1. Almaz are Russian/Soviet satellites that carry a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system for high-resolution (10–15 meters) all-weather, round-the-clock surveillance of land and ocean surfaces. Developed and operated by the Russian space company NPO Mashinostroyenia, Almaz (Russian for "diamond") spacecraft are used for exploration and monitoring in fields such as map-making, geology, forestry, and ecology. The first in the series was placed in orbit by a Proton launch vehicle on Marrch 31, 1991.
2. Almaz was also the name of an ambitious, top-secret Soviet project envisioned by Vladimir Chelomei as a manned orbiting outpost equipped with powerful spy cameras, radar, and self-defense weapons. The program would also have involved heavy supply ships and multiple reentry capsules. Although Almaz was delayed and eventually cancelled after Chelomei fell out of favor with the Soviet government in the late 1960s, its design was used as the basis for Salyut 1.