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BILSAT-1 (2003)

First small satellite to use a Control Moment Gyro, BILSAT-1 (2003)

BILSAT-1 was launched on 27 September 2003.  It was based on an enhanced SSTL-100 platform designed and was built under a training and development programme between SSTL (UK) and TUBITAK-BILTEN (Turkey). 
 
The satellite carried experimental payloads including a Control Moment Gyroscope (CMG)  which can be used to help control a spacecraft’s attitude.  A CMG consists of a spinning rotor and motorized gimbals which change the angular momentum and cause a gyroscopic torque that rotates the spacecraft.  The CMG on board BILSAT-1 was tested successfully in orbit. 
 
BILSAT-1 also hosted new technologies such as high capacity solid-state data recorders and star trackers and two payloads designed and built by SSTL's Turkish customer.

BILSAT-1 assembly

BILSAT-1 flight ready

BILSAT-1 in build