UK Launches Advanced TopSat Micro-Satellite Experiment

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TopSat Concept(click to view full) TopSat is a low cost, high capability micro-satellite designed and built by a QinetiQ-led consortium of British companies. After some initial launch delays, it was successfully launched on October 27, 2005 from the Plesetsk launch site in Northern Russia, along with micro-satellites from China, Iran, and Russia. The launch was the culmination of a project that began in 2000 and was jointly funded by the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and the UK Ministry of Defence. TopSat is attracting increasing interest from international government and commercial interests because it’s designed to provide 2.5 meter resolution imagery at about 20% of the cost of larger satellites with similar capabilities. It is part of Britain’s larger Micro Satellite Applications in Collaboration (MOSAIC) program. TopSat RAPIDS The platform consists of an advanced optical camera, which is able to collect 17 x 17 km images of the earth with a black and white resolution of 2.86 metres and a colour resolution of 5 metres. This optical camera is integrated with an agile micro-satellite platform to permit pitch compensation manoeuvres, allowing imaging of low illumination scenes. TopSat will be able to address many remote sensing applications including disaster relief, environmental […]

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