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BNSC Agency Report. to WGISS22 Annapolis, September 2006. Wyn Cudlip BNSC/QinetiQ Current Instruments ATSR2 on ERS-2 AATSR on Envisat

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Bnsc agency report

BNSC Agency Report



Annapolis, September 2006

Wyn Cudlip


Bnsc instruments missions

Current Instruments

ATSR2 on ERS-2

AATSR on Envisat

CHRIS on Proba

Disaster Management Constellation

Small Satellites

TopSat – launched October 2005.

Planned Medium Satellites

TerraSAR L-Band

BNSC Instruments/Missions


Project for On-Board Autonomy

ESA mission (on Indian Launcher in 2000)

Platform technology demonstrator

615 km sun synchronous orbit.

Free ride for:

CHRIS - Compact High-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer

SREM - Radiation measurement sensor

DDEBIE - debris measurement sensor

Wide angle Earth pointing camera

Star tracker and gyroscope



Compact High-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer

operates from 400 nm to 1050 nm

14km swath

63 bands at 36m resolution


18 bands at 18m resolution

Science Team include:

University of Swansea

ESSC, University of Reading

University of Plymouth


Disaster management constellation dmc
Disaster Management Constellation (DMC)

  • 32m res., 600km swath.

  • 5 satellites in orbit; can provide daily coverage

    • UK, Algeria, Turkey, Nigeria, China

  • Surrey Satellite (SSTL) Platform.

Terrasar l band
TerraSAR L-Band

  • Working in tandem with German TerraSAR X-Band

  • X-band: 1-3 m res.; twin polarisation.

  • L-Band: 5m res.; multi-pol

    • (HH, HV, VH, VV).

  • Launch 2007 - 5 year mission

  • 25 Products Feed into InfoTerra

    • to satisfy wide-ranging commercial market place.

  • Possible ESA involvement

Topsat summary
TopSat Summary

  • Optical imagery (at Nadir) with Ground Sampling Distance of

    • 2.8m pan (17 x 17 km)

    • 5.6m multi-spectral (12 x 12 km)

  • Sun-synchronous orbit (686km)

  • Low cost demonstrator (20M$)

  • Launched 27 October

    • All main technical objectives achieved

  • Data download to mobile antenna

Bnsc agency report


TopSat tracking and data reception

2.7m antenna

2 hours set up time

Very rapid downlinking to user – data on ground within 2 minutes of imaging


The trailer towed by a Land Rover, which contains local image processing and visualisation facilities. RAPIDS has already been demonstrated with ERS and SPOT.

Current status
Current Status

  • Launched successfully on a Cosmos rocket 27 October 2005. [07:52 BST]

  • Telemetry received on 1st UK pass

  • Orbit altitude 686km, 1045 LTAN

  • Commissioning complete – all main functionality proven

  • Ops underway – delivering images to users

Topsat follow on concepts
TopSat Follow-on Concepts

  • TopSat Plus: Similar resolution to TopSat demonstrator; greater imaging size, capacity, accuracy & greater lifetime

  • TopSat Enhanced: Pushing towards limit of current camera design, and lowering altitude to achieve 1.65m resolution (pan).

  • TopSat One Metre: Aspiration to achieve 1m resolution with low cost spacecraft – subject to developments in lightweight optics and structures

  • Low costs supports constellations to give high timeliness