Cassegrain Camera Enables High Resolution Satellite Mapping

(10 April 2009) Optical Surfaces Ltd. has announced that it has supplied, to Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL), a Cassegrain Camera that will be a key component of the satellite platform being prepared for the NigeriaSat-2 program.

Due for launch in early 2010, NigeriaSat-2 is being built by SSTL for the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) of Nigeria. The high performance Cassegrain Camera supplied by Optical Surfaces Ltd will enable the satellite to undertake remote Earth observation tasks with a resolution of just 2.5 metres. NigeriaSat-2 will weigh about 300 kilograms at launch and carry two imagers: a 2.5m resolution panchromatic and a 5m resolution multispectral with a a swath width of 20 kilometres. This space asset will provide Nigeria with valuable geographically referenced high-resolution satellite imaging for applications in mapping, water resources management, agricultural land use, population estimation, health hazard monitoring and disaster mitigation and management.

Reflecting on their choice of supplier, Phil Davies, SSTL Business Development Manager, commented: ‘Optical Surfaces Ltd was selected to produce the Cassegrain camera because of their impressive track record in preparing high performance optical systems for satellite projects’. These projects include the ‘NASA Swift Explorer’, ‘Newton XXM’ and ‘TopSat’ which won a prestigious Popular Science award in 2006.

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 to enable the high resolution required by SSTL. Optical Surfaces Ltd applied several optical test systems for testing and integration of the Cassegrain camera into NigeriaSat-2.

Optical Surfaces Ltd has been producing 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 9001-2000 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 300 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments. Since 1981 SSTL has launched 32 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.

Based in Guildford, UK, SSTL is owned by EADS Astrium NV.

(source: Optical Surfaces & Spacenewsfeed



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