Session

Session III: Mission Payload

SSC09-III-8.pdf (576 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

MDA, together with its UK partner RAL, has been developing its next generation of operational class smallsat submeter imaging systems. This development will provide an operational half-meter class solution with long lifetime and world class image quality at a dramatically reduced price point. To achieve this, MDA is leveraging heavily from the recently launched RADARSAT-2 and RapidEye missions, and also from the technology developed for the Topsat mission launched in 2005. The system contains a number of innovations that are in the process of being patented. This paper describes the unique camera and associated satellite design that is under development to provide 0.5 m GSD from 500 km altitude. This includes an Active On-Orbit Optics (AO3) system to actively align the optics in space, and a jitter suppression system. The spacecraft bus is configured around the camera to make it compact, while providing easy access to the subsystems. Its size allows it to be launched on low cost launch vehicles, either single or a constellation. Its small size provides for high agility using conventional low-cost reaction wheels. MDA’s experience in the ground systems for sub-meter class images for both DigitalGlobe and GeoEye ensures that the system will provide exceptional image quality.

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Aug 11th, 10:15 AM

Operational Class Smallsat System for Sub-Metre Resolution Imaging

MDA, together with its UK partner RAL, has been developing its next generation of operational class smallsat submeter imaging systems. This development will provide an operational half-meter class solution with long lifetime and world class image quality at a dramatically reduced price point. To achieve this, MDA is leveraging heavily from the recently launched RADARSAT-2 and RapidEye missions, and also from the technology developed for the Topsat mission launched in 2005. The system contains a number of innovations that are in the process of being patented. This paper describes the unique camera and associated satellite design that is under development to provide 0.5 m GSD from 500 km altitude. This includes an Active On-Orbit Optics (AO3) system to actively align the optics in space, and a jitter suppression system. The spacecraft bus is configured around the camera to make it compact, while providing easy access to the subsystems. Its size allows it to be launched on low cost launch vehicles, either single or a constellation. Its small size provides for high agility using conventional low-cost reaction wheels. MDA’s experience in the ground systems for sub-meter class images for both DigitalGlobe and GeoEye ensures that the system will provide exceptional image quality.