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BILSAT-1: The Mission

BILSAT-1: The Mission

BILSAT-1 was based on an enhanced SSTL-100 platform,  and was launched on 27 September 2003.  It was the first Turkish Scientific Earth Observation satellite and was built under a training and development programme between SSTL and TUBITAK-BILTEN.  

The satellite benefited from on-board propulsion, GPS navigation and included experimental payloads including a multi-band imaging system, a real time image compression module, a GPS attitude receiver and a Control Moment Gyro. BILSAT-1 also hosted new technologies such as high capacity solid-state data recorders and star trackers.

BILSAT-1  carried five Earth observation cameras, one panchromatic and the remaining four obtain images in the red, green, blue and near-infrared bands. 

In addition to these cameras, BILSAT-1 carried  two payloads designed and built by TUBITAK-ODTU-BILTEN:

•The first, named COBAN, is a nine-band low resolution multi-spectral imager.
•The second, named GEZGIN, is a DSP based image processing module that uses the JPEG2000 algorithm to compress images taken by BILSAT-1's on board cameras.

Both of these payloads were designed and built by Turkish engineers in the context of the KHTT (Know How Training and Transfer) programme that ran in parallel with the BILSAT project

Furthermore, for the processing and compression of the collected multispectral images, a real-time image-processing card that used the JPEG 2000 multispectral compression algorithm was on the satellite as a research and development payload. The card was designed by BILTEN engineers. 

BILSAT-1 was a member of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation until it was taken out of operation in 2006.


Satellite Data


TUBITAK (Turkey)

Earth Observation


SSTL-100 (enhanced)

Launch Data

Launch Date:
27 September 2003

Launch Site:
Plesetsk Kosmodrome, Russia


686km sun-synchronous


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