First photos by Geoscan-Edelveis received from space

First photos by Geoscan-Edelveis received from space
First photos by Geoscan-Edelveis received from space

Two weeks have passed since our satellite Geoscan-Edelveis went into orbit. On the first day of its flight our team established communication with it, sent signals in order to collect information from the sensors, and received the answers. The spacecraft is in orbit inclined at 97° at the altitude of 458х494 km and works within the amateur radio range at 436,2 MHz (its call sign is RS20S).

Geoscan-Edelveis’s track and the Geoscan ground station in Saint Petersburg (Base 1)

Geoscan-Edelveis’s track and the Geoscan ground station in Saint Petersburg (Base 1)

On 17 August, at 10:40 (Moscow time), during the session from our ground station we received the first photo, having sent a command to the CubeSat to turn on its camera! The Kandalaksha Gulf located in Murmansk Province and Karelia was shot. During next session at 12:00 we turned on the camera again, and it took a picture of Copenhagen.

The quality of the photos received is not high with the image size of 640х480 and the file size of 16-63 kB. Having said that, the camera mounted on Geoscan-Edelveis is not supposed to be used for remote sensing; it helps to determine spacecraft’s orientation.

The first pictures were taken after the direct commands from the ground station. As a result, the North-West District and the Baltics were shot. On 23 August, we sent to the satellite a flight mission with specific time moments for taking pictures. Thus, we received a photo of Africa!

Spacecraft’s reaction wheel and magnetic coils were turned off till this week. The CubeSat flew disorientated, slowly spinning on all axes. As a consequence, the Sun and space were shot as well. These days we are testing an algorithm to stabilise the satellite, and after that we are going to orientate it in necessary states.

One of the tasks of Geoscan-Edelveis is to communicate with radio amateurs worldwide. For these purposes, Geoscan and the community R4UAB plan to launch a QSL programme soon. Nowadays, an amateur radio telemetry protocol is available to extract the original information-bearing signal.

The community SatNOGSВ, which unites ground stations for radio amateurs worldwide, helps us get satellite beacons. Here you can find observations of Geoscan-Edelveis made by the community members.

Geoscan-Edelveis like other 15 CubeSat 3U, which were sent into orbit on 9 August 2022, were designed within the Space-π project supported by Innovation Assistance Foundation. The simultaneous launch of 16 Russian satellites broke a record in the history of the Russian rocket and space industry.

In the gallery below the photos are placed in the following order:

  • Kandalaksha Gulf. 17.08.2022
  • Copenhagen and Bornholm island. 17.08.2022
  • Sun glint. 19.08.2022
  • Kenya. 23.08.2022
  • Gulf of Bothnia. 25.08.2022
  • 25 August 2022
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