TalTech satellite Hämarik to start flight to orbit on Friday ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Satellite Hämarik
Satellite Hämarik Source: TalTech Press

On Friday, cube satellite Hämarik developed by scientists of Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) will start its path to orbit from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.

Head of TalTech's Space Program, Rauno Gordon, said on Vikerraadio show "Labor" on Monday that Hämarik will be flown into orbit by the European Space Agency's rocket Vega, which will carry 53 small satellites in total of about 1.5 tons into orbit.

Hämarik, a cube satellite with a 10 cm edge length, is packed with technology. The weight limit of the satellite is 1.33 kilograms, which was a great challenge to the team. The majority of the satellite consists of cameras which will be used to photograph Earth.

Gordon said: "Of course it must contain all the other technology that will support it. There has to be power, a computer that would save and transmit pictures via radio, which will stay in connection to Earth."

Monitoring and photographing from space has become popular with a high supply and demand. Gordon explained: "We can make our contribution of taking our own pictures. Our satellite is small - the European Space Agency has multi-ton, large satellites and we have our 1.3 kilograms, which will have to complete all of our missions - take photos, calculate, transmit, and charge itself using panels."

In July last year, satellite Koit was also flown into orbit, but the team has still not been able to connect to it. But there is still a possibility that the satellite is operating.

According to Gordon, there could be many reasons for why the satellite is not working. "One of the options is the output amplifier, which was supposed to send a signal, is not working. There's also the option that something broke, maybe due to the vibrations of the rocket, something could have shorted and the power supply went down. There are many versions and we don't know which one is right. If that's what happened, then we thought, since we have another one going up, can we fix anything."

When designing the Hämarik, the team made sure it is more resistant to vibrations.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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