The first high resolution satellite imagery has been released from NigeriaSat-2 – a 300kg class earth observation satellite manufactured by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) for the Nigerian space agency (NASRDA).
Benefiting from a high performance Camera with optical components manufactured by Optical Surfaces Ltd (Kenley, UK) – the satellite has been able to capture stunning 2.5m resolution images enabling detailed analysis of ground structures, aircraft and vehicles.
NigeriaSat-2 carries two imagers: a 2.5m resolution panchromatic and a 5m resolution multispectral with a swath width of 20 kilometres. Using proprietary production techniques, Optical Surfaces’ skilled craftsmen produced the 385mm light-weighted primary mirror, and other optics in the Cassegrain camera, with a surface accuracy of lambda/20 p-v that has enabled the high resolution images taken by the satellite.
During disasters, NigeriaSat-2 will complement its fellow Disaster Monitoring Constellation satellites by using its high resolution imager to “zoom in” on areas of interest and determine if individual buildings are damaged, bridges destroyed or roads impassable. It is also the first satellite in the African Resource Management (ARM) constellation. Nigeria’s national space agency (NASRDA) also plans to harness the satellite’s new capabilities and fast image downloading to map the entire country in detail every four months. The high resolution and geo-location accuracy of the satellite make it possible to monitor urban development in sprawling cities such as Lagos, and for planning infrastructure such as roads. Geospatial data will also be used to update the land registry with accurate and current information.
Optical Surfaces Ltd has produced optical components and systems for more than 45 years and is now accepted as one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of high-precision optics for satellite deployment and astronomical research. The company’s ISO 9001-2008 approved manufacturing workshops and test facilities are deep underground in a series of tunnels excavated in solid chalk where temperature remains constant and vibration is practically non-existent. With such stable conditions testing, particularly with long path lengths, becomes quantifiable and reliable. Working with these natural advantages is a highly skilled team of craftsmen with a commitment to excellence in both product quality and customer service.
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world’s leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The company design, manufacture and operate high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with spacecraft, with 400 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments. Since 1981 SSTL has launched 36 satellites as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA and commercial customers which are changing the economics of space.