BRITE-PL Lem 07.12.2013 status update

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BRITE-PL Lem is the second Polish satellite. It was launched into orbit on the 21st of November 2013 onboard a Dnepr rocket. The satellite is functioning properly and regular communication sessions take place.

The orbit parameters of BRITE-PL Lem are as following:

  • perigee: 594 km,
  • apogee: 886 km,
  • inclination: 97.98 degrees,
  • orbital period: 99.6 minutes.

Most of the satellites launched on this Dnepr share approximately the same perigee, but their apogee is lower (600 to 800 km). The BRITE-PL Lem orbital parameters are similar to the WNISat-1 satellite, which was also launched in this flight.

Within 24 hours from launch the LEOP (Launch and Early Orbit Phase) was finished. Currently the commissioning phase is ongoing, which already completed its first part by the end of November. In this phase various satellite subsystems are checked.

By the 25th of November the LFFT (Long Form Functional Tests) of one of the onboard computers (designated as HKC) were finished. In the following days the ADCC onboard computer was started, which is responsible for the satellite’s spatial orientation. The ADCC software was uploaded to the satellite on the 28th of November.

The full housekeeping data set was also received. As example, the diagram below shows the temperature of a satellite plate. The temperature is changing in accordance to the BRITE-PL Lem orbital movement – it is lower (max low -8 degrees Celcius) in the Earth’s shadow and higher (max up to +24 degrees Celcius) on the sunlight side.

Work in the next weeks will involve calibration tests of the satellite optical system, which is responsible for the BRITE-PL science package. At the same time final preparations are going on for the launch of BRITE-PL Heweliusz. It should launch on a Chinese CZ-2B rocket by the end of the year. Currently liftoff is projected for the 29th of December, probably between 2:00 and 5:00 UTC.

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