The satellite

An essential innovation of the project lies in a precise, miniaturized three-axis stabilisation. Three centrifugal masses driven by directly commutated miniature electric motors stabilise the nanosatellite in space. Sun sensors attached to all surfaces and a magnetometer are used to determine the position. The fine alignment is done with the help of a star tracker, a separate camera for recording a known star constellation. Three electromagnetic coils allow, once per orbit of the satellite, to compensate for the disturbance torques picked up by the reaction wheels.

3D Modell of TUGSAT-1 © TUGraz/SFL

Fact sheet

The main characteristica of the spacecraft:

Volume 20 x 20 x 20 cm (nanosatellite)
Mass 6.9 kg
Power generation solar cells / 6-10 W
Attitude determination and control precise three-axis stabilisation within arc minutes range
Data rates 32 - 256 kbit/s
Data volume / day 10-16 MByte
Frequency ranges VHF, UHF, S-Band

The instrument

The instrument, which is equipped with precision optics with very low light attenuation, uses a Kodak CCD sensor with 4072 x 2720 pixels. An optical filter and a 5-lens-system are optimized for the blue frequency spectrum.