ESEO: the European Student Earth Orbiter
The 50-kilogram ESEO microsatellite is now ready and waiting for launch on 2 December 2018 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher in California.
The European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO) is an ESA educational programme run in close collaboration with European Universities and aimed at complementing the academic education. Its main purpose is to provide university students with a hands-on experience.
The ESEO optical payload team has the objective to build a reliable optical payload that will resist the harsh environment of space and successfully take Earth images in the visible spectrum for scientific and public outreach purposes. As an educational goal, the team intends to gain valuable experience in the development and testing of the optical instrumentation for Earth observation purposes, while keeping to ECSS standards as a reference.
One of the objectives of the European Space Agency (ESA) student satellite ESEO is to take photos of the Earth for educational, research and outreach purposes. The possible applications of the cameras range from monitoring plankton blooms to changes in the polar ice caps.
Estonians have developed two miniature cameras for ESEO: both can take color pictures of Earth.
The optical payload consists of two miniature camera modules: a wide-angle camera (primary) and a telescopic camera (secondary). The primary camera is a slightly modified version of the ESTCube-1 optical payload, which proved resilient to cosmic conditions and provided 300 beautiful images of the Earth over a period of two labour-intensive years in orbit. The optics yield a field of view of 65.8°, and the camera has a colour image sensor with VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels).
The secondary camera is an experimental module that does not yet have a spaceflight heritage. It provides a field of view of 8.16° and features a colour image sensor with 2592 x 1944 pixels (5 MP). This results in high-resolution images, where one pixel on an image covers an area of about 23 x 23 metres.
The CAM core team is composed of two MSc students, three PhD students, and three MSc graduates. In addition to the core team, a variety of students from the University of Tartu, as well as students from various foreign universities, have contributed to the project during their internships at Tartu Observatory, University of Tartu. The payload’s possible applications range from monitoring plankton blooms to changes in the polar ice caps.
More about the ESEO Mission here.
More about the ESEO Micro Cameras here.
MEDIA ABOUT ESEO
ContactProf. Mart Noormaa (mart.noorma [ät] ut.ee)