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Aalto-1 is the first Finnish nanosatellite project

To provide inspiration and challenge to our students, Aalto University intends to build the first Finnish nanosatellite as a student project. The satellite project brings together a consortium of Space Technology experience in Aalto, Finnish space industry and Finnish top universities for the benefit of our students.

The satellite project is coordinated by Department of Radio Science and Engineering and supported by Space Technology teaching. In the project participate also Aalto University Department of Automation and Systems Technology, Department of Communications and Networking, Department of Applied Mechanics and addittionally Department of  Physics of University of Helsinki (HY), Department of Physics and Astronomy of University of Turku (UTU), VTT, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Aboa Space Research Oy, Oxford Instruments Analytical Oy and other Finnish companies. The consortium will expand  in the future. 

Project status

The feasibility study and the preliminary design of the satellite have been made by Aalto University students during the spring semester 2010. The main requirement for the satellite is a realistic implementation of an innovative Finnish space instrument. The goal was achieved. Several excellent instruments were found and most of them are included in the proposed satellite.

Aalto-1 preliminary design specifications

  • CubeSat based 3U design
  • Main payload: imaging spectrometer (VTT) 
  • Weight: 3 kg
  • Orbit: Sun-synchronous noon LEO
  • Attitude: 3 axis stabilized
  • Communication: VHF-UHF housekeeping S-band data transfer
  • Solar powered, max power 8 W
  • Secondary payloads:
  • Digital Camera (Aalto, Nokia)
  • Radiation detector (HY, UTU)
  • Lightning detector (Nokia, Aalto)
  • Accelerometer system (Aalto)
  • Electrostatic plasma sail (FMI)

Scientific mission

The main payload of the satellite is a novel tiny Fabry-Perot imaging spectrometer, developed by VTT, Finland. The main scientific goal of the mission is to demonstrate the feasibility of MEMS Fabry-Perot spectrometers for space applications. This miniature technology can be used in nanosatellites for large a variety of remote sensing applications in the future.
Measured high spectral resolution images are tested in water quality monitoring and land use classification.
All secondary payloads are innovative miniature instruments and each of them has a specific scientific mission.