Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has confirmed the successful launch of KazSTSAT, a small Earth observation satellite jointly developed by SSTL and JV Ghalam LLP, a joint venture between JSC "National Company Kazakhstan Garysh Sapary" (KGS) and Airbus Defence and Space. The satellite was launched into a 575 km sun-synchronous orbit on board Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Base on 3rd December 2018.
Sarah Parker, Managing Director of SSTL said “I am pleased to confirm that following separation from the launch vehicle a joint commissioning team here in Guildford have successfully made contact with KazSTSAT and established that all initial systems checks are nominal. I would like to congratulate our customer Ghalam on their new Earth Observation satellite and look forward to seeing the first mission results from the spacecraft soon.”
"It is a great event for us, this is the first mission in which the Ghalam team participated rather than being involved in its design, assembly and testing, and which also has a number of Kazakh technologies on board. We are very pleased with our partnership with SSTL and are grateful to our British partners for invaluable experience our team got in a truly collaborative environment"- said Ghalam CEO, Aibergen Ruslanuly.
KazSTSAT has a mass of 105kg and will acquire image data at 18.7 m GSD with a swath width of 275 km. The spacecraft carries several experimental and demonstration units, including a beyond diffraction limit imager, a sun sensor, and a novel OBCARM. KazSTSAT will be operated by Ghalam, using a fully virtualized ground segment with S/X-band software defined back-ends deployed at KSAT ground stations in Svalbard and a technology demonstration ground station in Astana.
KazSTSAT is the second satellite SSTL has worked on with Kazakhstan; KazEOSat-2, a medium resolution satellite designed and manufactured by SSTL for KGS, was launched in 2014.