Satellite footage from newly launched satellite

August 12th, 2014, Published in Articles: PositionIT


Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), a leading small satellite company, has released a video from a camera mounted on an exterior panel of TechDemoSat-1, which shows the satellite moments after separation from the Fregat upper stage of its Soyuz-2 launcher, and as it begins its first orbit in space. The satellite was launched on 8 July 2014, and is on an in-orbit technology demonstration mission, carrying payloads for British academia and industry.

Video: A view of the Earth from SSTL’s TechDemoSat-1 [Credit: SSTL]

The mission is part-funded by a grant from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and SEEDA (South East England Development Agency), and carries eight separate payloads from UK academia and industry, providing valuable in-orbit validation for new technologies, and also flies more than 25 new developments for SSTL.

The satellite is also the first to be controlled from the new Operations Centre at the Satellite Applications Catapult in Harwell. SSTL’s Operations team have now completed commissioning of TechDemoSat-1’s systems, and the commissioning of the payloads on-board this technology demonstration spacecraft has begun. The next phase is the demonstration of a range of new technologies being flown on this mission.

SSTL's TechDemoSat-1 satellite

TechDemoSat-1 inspection camera on-board will monitor the behaviour of key mechanical payloads. The camera was manufactured by SSTL’s optics experts from COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) technologies and combines a colour CMOS camera with a high performance machine vision lens.

Both the camera and lens were stripped down and ruggedised to survive the vibration and shock loads experienced during launch. The camera system was optimised to give a depth of field capable of delivering an in-focus image of the Antenna Pointing Mechanism and also the Earth in the background. It is also connected to the spacecraft’s High Speed Data Recorder, which captures the data as well as allowing control over the camera settings.

SSTL delivers operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions.

Contact Joelle Sykes, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited,

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