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UoSAT-1 (1981)

First CCD area array Earth imager, UoSAT-1 (1981)

The camera flown on UoSAT-1 used a GEC HIRST research 256x256 CCD array and is believed to be the first 2D CCD array in a civilian satellite. 
 
The camera optics were kept pointing earthwards by the gravity gradient stabilisation and the imaging device comprised of a charge-coupled device (CCD) two dimensional array operating in a “snap shot” mode.  The image was stored in a solid-state memory as 256x256 pixels with a 4-bit (16 level) grey scale. 
 
The camera optics were arranged to cover a 500 x 500 km area of the Earth’s surface yielding a maximum resolution of about 2 km.  The camera could be operated under instruction from the satellite’s on board computer, and the image stored in memory for transmission to the ground station on the next pass. 
 
UoSAT-1 succeeded in capturing an image of Corsica and Sardinia.
 

 

 

 
Image of Corsica and Sardina captured by UoSAT-1 UoSAT-1 UoSAT-1 team with the flight-ready satellite