Another successful satellite launch, the third this year, takes Surrey's spacecraft launched into orbit to a total of 19 -- achieving an average of 1 per year over the 19 years since the launch of UoSAT-1 in 1981.
Today's launch took place at 11:05 BST (10:05 GMT) onboard a Dnepr launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. TiungSAT-1, a microsatellite built for Malaysian customer, Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd (ATSB), was placed into a 650km, 64 degree inclination, low Earth orbit.
The satellite was successfully activated on its first transit over Malaysia, just 7 hours after launch, from the ATSB groundstation installed by SSTL in Kuala Lumpur. Telemetry on subsequent transits of TiungSAT-1 over Kuala Lumpur and the Surrey groundstation in England, showed systems to be functioning as expected and software loading of the on-board computers has commenced. Commissioning of TiungSAT-1 in orbit by the joint team of ATSB and SSTL engineers will now continue over the next month.
TiungSAT-1 was built under a microsatellite Know-How Transfer and Training Programme with SSTL at the Surrey Space Centre, whereby a team of Malaysian engineers from ATSB worked alongside Surrey engineers for a year. The comprehensive training programme included the build, integration, test, launch and orbital operation for Malaysia's first national microsatellite.
The 50kg TiungSAT-1 microsatellite will provide 80m resolution
multispectral Earth imaging, 1.2km meteorological Earth imaging, digital store-and-forward communications and a cosmic-ray energy deposition experiment.
Among the benefits that TiungSAT-1 will provide for Malaysia is information on Earth resources, land use and environmental haze pollution, as well as weather patterns, including hurricane warnings.
The launch onboard Dnepr is significant in that it is the second commercial use of the demilitarised SS18 intercontinental ballistic missile. The first was for the launch of Surrey's UoSAT-12 minisatellite in April 1999 when Surrey was the sole payload for the Dnepr rocket.
Following the launch, SSTL's CEO, Professor Martin Sweeting, said: "We wish our Malaysian colleagues every success with their new mission and SSTL are proud to have worked with them to achieve their first step into space. SSTL has enjoyed a very busy and successful launch period -- with five satellites launched in the last 18 months."
Two new satellite Know-How Transfer teams will commence work at Surrey next month. A team from TUBITAK-BILTEN in Turkey will commence work on BiltenSAT, a 100kg enhanced microsatellite carrying 12m panchromatic and 26m multispectral Earth observation cameras. Another team, from CNTS in Algeria, will begin building a microsatellite -- the first for the international Disaster Monitoring Constellation of 5 microsatellites lead by Surrey and for which SSTL recently won UK Government funding.
With a confirmed order-book of £27M ($40M), SSTL is currently recruiting engineers and expanding its facilities.
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Further information from:
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
Audrey Nice (Press & Publicity)
Dr Wei Sun (Marketing Manager)
Prof Martin Sweeting (CEO)
Surrey Space Centre
University of Surrey
GU2 7XH UK
Tel +44 (0)1483 259 278
Fax +44 (0)1483 259 503
Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn. Bhd
Dr Ahmed Sabririn Anshad
Suite 3-2, Incubator 3
Technology Park Malaysia
57000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 8998 3107
Fax: +603 8998 3108