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PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND INDUSTRY Briefing by SunSpace. Bart Cilliers & Ron Olivier 1 September 2009. www.sunspace.co.za. Objectives. Brief overview of satellites Current & future industry developments Our role in local and international space industry
Bart Cilliers & Ron Olivier
1 September 2009
Brief overview of satellites
Current & future industry developments
Our role in local and international space industry
Sumbandilasat – what is it and what is it good for?
International space treaties
Geostationary satellites – GEO
Main suppliers: Thales Alenia Space (Fr), EADS Astrium (Fr), Lockheed Martin (Usa), Ball Aerospace (Usa), Boeing (Usa), etc
Market cap: Mainly publicly listed from around 4 to 100 billion US $
Satellites costs: From around 0,25 to 1 billion US$
Medium earth orbit satellites – MEO
Main suppliers: Same as above + few others
Satellites costs: Vary widely according to size
Low earth orbit satellites – LEO
Main Suppliers: SSTL (Eng), SunSpace (RSA), Satreci (Kor), Astrotech (Usa), SpaceDev (Usa), etc
Market caps: Mainly privately owned from around 4 to 100+ million US$
Satellites costs: From around 1 to 250 million US$ according to size
GEO = COMMUNICATIONS
LEO = IMAGING
MEO = NAVIGATION
Large Imaging LEO satellites
Some examples: Pleiades , Spot 5 (All Fr), Orbview, Ikonos, Quickbird (all Usa), Ofeq (Isr), Kompsat (Kor), Cartosat (Ind).
Weight: 900 to 2850 kg
Performance: 0,41 to 5m GSD (Multispectral)
Estimated cost: 200 to 500 million US$
Small and medium LEO satellites
Some examples: RapidEye (Ger), Nigeriasat -2 (Eng), Alsat-2 (Fr), DubaiSat (Kor), Sumbandilasat (RSA)
Weight: 85 to 230 kg
Performance: 5-6.25m Ground Sampling Distance (Multispectral)
Estimated cost: 8 to 50 million US$
International LEO satellite industry structure
Countries with space heritage provide in their own needs & those who require access
SunSpace is building upon its South African heritage with the objective of entering the developing world market with further products
Why small LEO?
Affordable access to space - existing heritage
Complex technical challenges without the cost of large programs
Developing world is waking up to small satellite possibilities
Growing international demand for small satellites – TACSAT as example
International small satellite industry
Many countries competing for developing world small satellite orders
SunSpace competing as part of team RSA
Local space industry
SunSpace is part of a large number small RSA companies that contribute to local space effort
SunSpace provides both small satellite hardware and software as well as expert training for small satellite design, development testing and operations engineers.
The international competition is won only as a national team effort
What is it?
84 kg earth observation satellite with a multispectral imaging of 6.25m GSD at 500km. Can see the same point in RSA every 3-4 days.
Pathfinder objective is to increase scientific and engineering knowledge in space systems
Satellite contains some heritage, some newly developed systems
What is it good for?
Designed and tested for operational use –provide scientifically useful images if operating as per design specifications
Images will provide further scientific information for assessing ground cover, agricultural crop analysis, forestry composition analysis, water analysis and land use applications
Provide clear indication of progress in RSA technical design, manufacturing and operating capabilities to the international community
Signal for high level technical expatriates to return to our country
GEO (we do not operate there)
Mandatory requirement for safe removal of satellite from orbit.
Safe removal applies also to the GTO and the insertion rockets
Safe removal mechanisms built into the satellite design
Proof of operation for safe removal mechanisms required before launch
MEO (we do not operate there)
Removal requirements are not stringent or enforced
No parked orbital slot in relation to terra location
LEO (Yes, we operate here)
No mandatory control
Technical expertise required to launch into an unoccupied orbit
Some local controls for space
Missile Technology Regime – NPC (DTI),
Prohibits and controls the transfer of technologies in spacecraft for use in intercontinental ballistic missiles
Wassenaar Arrangement – NCACC (DOD),
Control and tracks specific technologies used in spacecraft to prohibit their re-use in conventional arms such as other missiles or targeting systems
Council on Space Affairs – (DTI), ICASA – (DOC)
Controls the launch of all spacecraft from South African soil and South African spacecraft from other countries.
International LEO Orbit Issues
The UN COPUOS is trying to introduce legislation to limit or eliminate LEO space debris, but accept that existing debris cannot be removed because:
There is too much debris comprised of separation hardware and spent rocket final stages and the like.
There is no affordable existing system that could be used to remove the existing debris.
The UN COPUOS accordingly is concentrating on promoting the responsible use of space as the only practical means to limit or avoid the proliferation of space debris. The most important items of space debris to be avoided is the following:
Since the titanium tanks used for hydrazine do not burn up upon re-entry, they have to be completely vented (emptied) at end of life to avoid contamination when they fall back to earth as hydrazine is extremely poisonous.
The use of nuclear reactors to power satellites in LEO orbit are now regarded as irresponsible space use in the extreme. Most responsible nations will not launch any LEO satellite with a nuclear reactor power source. Nuclear power sources are the only possibility for outer space exploration missions where insufficient solar energy is available.
UN COPUOS treaties
LEO orbit space bodies are difficult to regulate without international cooperation forums such as the UN COPUOS
Access to international markets for satellite manufacturers such as ourselves depends on our country being seen as a responsible space user
UN treaties provides internationally recognised platform for responsible use by guarding against misuse of orbits, launches and provide legal cover for when space debris lands on one’s soil
Recommendation on UN treaties
SunSpace gives its unqualified support to the 2 UN treaties namely the Liability Convention and the Registration Convention under consideration and urges Parliament to ratify both!