Aalto-1 satellite first months in orbit

P. Niemela, J. Praks, B. Riwanto, A. Kestila, A. Näsila, N. Jovanovic, T. Tikka, N. Silva, H. Leppinen, R. Vainio, P. Janhunen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


In this paper we will describe briefly Finnish Aalto-1 CubeSat mission and summarize the mission results achieved during first five months of the mission. The Aalto-1 is the first nanosatellite built in Finland and launched by Finnish consortium. The satellite project started in 2010 as an Aalto University student project, supported by consortium of Universities and institutes. The satellite main mission is education and technology demonstration, as most of the subsystems and payloads are purpose made for this satellite and operated in space for the first time. Main payload of the satellite is a miniature spectral imager AaSI (Aalto-1 Spectral Imager) designed for Earth Observation by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The instrument is based on a Piezo-actuated tunable Fabry-Perot interferometer and is the first such instrument for EO in space. The secondary payload is a radiation monitor, RADMON, which can detect and identify incident particles and their corresponding total energy at 15-second time resolution. The payload is developed by the University of Turku and the University of Helsinki. [4] The third payload is an experimental e-sail technology based deorbiting device, called Plasma Brake, developed and constructed by Finnish Meteorological Institute. Additionally, the satellite has three axis attitude system, on board computer system, several sensor systems and two purpose built-communication systems, tested first time in space. The satellite was finalized and tested for launch in spring 2016 and it was launched to space on 23.6.2017 by Indian PSLV rocket. By now, the satellite has been in space for five months and has already delivered substantial amount of data about its subsystems and achieving many mission goals. The spectral imager AaSI is calibrated in orbit and it has delivered several test images. Also the RADMON instrument has been calibrated in orbit and it has operated over several weeks, providing electron and proton spectrum measurements for several solar storms in autumn 2017. The deorbiting experiment has not been initiated yet. The mission team works currently with attitude stabilization and data collection with two main instruments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUniversity Satellite Missions and Cubesat Workshop, 2017
PublisherAmerican Astronautical Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-87703-648-7
ISBN (Print)9780877036470
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIAA Conference on University Satellite Missions and CubeSat Workshop - Rome, Italy
Duration: 4 Dec 20177 Dec 2017
Conference number: 4

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences Series
ISSN (Electronic)0065-3438


ConferenceIAA Conference on University Satellite Missions and CubeSat Workshop


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