Neptec UK has begun preparations for a future CubeSat mission called IRSAT-1. This mission will launch Neptec UK’s miniaturized Earth Observation IR Camera in a 3U CubeSat into Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
The miniaturized IR camera payload has been developed and designed for use in nanosatellites and features very low mass, volume and power. Development of the flight camera has been funded by the UK Space Agency.
In collaboration with Satellite Applications Catapult Ltd. Neptec UK mapped the current and planned higher altitude satellites that have infrared (IR) capabilities. We then identified a market niche for Neptec UK’s lower level altitude missions which will provide much better resolution and more frequent passes than other satellites at a small fraction of the cost.
The objective of the test flight mission will be to monitor thermal activity on earth from Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The activities that will be monitored will include volcano activity, urban heat loss, weather, search and rescue, ocean shipping, iceberg tracking and forest fires.
At the conclusion of our test flight, we will share the collected data with our User Committee and will then together plan a constellation of 3U CubeSats which will provide end users with the information that they need.
Cygnus Image credit NASA