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HSE University’s First Satellite Travels 478.7 Million km

HSE University’s First Satellite Travels 478.7 Million km

© iStock

The satellite entered orbit two years ago. The launch of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket with a Fregat upper stage and 38 satellites on board, including CubeSX-HSE, took place on March 22, 2021 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

HSE University’s satellite was developed jointly by experts and students from the Laboratory of Space Vehicles and Systems’ Functional Safety of the HSE Tikhonov Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM HSE) and Sputnix, a privately owned space company.

CubeSX-HSE is a small spacecraft comprising three blocks (each of which is approximately 10 cm x 10 cm) mounted on a single frame. One of the units holds a flywheel assembly that orients the vehicle in space, the second includes all the boards for operating the satellite, and the third is entirely dedicated to the payload—a camera for remote sensing of the Earth.

The vehicle is based on the OrbiCraft-Pro 3U CubeSat platform, one of the company’s products, and is equipped with an experimental Fresnel lens camera developed at Samara University with a high-speed X-band transmitter. The satellite's control systems were developed by MIEM HSE staff and students.

In two years, the satellite has travelled 478.7 million km and made 11,000 complete orbits around the Earth. Its average speed is 7.59 km/s. The altitude of the satellite's orbit is 569.8 km at apogee and 537.3 km at perigee.

During its stay in orbit, the device has taken about 320 pictures of the Earth's surface. At the same time, remote sensing of the Earth in the visible spectrum—monitoring the state of the planet's surface, meteorological surveys and tracking large-scale changes—is only part of its work.

In addition to photographing, the spacecraft also has a second task: conducting pilot tests of equipment, both functional boards and payloads. It studies their reliability, durability, and quality of work.

Telemetry reception and satellite control are handled by employees of the Laboratory of Space Vehicles and Systems’ Functional Safety and students of HSE MIEM in a specially established mission control centre.

Signals from the satellite first go to a Zavitok-M VHF receiving and transmitting station, which is also where commands to the satellite are sent. The complex facilitates the reception of telemetry from small spacecraft in low-earth orbit and the transmission of control commands to them.

Regular engagement in satellite control and telemetry processing allows students to improve their competencies in working with Linux and other software, study the principles of radio signal modulation and its analogue-to-digital conversion, learn to work with Software Defined Radio (SDR), and acquire skills in working with mathematical models, filters and complex algorithms.

Alexey Kovalenko, engineer at the Laboratory of Space Vehicles and Systems’ Functional Safety

Student satellites are excellent educational tools that help promising researchers understand the basic principles of space systems and the specifics of scientific experiments. It’s worth noting that the creation and launch of student satellites is not only an achievement in the field of space technology, but also a great way to make science and these technologies more accessible to education and society as a whole.

Images taken by the satellite are posted on the laboratory's website.

See also:

HSE University Satellites: Three Years in Orbit

In March 2024, HSE University celebrated an important milestone — the third anniversary of the successful operation in orbit of its first CubeSX-HSE and CubeSX-Sirius-HSE satellites. These spacecraft, created on the basis of the CubeSat platform for Earth observation, continue to function actively, confirming high technological standards and reliability of the university's developments.

‘We Control the Flight of Small Spacecraft’: How HSE University Launches Satellites

Following the meeting with participants of the 3rd Young Scientists Congress, Russian President Vladimir Putin assigned the government to include the creation and launch of small spacecraft in a new national project. Universities will also be involved in the project. Dmitrii Abrameshin, Head of the Mission Control Centre at the Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics at HSE University, spoke about the mechanism of small satellites and which satellites have already been launched by HSE University.

The Path to the Stars: How HSE University Launches Satellites and Gathers Talent

The CubeSX-HSE-3 satellite, created by staff and students of HSE MIEM and based on the OrbiCraft-Pro 3U platform developed by the SPUTNIX private space company, was launched into low-Earth orbit in June. It is the third research vehicle developed at HSE University as part of the SPACE-π project. The HSE University team plans to launch another spacecraft in December 2023 and in the future, it plans to launch two CubeSats into orbit per year. In a special report for the HSE News Service, HSE University’s Project and Educational Laboratory of Economic Journalism explains what HSE University’s satellites do in space and what kind of work goes into them on Earth.

HSE University’s Third Satellite Launched from Vostochny Cosmodrome

The small CubeSX-HSE-3 spacecraft was created by students and staff of the HSE Tikhonov Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics. It is based on the OrbiCraft-Pro 3U platform by Sputnix. The work was carried out as part of the Space-π project with support from the Innovation Support Fund.

In Space with MIEM: All Systems Go!

On April 12th, the traditional Big Space Break took place at the HSE MIEM. This interactive event for students and staff was organized by specialists from the Laboratory of Space Vehicles and Systems' Functional Safety.

Second HSE University Satellite Launched from Baikonur

On August 9, a Soyuz 2.1b rocket launched with a payload of HSE University’s second satellite, which will monitor the land surface of the Arctic region. HSE MIEM Deputy Director Andrey Abrameshin spoke about the university’s space plans, while Top Class competition winner Alexey Gilenko shared his impressions of the launch at Baikonur Cosmodrome.

HSE University Is Preparing to Launch its Second Satellite into Space

Only one year ago, the first HSE University satellite, developed by specialists and students from the Laboratory of Space Vehicles and Systems’ Functional Safety of the HSE Tikhonov Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM HSE) and the Sputnix space company, was launched into orbit. And now, the date of the second HSE University’s satellite launch has been announced: Roscosmos will send it into space from Baikonur Cosmodrome on August 9th, 2022.

'Our Work Will Be Useful in the Search for Earth Twins’

Why is space so fascinating? Who is hindered by the Earth's geocorona? What personal qualities are essential for a research physicist, and how will academic careers regain their prestige? These were the questions that came up in HSE News Service’s interview of Igor Balyukin, a Senior Lecturer of the HSE Faculty of Physics and the winner of the 'Best Work Performed by Young Scientists' nomination category of the RAS Space Research Institute competition.

Dust Cloud around the Moon

HSE researchers, together with colleagues from Space Research Institute of RAS, MIPT, and the University of Colorado, ventured to find out where the plasma-dust cloud around the Moon comes from. To do this, they compared theoretical calculations with experimental data and theorized that this cloud likely consists of matter that rose from the Moon’s surface as a result of meteoroid collisions.