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AlSat in orbit.
Mission type Earth observation
Operator CNTS / SSTL
COSPAR ID 2002-054A[1]
SATCAT no. 27559Edit this on Wikidata
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer SSTL
Launch mass 88 kilograms (194 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 28 November 2002, 06:07:00 (2002-11-28UTC06:07Z) UTC
Rocket Kosmos-3M
Launch site Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Orbital parameters
Regime Sun synchronous
Periapsis 700 kilometres (430 mi)
Apoapsis 700 kilometres (430 mi)
Inclination 98 degrees
Period 98.5 min

ALSAT-1[2] is the first Algerian satellite and it is part of a group of satellites collectively known as the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC).[3][4] The satellite was built by a group of engineers from Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) and Algerian Centre National des Techniques Spatiales (CNTS). It was the first DMC satellite to be launched of the five to seven that are planned. The DMC was the first satellite constellation designed for that objective. The launch took place on 28 November 2002 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia on a Kosmos-3M launcher in -20 degree Celsius weather. It completed its mission after seven years and nine months in August 2010. The satellite was designed to operate for five years.[5]

AlSat-1 is built on the SSTL-100 platform. The onboard instrumentation consists of two banks with three Earth imaging cameras each that, in total, has a resolution of 32 meters in three spectral bands (NIR, red, and green). The imaging swath of the cameras is 600 km. The satellite was constructed in a fifteen-month time period by the British and Algerians, of which eleven Algerian engineers were trained by SSTL.[6] The satellite uses resistojets for propulsion, and butane as its propellant. The resistojets provide more than 20 m/s of delta velocity.[2]


This satellite carried the first Slim 6 Line Imager. The imaging opportunities for Algeria is one per day, for two or three days out of five days. During the first three months of operations, more than 80 images were transmitted back to Earth.[6][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SPACEWARN Bulletin". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. December 1, 2002. 
  2. ^ a b c Cooksley, J; da Silva Curiel, A; Stephens, P; Boland, L; Jason, S; Sun, W; Sweeting, M (2003). "ALSAT-1 First Year In Orbit". 
  3. ^ Gibbon, D; Boland, L; Bean, N; Hashida, Y; da Silva Curiel, A; Sweeting, M; Palmer, P (2004). "Commissioning of a Small Satellite Constellation - Methods and Lessons Learned". 
  4. ^ Boland, L; da Silva Curiel, A; Sweeting, M; Stephens, P; Hodgson, D (2005). "Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) – Success Based On Small Satellite Technologies". 
  5. ^ Wolstenholme, Robin (August 26, 2010). "Algeria's first satellite mission completed". SSTL space blog. 
  6. ^ a b "AlSAT-1: The Mission". Surrey Satellite Technology Limited. Retrieved November 2, 2016. 

External links[edit]