Aalto-1 nanosatellite

Technical description and mission objectives

A. Kestilä, T. Tikka, P. Peitso, J. Rantanen, A. Näsilä, K. Nordling, Heikki Saari, R. Vainio, P. Janhunen, J. Praks, M. Hallikainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This work presents the outline and so far completed design of the Aalto-1 science mission. Aalto-1 is a multi-payload remote-sensing nanosatellite, built almost entirely by students. The satellite aims for a 500–900 km sun-synchronous orbit and includes an accurate attitude dynamics and control unit, a UHF/VHF housekeeping and S-band data links, and a GPS unit for positioning (radio positioning and NORAD TLE's are planned to be used as backup). It has three specific payloads: a spectral imager based on piezo-actuated Fabry–Perot interferometry, designed and built by The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT); a miniaturised radiation monitor (RADMON) jointly designed and built by Universities of Helsinki and Turku; and an electrostatic plasma brake designed and built by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), derived from the concept of the e-sail, also originating from FMI. Two phases are important for the payloads, the technology demonstration and the science phase. The emphasis is placed on technological demonstration of the spectral imager and RADMON, and suitable targets have already been chosen to be completed during that phase, while the plasma brake will start operation in the latter part of the science phase. The technology demonstration will be over in a relatively short time, while the science phase is planned to last two years. The science phase is divided into two smaller phases: the science observations phase, during which only the spectral imager and RADMON will be operated for 6–12 months and the plasma brake demonstration phase, which is dedicated to the plasma brake experiment for at least a year. These smaller phases are necessary due to the drastically different power, communication and attitude requirements of the payloads. The spectral imager will be by far the most demanding instrument on board, as it requires most of the downlink bandwidth, has a high peak power and attitude performance. It will acquire images in a series up to at least 20 spectral bands within the 500–900 nm spectral range, forming the desired spectral data cube product. Shortly before an image is acquired, the parallel visual spectrum camera will take a broader picture for comparison. Also stereoscopic imaging is planned. The amount of data collected by the spectral imager is adjustable, and ranges anywhere from 10 to 500 MB. The RADMON will be on 80% of an orbit period on average and together with housekeeping data will gather around 2 MB of data in 24 h. An operational limitation is formed due to the S-band downlink capability of 29–49 MB per 24 h for a 500 900 km orbit altitude, as only one ground station is planned to be available for the satellite. This will limit both type and quantity of spectral imager images taken during the science phase. The plasma brake will in turn be within an angle of 20° over the poles for efficient use of the Earth's magnetic field and ionosphere during its spin-up and operation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalGeoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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plasma
positioning
ice ridge
science
interferometry
ionosphere
GPS
student
communication
radio
magnetic field
remote sensing
radiation
experiment

Keywords

  • hyperspectral sensors
  • multispectral image sensors
  • remote sensing
  • Fabry-Perot interferometer
  • piezo actuators
  • imaging spectrometer
  • UAV
  • airbone
  • medical imaging
  • precision agriculture
  • target detection

Cite this

Kestilä, A., Tikka, T., Peitso, P., Rantanen, J., Näsilä, A., Nordling, K., ... Hallikainen, M. (2013). Aalto-1 nanosatellite: Technical description and mission objectives. Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems, 2(1), 121-130. https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2-121-2013
Kestilä, A. ; Tikka, T. ; Peitso, P. ; Rantanen, J. ; Näsilä, A. ; Nordling, K. ; Saari, Heikki ; Vainio, R. ; Janhunen, P. ; Praks, J. ; Hallikainen, M. / Aalto-1 nanosatellite : Technical description and mission objectives. In: Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems. 2013 ; Vol. 2, No. 1. pp. 121-130.
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Kestilä, A, Tikka, T, Peitso, P, Rantanen, J, Näsilä, A, Nordling, K, Saari, H, Vainio, R, Janhunen, P, Praks, J & Hallikainen, M 2013, 'Aalto-1 nanosatellite: Technical description and mission objectives', Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 121-130. https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2-121-2013

Aalto-1 nanosatellite : Technical description and mission objectives. / Kestilä, A.; Tikka, T.; Peitso, P.; Rantanen, J.; Näsilä, A.; Nordling, K.; Saari, Heikki; Vainio, R.; Janhunen, P.; Praks, J.; Hallikainen, M.

In: Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2013, p. 121-130.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Aalto-1 nanosatellite

T2 - Technical description and mission objectives

AU - Kestilä, A.

AU - Tikka, T.

AU - Peitso, P.

AU - Rantanen, J.

AU - Näsilä, A.

AU - Nordling, K.

AU - Saari, Heikki

AU - Vainio, R.

AU - Janhunen, P.

AU - Praks, J.

AU - Hallikainen, M.

PY - 2013

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N2 - This work presents the outline and so far completed design of the Aalto-1 science mission. Aalto-1 is a multi-payload remote-sensing nanosatellite, built almost entirely by students. The satellite aims for a 500–900 km sun-synchronous orbit and includes an accurate attitude dynamics and control unit, a UHF/VHF housekeeping and S-band data links, and a GPS unit for positioning (radio positioning and NORAD TLE's are planned to be used as backup). It has three specific payloads: a spectral imager based on piezo-actuated Fabry–Perot interferometry, designed and built by The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT); a miniaturised radiation monitor (RADMON) jointly designed and built by Universities of Helsinki and Turku; and an electrostatic plasma brake designed and built by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), derived from the concept of the e-sail, also originating from FMI. Two phases are important for the payloads, the technology demonstration and the science phase. The emphasis is placed on technological demonstration of the spectral imager and RADMON, and suitable targets have already been chosen to be completed during that phase, while the plasma brake will start operation in the latter part of the science phase. The technology demonstration will be over in a relatively short time, while the science phase is planned to last two years. The science phase is divided into two smaller phases: the science observations phase, during which only the spectral imager and RADMON will be operated for 6–12 months and the plasma brake demonstration phase, which is dedicated to the plasma brake experiment for at least a year. These smaller phases are necessary due to the drastically different power, communication and attitude requirements of the payloads. The spectral imager will be by far the most demanding instrument on board, as it requires most of the downlink bandwidth, has a high peak power and attitude performance. It will acquire images in a series up to at least 20 spectral bands within the 500–900 nm spectral range, forming the desired spectral data cube product. Shortly before an image is acquired, the parallel visual spectrum camera will take a broader picture for comparison. Also stereoscopic imaging is planned. The amount of data collected by the spectral imager is adjustable, and ranges anywhere from 10 to 500 MB. The RADMON will be on 80% of an orbit period on average and together with housekeeping data will gather around 2 MB of data in 24 h. An operational limitation is formed due to the S-band downlink capability of 29–49 MB per 24 h for a 500 900 km orbit altitude, as only one ground station is planned to be available for the satellite. This will limit both type and quantity of spectral imager images taken during the science phase. The plasma brake will in turn be within an angle of 20° over the poles for efficient use of the Earth's magnetic field and ionosphere during its spin-up and operation.

AB - This work presents the outline and so far completed design of the Aalto-1 science mission. Aalto-1 is a multi-payload remote-sensing nanosatellite, built almost entirely by students. The satellite aims for a 500–900 km sun-synchronous orbit and includes an accurate attitude dynamics and control unit, a UHF/VHF housekeeping and S-band data links, and a GPS unit for positioning (radio positioning and NORAD TLE's are planned to be used as backup). It has three specific payloads: a spectral imager based on piezo-actuated Fabry–Perot interferometry, designed and built by The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT); a miniaturised radiation monitor (RADMON) jointly designed and built by Universities of Helsinki and Turku; and an electrostatic plasma brake designed and built by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), derived from the concept of the e-sail, also originating from FMI. Two phases are important for the payloads, the technology demonstration and the science phase. The emphasis is placed on technological demonstration of the spectral imager and RADMON, and suitable targets have already been chosen to be completed during that phase, while the plasma brake will start operation in the latter part of the science phase. The technology demonstration will be over in a relatively short time, while the science phase is planned to last two years. The science phase is divided into two smaller phases: the science observations phase, during which only the spectral imager and RADMON will be operated for 6–12 months and the plasma brake demonstration phase, which is dedicated to the plasma brake experiment for at least a year. These smaller phases are necessary due to the drastically different power, communication and attitude requirements of the payloads. The spectral imager will be by far the most demanding instrument on board, as it requires most of the downlink bandwidth, has a high peak power and attitude performance. It will acquire images in a series up to at least 20 spectral bands within the 500–900 nm spectral range, forming the desired spectral data cube product. Shortly before an image is acquired, the parallel visual spectrum camera will take a broader picture for comparison. Also stereoscopic imaging is planned. The amount of data collected by the spectral imager is adjustable, and ranges anywhere from 10 to 500 MB. The RADMON will be on 80% of an orbit period on average and together with housekeeping data will gather around 2 MB of data in 24 h. An operational limitation is formed due to the S-band downlink capability of 29–49 MB per 24 h for a 500 900 km orbit altitude, as only one ground station is planned to be available for the satellite. This will limit both type and quantity of spectral imager images taken during the science phase. The plasma brake will in turn be within an angle of 20° over the poles for efficient use of the Earth's magnetic field and ionosphere during its spin-up and operation.

KW - hyperspectral sensors

KW - multispectral image sensors

KW - remote sensing

KW - Fabry-Perot interferometer

KW - piezo actuators

KW - imaging spectrometer

KW - UAV

KW - airbone

KW - medical imaging

KW - precision agriculture

KW - target detection

U2 - 10.5194/gi-2-121-2013

DO - 10.5194/gi-2-121-2013

M3 - Article

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SP - 121

EP - 130

JO - Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems

JF - Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems

SN - 2193-0856

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ER -