- SunSAT (Stellenbosch University Satellite) was launched on the 23rd February 1999 on a
DELTA 7926 launcher into a 857x644km sun-synchronous orbit. The spacecraft was launched
with ARGOS and ěRSTED. It is a 60kg, 450 x 450 x 620 mm micro-satellite designed, built
and tested by twenty-two Masters of Engineering students at the Electronic Systems
Laboratory in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch
University. Some other information is available from AMSAT. Although largely built with
sponsorship from various companies, the spacecraft is reported to cost $US2.5m, with a
value of US$2.5m for the launch. The spacecraft carries earth observation equipment and a
5W S-band downlink, to deliver 60Mbps into a 4m diameter dish system. It also caries a
40MHz DSP56L002 Digital Signal Processor (DSP) which is employed for image compression.
The spacecraft is operational in mid 2000, and PAL real time images have been returned.
Pictures shows the launch accommodation and launch configuration.More...
- [SunSAT at AMSAT][SUNSAT at Stellenbosch University].
Pictures courtesy of University of Stellenbosch
- The Danish ěRSTED
microsatellite was launched on the 23rd February 1999 on a DELTA 7926 launcher into a
644x857km sun-synchronous orbit, and will map the Earth's magnetic field, measure the
charged particle environment and study the auroral phenomena. The spacecraft dimensions
are 340mm x 450mm x 680mm, weighs 62kg, and has an 8m boom (artist
impression of in-orbit configuration). ěRSTED was launched together with ARGOS and
SunSat. It carries spacecraft carries a fluxgate vector magnetometer, an Overhauser
magnetometer (for field magnitude only), and particle detectors (for 0.03-1.0 MeV
electrons, 0.2-30 keV protons, and 1-100 MeV Alpha particles). The satellite also carries
a 16MByte data store. Pictures show the launch
accommodation and launch configuration.
[Technical University of Denmark][DMI][DMI in
English][Belgian institute of aeronomy][ěRSTED at GSFC]
 W.R.Baron, M.H.Larson, P.L.Thomsen, The Danish ěRSTED
Satellite, SS&C-94, Univ. of Stellenbosch, Tue 4 Oct 94.
Pictures courtesy of TUD
- MegSat-0 is the first in a series planned by the Meggiorin Group in Brescia, Italy, and
was launched on a Cosmos-3M from Kapustin Yar on the 29th April 1999. The microsatellite
was launched with Abrixas on the 28th April 1999 under a US$150k
contract, and offers Store and Forward communications. The spacecraft was to be placed
into a 580km 51 degree inclined orbit and will weighs 34kg, and measures 450mm cube.The
ground station is in Bresca, Italy. The spacecraft downlink is at 137.935MHz. More...
[Megsat press release][MegSat home page]
- MUBLCOM, 1999-026B,
- The 48kg MUltiple Beam beyond Line of sight COMmunications experiment is built by
Orbital for the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the US under a
Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP), and was launched on a Pegasus-XL (configuration, picture)
with TERRIERS on the 18th May 1999. It was placed into a 775km
sun-synchronous orbit. The spacecraft is based on the MicroStar platform of the ORBCOMM spacecraft, including its deployable antenna
technology. It is to demonstrate network communications for U.S.combat forces using
ORBITAL supplied hand-held communications terminals, including voice, internet access and
email. The terminals include GPS and line-of-sight communication capability as well. The
demonstration might lead to a larger communications network of up to 64 satellites with
commercial and military users. Downlinks are 40W at 370-390 MHz and a 5W downlink
telemetry on 401.5 MHz. The spacecraft was reported to be working well in May 1999.
- TUBSAT-DLR was launched on the 26th May 1999 with KITSAT-3 and the Oceansat1 (IRS-P4)
primary payload, on a PSLV-C2 launcher from Sriharikota into a 722km circular orbit
inclined at 98.3 degrees, under a US$100k contract. It was placed into a 12am-12pm
727km sun-synchronous orbit. The microsatellite project is by the Aerospace institute of
the Technical University of Berlin (Germany) for the DLR institute for Space Sensors. It
carries an attitude control and determination experiment including three reaction wheels
and three laser ring gyros. It carries a 370 (16mm lens), 120 (50mm lens) and 6m (1m
lens) resolution pan and multispectral imagers, and a live video downlink at S-band using
PAL analogue encoding. The satellite measures 320x320x320mm and weighs 45kg. Downlink data
rates are 125kbps. The spacecraft was designed by a 7 man team for costs of 400k Euros
(1998) excluding man power.
[SSHP Tubsat series][DLR-TUBSAT][Launch][Launch configuration][Dr Dish article]
- Starshine, 1999-030B.
- Starshine (Student Tracked Atmospheric Research Satellite for Heuristic International
Networking Equipment) was launched from the shuttle STS-96
on the 5th June 1999. The student project is to encourage optical tracking and satellite
observation. A passive polished 480mm diameter hollow aluminium sphere was manufactured by
the US Naval Academy , and its more than 878, 25mm diameter mirrors were ground by many US
and international participating schools, and applied at the Naval Research
Laboratory (NRL), US. The spacecraft weighs
38kg, and was deployed from a hitchhiker slot (picture)
into a 360km 51.6 degree inclined orbit, where it is expected to last 6 months. The
spacecraft is designed to be visible with the naked eye flashing every few seconds due to
its spin. The spacecraft decayed on the 18th February 2000. [picture][launch
accommodation 1, 2]
 AIAA/USU 1997, SSC97-V-6, "Starshine", Prof
G.Moore et all.
[Starshine project homepage]
- SACI-1, 1999-057B
- SACI-1 is a 60kg scientific satellite (Satellite Cientifico) launched on the 14th
October 1999 on a Chinese Long March 4B launcher from the Taiyuan launch site. The
spacecraft was built by the Brazilian space agency (INPE), and placed into a 732x747km
sun-synchronous orbit together with the joint Chinese and Brazilian remote sensing
satellite Ziyuan-1 (aka CBERS-1) as primary payload. The satellite carries four scientific
payloads in order to investigate plasma bubbles in the geomagnetic field, air glow, and
anomalous cosmic radiation fluxes. It also carries various platform technology
developments. The spacecraft has four deployable panels. The ground segment comprises two
main stations, and user ground data collecting stations. It is reported that contact with
the spacecraft was lost shortly after launch due to either to a communications system,
antenna, or computer failure. More:...
[SACI at INPE][SACI at INPE in
Portuguese][SSHP papers][Spacecraft overview drawing]
- Part of an intelligence gathering programme, Clementine is an experimental eavesdropping
satellite in the Cerise/Clementine/Zenon series by the French arms procurement agency
Delegation Generale pour l'Armement (DGA), and was launched on the V124 ARIANE-40 ASAP on
December 1999 with Helios 1B into a 646x664km 98.1degree sun-synchronous orbit. The 50kg
spacecraft will complement the work of the Cerise microsatellite
and will study low frequency electronic signals from targeted regions in the 20MHz-1GHz
range. The platform was built by SSTL
(UK) and delivered to the customer in late 1997, and is similar in platform design to
Cerise. The payload incorporating a floating point DSP was built by Thompson CSF (France)
and was integrated onto the platform by the mission prime contractor Alcatel (France). It
is box shaped with body mounted solar panels, as well as 4 deployable panels. The GaAs
solar panels deliver a total power of 205W and were manufactured by EEV (press release). The mission is reported to have
cost US$18m (1999).
(FM 30-36), 1999-065A-G
- Another seven satellites in the ORBCOMM little-LEO satellite system were launched on the
4th December 1999 from Wallops on a Pegasus-XL. The spacecraft are slightly heavier than
previous spacecraft at 45kg as additional radiation hardening has been added. They were
placed into a into an 820x840km orbit inclined at 45 degrees, and will provide low data
rate communication and tracking services. The satellites were built by ORBITAL, and are
similar in construction to the earlier ones; cylindrical in shape during launch measuring
165mm in height, and 1040mm in diameter. More...
[SSHP little LEO constellations][SSHP
- SACI-2 is a 60kg scientific satellite (Scientific Applications Satellite) launched on
the 11th December 1999 on the second flight of the Brazilian VLS. Failure of the launcher
second stage prevented it from reaching orbit. The spacecraft was built by the Brazilian
space agency (INPE). The satellite measures 640x400x400mm and carries four scientific
payloads (PLASMEX, MAGNEX, OCRAS and PHOTO) with a mass of 10kg in order to investigate
plasma bubbles in the geomagnetic field, air glow, and anomalous cosmic radiation fluxes.
It also carries various platform technology developments. The spacecraft has four
deployable panels and is spin stabilised. The ground segment is to comprise two main
stations with 3.6m dish, and user ground data collecting stations. The spacecraft
S-band communications links with a 2W, 256kbps downlink and 19200bps uplink. A solid state
data recorder with 48MBytes capacity is carried. Its sister spacecraft SACI-1 was launched
earlier in 1999. SACI--1 and 2 are reported to have cost approximately US$1.7 each.
[SACI at INPE][SACI at INPE in