SAB Aerospace to take TalTech nano-satellite to space
On November 22, Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) presented a student satellite. At the same time, Rector Jaak Aaviksoo and Marco Marian, CEO of SAB Aerospace, an aviation and space transportation company, signed a cooperation agreement for integrating the TalTech nano-satellite to a space shuttle and sending it to the orbit.
The nano-satellite with unique data communications and cryptographic solutions created by TalTech students and researchers will be delivered to SAB Aerospace for the integration into a space shuttle in March 2019. The orbit is scheduled for summer 2019.
The four years of satellite construction is the first in Estonia to carry out Earth observation and deliver high-quality images and videos by composite and near-infrared cameras. In addition, a number of important scientific experiments with the satellite are being conducted, and it will communicate with the Earth-station to be built shortly in the TalTech campus.
According to Rector of TalTech, Jaak Aaviksoo, the student satellite project has been one of the largest interdisciplinary study projects in Estonia in the course of four years. "This is a major step forward in the scientific sense for TalTech," said Jaak Aaviksoo, adding that the key contribution of bright-minded students is the key to taking this step.
According to Rauno Gordon, Head of Space Centre of TalTech Innovation and Business Centre, the TalTech satellite is an innovation in many respects, that is, the crew has realised certain technological updates for the first time in the world on such a small satellite. "For example, for the first time in a small cube-satellite (10 x 10 x 10 cm), there is high-frequency data communication, which ensures downloading of high-quality photos," Gordon explained. For the first time, the X-band 10.5 GHz high-speed data communication is used for such a small satellite, availability tests of computer technology, innovative image processing and several other scientific experiments are also being carried out. The orbit of the satellite crosses the Earth's poles and it is going to fly at a height of 500 km from the Earth.
The TalTech Space Program was launched in 2014. Today, more than 200 TalTech students from different faculties, from engineering and information technology to economics, have participated in the program. For students, this has been a good opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in the most important field of space industry - Earth observation.