Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) today announced the successful launch of AlSat-1B, a medium resolution Earth observation satellite for ASAL, the Algerian Space Agency. AlSat-1B is a small satellite with a mass of 100kg and was launched into a 670km sun-synchronous orbit on board the PSLV launch vehicle from the Sriharikota launch site in India on 26 September at UTC/GMT 03.44.
Following separation from the launch vehicle, SSTL and ASAL are pleased to confirm successful contact was made with AlSat-1B via SSTL’s ground station in Svalbard, and all initial system checks are nominal. A joint team of SSTL and ASAL engineers are undertaking commissioning of the spacecraft from SSTL’s Spacecraft Operations Centre in Guildford, UK. After commissioning is complete, daily satellite operations and data downloads will be undertaken from ASAL’s Satellite Design Centre at Oran in Algeria.
AlSat-1B is a collaborative mission between SSTL and ASAL and in September 2015 the spacecraft was shipped to Algeria for a six month period of assembly, systems integration and imager testing at ASAL’s facilities. Under the joint development programme, eighteen engineers from ASAL have worked alongside SSTL engineers on the mission.
AlSat-1B is based on the SSTL-100 platform, and flies a 24m multispectral imager and a 12m panchromatic imager delivering images with a swath width of 140km. The satellite carries two High Speed Data Recorders and two Flash Mass Memory Units capable of recording, managing and storing image data for high speed downlink via S-Band and X-Band transmitters.
ASAL will process the earth observation data from AlSat-1B for agricultural and resource monitoring, disaster management, land use mapping and urban planning.
AlSat-1B will join the Disaster Monitoring Constellation, a unique earth observation constellation which delivers high frequency commercial imaging of the globe, and also provides free satellite imagery for humanitarian use within the International Charter: Space & Major Disasters. AlSat-1B provides continuity from Algeria’s first satellite, AlSat-1A, a 32m multispectral Earth observation satellite which was launched in 2002 and was also designed and manufactured by SSTL.
AlSat Nano, a cubesat designed and manufactured by the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey, shared the ride to orbit. It will deliver an educational and technology demonstration joint space mission for the UK Space Agency and Algerian Space Agency (ASAL).
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world's leading small satellite company, delivering 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, with 450 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.
Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 49 satellites for 20 international customers – as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with an innovative approach that is changing the economics of space. Headquartered in Guildford, UK, SSTL is part of the Airbus Group.