MHz and 400.00 MHz. The spacecraft provided dual use - location of vessels in the Soviet merchant marine and fishing fleet; and work within the international space search and rescue system for locating vessels and aircraft in distress (COSPAS-SARSAT).
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