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Mission typeEarth observation
OperatorTÜBİTAK Space Technologies Research Institute (TÜBİTAK UZAY)
COSPAR ID2003-042E Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.27943
Mission duration3 years
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerDMC International Imaging
Launch mass130 kilograms (290 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateSeptember 27, 2003, 06:12 (2003-09-27UTC06:12Z) UTC
Launch sitePlesetsk 132/1
End of mission
DeactivatedAugust 2006[1]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Perigee altitude675 kilometres (419 mi)
Apogee altitude694 kilometres (431 mi)
Inclination98.2 degrees
Period98.5 minutes
Epoch27 September 2003, 02:12:00 UTC[3]

BILSAT-1 (formerly just BILSAT) was an Earth observation satellite designed and developed by TÜBİTAK Space Technologies Research Institute (TÜBİTAK UZAY) and produced in Turkey as part of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) project in the context of a show-how program led by DMC International Imaging of Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL).[4][5][6]


BILSAT-1 was launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome Site 132/1, Arkhangelsk Oblast in Russia by a Kosmos-3M space launch vehicle on September 27, 2003, at 06:12 UTC in a multiple-satellite payload launch along with six other satellites, namely Mozhayets-4 and Larets of Russia, NigeriaSat of Nigeria, UK-DMC from the United Kingdom, South Korean STSAT-1 and Germany's Rubin 4-DS. It was placed in a polar, circular, Sun-synchronous geocentric orbit at an altitude of 686 km (426 mi) with orbital parameters as period 98.5 min, apogee 694 km (431 mi), perigee 675 km (419 mi) and inclination 98.2°.[2][4][5][7]


One of the four spacecraft of the DMC project, which is an organization for international space program cooperation formed by seven countries, namely United Kingdom, Algeria, China, Nigeria, Thailand, Vietnam and Turkey, BILSAT-1 was dedicated to studies on agriculture, forestry, hydrology, land cover/use and mapping, environment as well as urban area development.[5][6][7][8] It was built at a cost of $14 million.[9]

The first images were from Cape Town, South Africa taken on October 18, Gulf of İskenderun, Turkey taken on October 30 and Kuwait City taken on November 6, 2003.[10]

BILSAT-1 ended its mission in August 2006 due to battery cells failure.[6][11]


Turkey's first indigenously developed scientific microsatellite for remote sensing, BILSAT-1 was based on an enhanced SSTL-100 satellite bus. The 130 kg (290 lb) satellite features a multi-spectral instrument called ÇOBAN, which is a low-resolution 8-channel camera. The name is an abbreviation for "ÇOk-BANtlı Kamera" for "Multi-Band Camera". It has two imaging sensors, a 4-band visible and near-infrared (VNIR) sensor at a resolution of 26 m (85 ft) and a high-resolution panchromatic sensor at 4 m (13 ft). The swath widths were 55 km (34 mi) for the VNIR and 25 km (16 mi) for the panchromatic sensor. The sensors had a 4-day repeat cycle.[4][6][7][12]

BILSAT-1 hosted a real time image compression module named GEZGIN, an abbreviation for "GErçek Zamanda Görüntü İşleyeN", which is a digital signal processor using JPEG 2000 algorithm to compress images taken by the satellite. Further payloads are on board propulsion, GPS navigation device, a GPS attitude receiver and a control moment gyroscope. BILSAT-1 also hosted new technologies such as high-capacity solid-state data recorders and star trackers.[7]


  1. ^ BilSAT News Archived August 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 23 July 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Bilsat 1". NASA. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  3. ^ "NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Trajectory Details". nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  4. ^ a b c "Sensor Specifications: BILSAT". NASA. Archived from the original on 2003-10-13. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  5. ^ a b c "Bilsat 1". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  6. ^ a b c d "BILSAT-1". Surrey Satellite Technology Limited. Archived from the original on 2013-03-21. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  7. ^ a b c d "SPACEWARN Activities". SPACEWARN Bulletin (600). NASA-National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center. 2003-12-03. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  8. ^ Tunalı, Erol; İncigül Polat; Murat Askar. "TÜBİTAK BİLTEN Earth Observation Satellite (BILSAT): A New Sensor FOR Urban Studies" (PDF). TÜBİTAK UZAY. Retrieved 2013-01-12.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Home grown Turkish to be launched this month". NTV-MSNBC. 2003-09-09. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  10. ^ "TÜBİTAK UZAY Releases First Images from BİLSAT-1". METU. 2003-10-09. Archived from the original on 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  11. ^ "List of available Sensors". Index Database. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  12. ^ "BilSAT-Turkish R&D Payloads ÇOBAN". TÜBİTAK UZAY. Archived from the original on 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2013-01-12.