Ecuadorian TV CubeSats pass qualification tests in the Netherlands

CubeSat NEE-01 Pegasus

CubeSat NEE-01 Pegasus – Image credit EXA

EXA Announcement: Guayaquil, March 13, 2013. – The Ecuadorian satellites NEE-01 PEGASUS and NEE-02 KRYSAOR passed all qualification tests for space flight and launch vehicle integration for the Chinese and Russian rockets and are now ready to take off the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency – EXA reported.

In February a joint team from the Ecuadorian government and EXA traveled to the Netherlands laboratories of spaceflight company ISIS / ISL who are managing the launch of the two CubeSats. NEE-01 and NEE-02 underwent qualification tests and passed these demanding tests smoothly.

Ronnie Nader with Elisse Nader and CubeSat

Ronnie Nader with Elisse Nader and CubeSat

A certificate was issued regarding acceptance and qualification of the satellites.

The EXA announcement said NEE-01 PEGASUS and NEE-02 KRYSAOR are the first CubeSats designed and developed entirely in Latin America, without help or support from abroad.

“This is a major milestone in our history and the history of the region, now our space technology is qualified for Russian and Chinese launch vehicles and to survive the space environment. The satellites passed the tests without any problems and now we await the launch of the first, the NEE-01 PEGASUS in the first half of May and the second in the latter half of July” said Ronnie Nader, Director of Space Operations EXA and leader of the team that designed and built the satellite.

Both satellites were designed and built by EXA engineers who donated their work voluntarily, the Ecuadorian Government financed the launch and testing.

EXA and the Ecuadorian government are engaging in ​​joint projects to ensure full utilization of the satellites, for both scientific and educational purposes.

NEE-02 Krysaor - Image credit EXA

NEE-02 Krysaor – Image credit EXA

The launch of the NEE-01 had been scheduled for November last year aboard a Russian Dnepr rocket, but the launch was postponed to July this year, and it was decided to launch NEE-01 on a Chinese Long March CZ-2D rocket The satellites had to meet the launch requirements of both vehicles, which was a skill level higher than previously achieved by the Ecuadorian engineers.

Source of text above: translated by Google.

Each CubeSat is just 10x10x10 cm (1U) and they have fold-out solar panels which give a total span of 70 cm. They will each carry a 0.9 watt output 720p HD TV transmitter and a beacon which will send a Morse Code ID, a SSTV image and Ecuador’s national anthem. It is understood that NEE-01 will operate on 910 MHz in the 33cm band, an amateur radio allocation in a number of countries, while NEE-02 will be on 980 MHz.

Educational outreach is an important part of the project. The satellite signals will be received and decoded by the EXA HERMES-A ground station in Guayaquil and then uploaded live to the Internet using Facebook and Twitter; the first signal will contain text book questions and the second will contain an image related to the question. If the students are able to answer the question correctly they will be granted access to the video camera on board the spacecraft and will be able to see Earth from space as the astronauts see it in their space missions. More advanced students will have access to the pure radio signal so they can try decoding it by themselves.

EXA indicate NEE-01 Pegasus is expected to launch on a Long March CZ-2D rocket from the Jiuquan Space Center on April 26 at 0413 UT and NEE-02 KRYSAOR on a Dnepr rocket from Dombarovsky near Yasny in the second half of July 2013.

Two TV CubeSats from Ecuador