The particular nanosatellite by the name TAU-SAT1 has a size similar to that of a shoebox. Its launch will take place in 2021’s first quarter, and NASA will be in charge of it. In the meantime, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). Is carrying out the pre-flight tests. The invention, development, assembly, and testing were all courtesy of the university’s Nanosatellite Center. It collaborates with several disciplines, namely Raymond & Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, and Porter School of Environmental Studies.
The university’s head of minisatellite lab, Dr. Ofer Amrani, confirms TAU’s full involvement in the entire process. He added that it is the first time in history that an Israel university has developed a nanosatellite from designing to building to testing. Its mission is to measure space’s cosmic radiation and also carry out other experiments. The Nanosatellite Center Director, Dr. Meir Ariel, acknowledged high-energy particles in space due to cosmic radiation. He added that the mission would revolve around monitoring the radiation, measuring its flux, and its products.
The development process wasn’t smooth from the beginning to the end. Data extraction once TAU-SAT1 collected it wasn’t a walk in the park. The solution they arrived at was building a satellite station on the engineering building’s roof. The antennas will facilitate data transmission between the station and the satellite by tracking the former’s orbit. The satellite will take 90 minutes to revolve around the Earth’s orbit. Tel Aviv University will be the first Israel University to launch a nanosatellite to orbit. Other universities have similar projects. They include Ariel University and the Technion Ben-Gurion University.
The satellite has not only a short lifespan but also a tragic end. Since it lacks an engine, the atmospheric drag will see its trajectory fade with time. It will be active for months, after which it will burn up in the atmosphere hence return to Earth in the form of dust. According to Dr. Amrani, this is just the beginning of Tel Aviv University as far as space is concerned. The progress of satellite development is an encouragement that, soon, the space will be open for civilians. After all, the development process no longer costs a lot of money, takes less time, and doesn’t need much involvement with systems, mostly governmental. No wonder it took the university less than two years to develop the nanosatellite.
It has produced everything, including cleanrooms, thermal vacuum chamber and other testing facilities, and a receiving & transmission station. It also looks forward to commencing the development of the TAU-SAT2 as soon as possible.