Proposed launches and Orbits

February 14, 2016

CSST has proposed to launch a series of CubeSats to support New Zealand’s regional industries.  Key goals include:

  • 2019 first launch of either three 3U CubeSats or two 6U CubeSats.
  • Later, CSST would plan the deployment of a small constellation (minimum of 6) of sun-synchronous CubeSats that would cover most of New Zealand for 10 minutes every 90 minutes. Well known hand-over methods between satellites will be used.
  • A longer-term goal would be a constellation of 6 polar orbiting satellites with highly elliptical orbit that would provide continuous internet coverage to Antarctica. A smaller constellation of 3 CubeSats would provide coverage of 40–60 minutes duration every 110 minutes.

The CSST Consortium has completed some preliminary work on potential orbits for the CSST CubeSats. An overview of the orbits is provided in the movies below. For each movie there are three key features: in the top bar is the Universal Coordinated Time (UTC), the left hand screen details the progression of the orbit around the globe, the right hand panel shows the progression of the satellite in the context of its full orbit.The shaded area in the right hand panel is the potential field of view for the satellite, though specific instruments will sample a smaller area.

1.  Sun-synchronous orbit – Satellite passes over New Zealand once a day at the same time

2.  Inclined orbit resulting in 4 overpasses of New Zealand per day