ÅAC and the Mauritius Research Council, MRC (mrc.org.mu), have signed a contract to formalize the collaboration to deliver a 1U CubeSat and mission services for their pioneering Mauritian Infrared Satellite (MIR-SAT1) mission. The company will supply a fully integrated 1U CubeSat alongside a comprehensive mission service which includes, training, ground station delivery and operations support. The contract value amounts to £325,000 (approx. 3.8 MSEK) and will be delivered during 2019.
AAC Clyde will support the development of the payload and will integrate the spacecraft in its Glasgow facility whilst training the MRC engineering staff on Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT) of the spacecraft. This is supplemented by a comprehensive support package that includes the supply and installation of a ground station in Mauritius and support for the launch activities and Early Orbit Phase operations.
The training will leverage the AAC Clyde 13 years’ experience in delivering nanosatellite solutions and aims to ensure the long-term presence of MRC in the international space community. It will significantly contribute to the knowledge of nanosatellite technologies in Mauritius.
"We’re delighted to be part of this collaborative project which is a key enabler for space-based activities in the region. This project illustrates the accessibility of small satellite technology as well as its usefulness, as it transforms Mauritius into a spacefaring nation," says Iraklis Hatziathanasiou, VP Business Development AAC Clyde.
The Republic of Mauritius’s pilot spacecraft is primarily a technology demonstration mission which will use a longwave infrared (LWIR) thermal camera (main payload) to collect images of Mauritius and the surrounding regions. The mission also incorporates a secondary payload aiming to demonstrate communications capabilities through an S-band transmission system that will broadcast an update to an islet of the Republic of Mauritius using the on-board communication subsystem. The 1U satellite, MIR-SAT1, will be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) through the Japanese experimental deployment module "Kibo".
"This is a key milestone in the development of our space-based capabilities, resources and networking within the global space industry. This project will promote and accelerate interest in small satellites technology in our country and would enable Mauritius to develop innovative solutions through data analytics and take informed decisions for a number of societal challenges, such as, connectivity with remote islands, active management of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and crop yields improvement," says Dr Arjoon Suddhoo, Executive Director of MRC.