The second Polish scientific satellite – BRITE-PL Heweliusz – is currently undergoing assembly. The satellite will be probable launched before the end of 2014.
BRITE-PL is the name of a Polish scientific satellite project which consists of two satellites: BRITE-PL Lem and BRITE-PL Heweliusz. The two are part of a bigger scientific BRITE (BRIght-star Target Explorer) consortium. All together, six BRITE satellites are to be placed into orbit – two of them (Canadian UniBRITE and Austrian TUGSAT-1) have already been launched on 25th of February onboard a Indian PSLV rocket.
The BRITE-PL Lem satellite is already assembled and fully tested. Before the end of this year the BRITE-PL Lem should be launched into orbit onboard a Dnepr rocket. If this flight is successful, then Poland with gain its second satellite – after the student PW-Sat cubesat, which was launched in February 2012 on the maiden flight of the Vega rocket.
The second BRITE-PL satellite, Heweliusz, is being assembled at the moment. Its various subsystems are integrated into the satellite structure. This is a very delicate and precise process and it is being done in a clean-room at the Polish Space Research Center (CBK) in Warsaw.
Once BRITE-PL Heweliusz is assembled, it will undergo a set of various tests. Among them are vibration tests, simulating the conditions during the launch and check-ups in a thermal-vacuum chamber. These tests should last for several next months, probably up to 2014.
As for the BRITE-PL Heweliusz launch, some details have recently emerged, which suggests that CBK is finishing the negotiation process with a launch provider. The launch is also scheduled to happen October 2014 NET and BRITE-PL Heweliusz will be a secondary payload. So far, neither the name of a rocket nor the launch site have been specified.