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Dove 1

Dove 1 [Cosmogia]

The Dove-1 mission is a technology demonstration nanosatellite for Cosmogia Inc., later renamed Planet Labs, for remote sensing purposes based on the triple CubeSat form factor.

The goal of the mission is:

  • build a low-cost imaging satellite with non-space, COTS components;
  • to show that a bus constrained to the 3U cubesat form factor can viably host a small camera payload; and
  • demonstrate the ability to design, produce and operate satellites on short schedules and low cost.

Dove-1 did this by transmitting health and image data to the ground.

Dove-1 is based on the 3U cubesat form factor. The design mass is 5.8 kg. Basic physical dimensions are 100 mm × 100 mm × 340 mm, with four 100 mm × 300 mm deployable solar arrays. The Dove-2 superstructure is custom built by the Cosmogia team. The load bearing structure is basically comprised of three 100 mm × 100 mm skeleton plates, with L rails along each 300 mm corner edge. Four 100 mm × 300 mm solar arrays are spring-loaded to deploy from camera end of the satellite, in a "dart" configuration. Power storage is provided by Lithium-Ion cells. The batteries were recharged by solar cells mounted on the body of the satellite and on the four deployable solar panels. Dove-1 attitude is approximately determined using the magnetic field vector from the onboard magnetometers. Dove-1s attitude will be controlled by a B-dot controller, comprised of 3 aircore coil magnetorquers, and reaction wheels. The communication subsystem consists of a S-band radio for two-way communication, an X-band radio for downlink, and an Iridium modem for telemetry and commanding. The telescope has a 90 mm apperture and a high-resolution camera.

Dove 1 is licensed to collect images of the Earth and will undertake a short-duration experimental mission in a circular, low-Earth orbit (approximately 250 km) at an inclination of 51.6. The satellite was launched as a secondary payload on the maiden flight of the Antares-110 launch vehicle on 21. April 2013. Dove-1 provided earth imagery of a resolution to discern individual trees. It reentered after 6 days on 27. April 2013.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Cosmogia Inc. → Planet Labs
Contractors: Cosmogia Inc. → Planet Labs
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: none
Power: 4 deployable fixed solar arrays, solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 6 days
Mass: 6.0 kg
Orbit: 280 km × 270 km, 51.6
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Dove 1 2013-016C 21.04.2013 WI LC-0A Antares-110 with Cygnus Mass Simulator, PhoneSat v1a, PhoneSat v1b, PhoneSat v2a


Further Cosmogia / Planet Labs missions: