October 9, 2003
TÜBİTAK UZAY Releases First Images from BİLSAT-1

TUBITAK UZAY has released today the first images taken by BILSAT-1, the first Turkish remote sensing satellite, built as part of a know how and technology transfer program at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited’s Guildford facilities and launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Russian Federation on September 27th, 2003.

BILSAT-1 is a three axis stabilized, agile microsatellite weighing 129 kilograms and carries a variety of experimental payloads in addition to its two main imagers. Its main imaging payloads are a VNIR multi spectral camera with 26 metre GSD and a panchromatic camera with 12 meter GSD. The experimental payloads are a 4-band 120m GSD camera named COBAN, a TI floating point DSP based real time JPEG2000 image compression board named GEZGIN, a control moment gyro and additional capability on its GPS receiver for attitude determination. Two of these payloads, namely COBAN and GEZGIN, have been designed, built, tested and integrated onto the spacecraft by BILTEN’s engineers and technicians. The control moment gyro has been developed as a jointly supported project between, BILTEN, SSTL, the Surrey Space Centre and the European Space Agency.

The Attitude and Orbit Determination and Control System of BILSAT-1 comprises magnetometers, sun sensors, star cameras, gyroscopes, magnetorquers, reaction wheels and a cold gas propulsion system and gives BILSAT-1 the agility and stability required to image any location on the earth with great accuracy as well as a limited ability to perform orbital manoeuvres.

BILSAT-1, along with satellites from the United Kingdom, Algeria, and Nigeria is also part of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC), an international co-operative effort aimed at providing International disaster relief and management organizations, satellite imagery of any location in a disaster zone on the earth in less than 24 hours.

The images released today display some of the images taken by BILSAT-1 in the last few weeks since launch. These are images from Cape Town/S. Africa (taken on 18 Oct. 2003), İskenderun Bay/Turkey (taken on 30 Oct 2003) and Kuwait City/Kuwait (taken on 6 Nov 2003).


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