The goal of the Venta-1 satellite is to provide a flying testbed as a counterpart of the new satellite technology laboratory at the Ventspils University College.

This satellite is built in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences in Bremen, Germany and will carry out the following experiments or parts of the mission:

a) advanced technology AIS (maritime Automatic Identification System) receivers in order to get AIS data from space and to study the AIS signal reception in LEO;
b) Intersatellite link experimental systems for the two way, near real time, permanent communication via Orbcomm and Iridium LEO based satellite systems;
c) Plug-and-Play electronics unit with new data handling systems, sensors and beacon to a geostationary satellite system;
d) Small onboard camera with advanced optics for low resolution earth monitoring.

For the telemetry and telecommanding needs the satellite will have a HAM ground station in Ventspils, Latvia.

The AIS data will be downloaded via a dedicated S-band link, where the frequency coordination is in progress as for a scientific earth observation or communication satellite via ITU.

The Orbcomm links provides the spacecraft safe mode communication possibilities and are based on previously flown Rubin missions by the University of Applied Sciences and OHB-System AG company in Bremen, Germany.

Venta-1 is a QuadSat type satellite. The satellite’s body is a 275x275x100mm cube with a 500x400mm solar panel on top. The mass is about 9kg. The satellite is attitude controlled via magnetic torquers around three axes and stabilized by a slow rotation around the sun generator axis pointing to the Sun.
The antennas are placed on the solar generator corners.

Functional Description:

  • The satellite Onboard data Handling System (OBDH) has two redundant main board computers collecting data from all other subsystems, storing and sending data to Telemetry and Telecommanding system (TMTC) and performing all main tasks like antenna deployment.
  • The Attitude Control System (ACS) aligns the satellite towards sun, and keeps it spinning around the sun-pointing axis.
  • The Thermal Subsystem (TS) is completely passive, just measuring temperatures.
  • The Electrical Power System (EPS) charges and discharges the batteries and distributes the power to other subsystems.
  • The AIS payload consists of the AIS receivers which receives, demodulates and decodes the ship signals.
  • The Plug-and-Play payload runs the electronics package and provides the status data to the OBDH system.