After the successful Nanosatellite VZLUSAT-1, the Czech Aerospace Research Centre (VZLU) will launch second satellite into orbit - the VZLUSAT-2 will be equipped with an experimental earth observation camera.
Launch of the second satellite is the next step in VZLU's strategic plan Space 2030, which aims to create a first Czech constellation of satellites in low-orbit by 2030 prepared to meet various customer requirements. The first missions will be focused on Earth observation in various modes.
The main task of VZLUSAT-2 is therefore to verify technologies for subsequent missions - in addition to experimental camera, satellite will be equipped with a unit for precise positioning and also with the next generation of devices that have already proven to be successful on the previous satellite VZLUSAT-1.
“Despite advanced test facilities here on Earth, it is still necessary to test new technologies directly in space, and nanosatellites are perfect tool for such thing. This is the reason why we are preparing VZLUSAT-2 and, in a short sequence, a third satellite - VZLUSAT-3, which will offer the opportunity to verify technologies of private companies which need to acquire so-called “flight heritage”, a proof that their equipment has been proven in space. Such companies can later apply as sub-contractors for ESA missions, for example.” Adds Juraj Dudáš, head of VZLU satellite systems team.
Nanosatellites are based on the well-proven cubesat concept, which allows to “compile cubes” of 10 x 10 x 10 cm according to the type of mission. In case of VZLUSAT-2, concept of 3U design with three “cubes” has been selected, allowing the installation of an experimental camera and other experiments.
A new satellite systems department, which has been opened in Brno at the end of last year, is also being involved in satellite preparation. The department in Brno helped significantly to increase capacities of VZLU necessary for future space projects.
The satellite is scheduled to be launched by the end of 2020 on Space X's Falcon 9 rocket.