Apollo.lv: New alternatives are searched for satellite’s «Venta-1» launch into orbit(1)
Start of an Indian carrier rocket “Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle” (PSLV) by which launch of the first Latvian satellite “Venta-1” and Italian satellite “Maxvalier” into orbit was planned, again is being cancelled on indefinite time. Currently alternative solutions for the satellite’s launch are searched – an agency LETA was informed by development coordinator of the satellite “Venta-1” Dana Reizniece-Ozola.
““Venta-1” is ready, and we do not want to wait therefore we are intensively searching new alternatives,” pointed Reizniece-Ozola. “Currently the most realistic option is a Russian carrier rocket “Cosmos”, however discussion with Indians will still be continued. Also an opportunity to launch Latvian satellite with American carrier rocket “Falcon9” was considered but fee for such service would be too high,” said Reizniece-Ozola.
“When searching opportunities to launch the satellite “Venta-1” into orbit, not only costs are important but also an orbit. Equatorial orbit is not appropriate, because it is relevant for the “Venta-1” to fly over Latvia,” explained Reizniece-Ozola.
At the end of this year, a planned start of another Indian polar orbit carrier rocket offered an opportunity to launch the satellite weighing four kilograms but it is invalid for «Ventai-1» which weighs 7.5 kilograms. “We decided not to minimise “Venta-1” due to important experiments on it – a “Plug-And-Play” module and new “Luxspace”, Automatic Identification System antenna,” added Reizniece-Ozola.
“At the same time we are coordinating frequency required for the “Venta-1” operation with the Electronic Communications Office. Coordination of satellite frequencies also is very labour-intensive task; Latvia had no experience with that by now,” informed Reizniece-Ozola.
The satellite “Venta-1” is meant for traffic Automatic Identification System implementation with satellite system developed by German space technology company “OHB-System AG”. University of Bremen is also involved in the project but Latvia is represented by participation of Ventspils University College and Ventspils High Technology Park.
A lecturer of the University of Bremen and scientist of the company “OHB Technology AG” Indulis Kalniņš which used to live and work in Latvia till 1989 informed that the main cargo of the satellite “Venta-1” will be the Automatic Identification System receiver. This system ensures opportunity to receive information of ships traffic all over the world in actual time.
A separate module on the satellite “Venta-1” will own a Swedish enterprise “Microtec AAT” with aim to test technology “Plug-And-Play” developed for the American military needs – informed Kalniņš.
During development not only weight but also a shape of the satellite has been changed. At the beginning it was expected to be slightly smaller. “Now it has doubled – if any of the elements goes out of order the satellite does not lose its capability to operate. The satellite “Venta-1” has become very professional, and we can hope for its long-time operation in space,” emphasised Kalniņš.
The satellite “Venta-1” will have three Earth stations receiving signals transmitted by it. The main Earth station will be at the Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center in Irbene, a reserve station will be in Bremen, Germany. It is planned that there will be also the third Earth station in South Tyrol, Italy.
As already announced, on August 31, this year, the first Latvian satellite “Venta-1” was presented at the Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center. The satellite is computer-sized and corresponds to nanosatellite’s class. The main task of the satellite will be the supervision and navigation of ship traffic. It will detect identification signals of ships and transmit them to ground services. It will also be able to send small text messages to ships. Besides, a shooting camera of Earth’s surface pictures as well as satellite laser range-finder reflector for research purposes are planned to be built in into cosmic device.
An article published on December 29, 2011 on Apollo.lv.