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FASat Alfa, Bravo

FASat Bravo [SSTL]

FASat (Fuerza Aéra de Chile Satellite)-Alfa was to become the first Chilean satellite, and has been constructed under a Technology Transfer Program between the Chilean Air Force (FACH) and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) of the United Kingdom. The primary goal of the Program is to obtain for Chile the basic scientific and technological experience required to continue with more advanced steps. The purposes of the FASat-Alfa mission are to create a group of engineers with aerospace experience, to have the first Chilean satellite in orbit, and to install and operate the Mission Control Station (ECM-Santiago) in Chile.

TheFASat-Alfa satellite uses the modular UoSAT bus, proved in ten previous missions. The satellite has been constructed at SSTL by a combined group of engineers from FACH and SSTL. FASat-Alfa has been launched on 31st August 1995 as a secondary payload, and has a circular orbit of 650 kilometers at 82.5 inclination.

The main mission objectives of the Satellite are Ozone Layer monitoring with the so called Ozone Layer Monitoring Experiment (OLME), Remote sensing with the Experimental Imaging System (EIS), and Data Transfer using the Data Transfer Experiment (DTE). Other payloads include Advanced Digital Signal Processing, Orbital Positioning with GPS and a Transputer system. It is intended that the satellite will have educational value as well by transmitting telemetry data in the form of speech and low data rate signals to schools in Chile.

  • Ozone Layer Monitoring Experiment (OLME) Experiment
    This experiment is very important for Chile because of the geographic location of the country within the depletion area of the Ozone Layer in the Antarctic. This experiment is based on the measurement of the ultraviolet solar backscattered radiation in frequency bands around 300 nanometers. The experiment will have two types of devices in order to measure that radiation: Ultraviolet cameras, based on special CCDs and Ultraviolet photodiodes. Measurements will be made in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions of Chile, and the data collected with this experiment will be correlated with the ground based observations of the Ultraviolet Radiometric Network run by the Meteorological Directorate in Chile.
  • Data Transfer Experiment (DTE) Experiment
    The objective of the Data Transfer Experiment is to provide the space segment infrastructure, i.e. necessary hardware, satellite interfaces, firmware and software, to allow a variety of data communications experiments and demonstration objectives to be supported.
  • Earth Imaging System (EIS) experiment
  • The Earth Imaging System on FASat-Alfa will have two visible light cameras. A wide angle camera with a ground resolution of 2000 meters, which similar to the OLME camera, and a narrow angle camera with a resolution of about 200 meters. The wide angle camera will have the same field of view as the Ozone monitoring cameras. These cameras will be located in the Earth Observation Platform. They provide snapshot images of the Earth, and are then stored on board the satellite for downloading at a later time.
  • Navigation with Global Positioning System (GPS) experiment
    The function of the GPS receiver is to determinate the position of the satellite in space and use this for on-board generation of keplerian elements, using the 32 bit Transputer system.
  • Solid State Data Recorder Experiment (SSDRE) experiment
    This system will provide 2 Gigabits (256 Megabytes) of storage memory based on new RAM technology. Each system of FASat-Alfa could access this memory trough the local area network CAN. The biggest impact is on the OLME and EIS experiments, because the SSDRE can store more than 600 images of 300 Kilobytes each.
  • Educational Experiment (EdEx)
    This experiment is intended to promote direct participation in space by Chilean youth. The EdEx will use the DTE experiment hardware to generate telemetry signals that can be received by low cost receivers and a personal computers. DSP chips with the DTE will also produce digitized voice that can be received by simple receivers. Students participating in the EdEx will develop their space-related knowledge in: satellite tracking, communications, telemetry analysis, electronics, thermodynamics and physics.

FASat Bravo was a copy of FASAT Alfa, which was ordered, when the first failed to separate from its parent satellite.

Nation: Chile
Type / Application: Earth observation, technology
Operator: Fuerza Aéra de Chile
Contractors: SSTL
Configuration: Microsat-70
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 55 kg
Orbit: 630 km × 669 km, 82.53° (#A); 816 km × 819 km, 98.80° (#B)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
FASat Alfa 1995-046A 31.08.1995 Pl LC-32/2 Tsiklon-3 with Sich 1 / failed to separate from Sich 1
FASat Bravo 1998-043B 10.07.1998 Ba LC-45/1 Zenit-2 with Resurs-O1 2, Techsat 1B, TMSat 1, Safir 2, WESTPAC 1


Further FASat missions: