STA, 5 April 2019 - The University of Maribor and the company SAB-LS signed a contract in Maribor on Friday, April 5, on the launch of the first Slovenian nanosatellite into orbit. Trisat is to fly into space on a light European Vega rocket that is to be launched from French Guiana in August.
Trisat has been developed at the Maribor Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in cooperation with the Slovenian company Skylabs.
According to the chancellor of the Maribor university, Zdravko Kačič, the launch of the nanosatellite will be an important step in the internationalisation of the Slovenian space industry and a recognition for its technology.
"It is a proof that a student project can develop into an important project for the Slovenian industry and environment," he said.
"Nanosatellites are an important segment in the present-day space industry, because they can bring new technology into space in a cost-efficient and quick way. The new technology can thus be evaluated much quicker and cheaper, which reduces financial risks in this field," he said.
Trisat, weighing only 4.4 kilos, is capable of taking multispectral images of Earth in short-wave infrared spectrum with a camera unlike any other in space at the moment.
It will be deployed at the altitude of 500 kilometres in a Sun-synchronous orbit by the Vega rocket launched by Arianespace, a company developing launch solutions for the European Space Agency (ESA).
The rocket will carry some 50 satellites, including another Slovenian satellite that is larger than Trisat, called Nemo HD, which has been developed by Vesolje-SI, the Slovenian centre of excellence for space sciences and technologies.
The company SAB-LS will act as Arianespace's subcontractor for deploying nanosatellites as part of the ESA's programme Small Spacecraft Mission Service.
The signing of the contract, on Aptril 5, was also attended by Economic Development and Technology Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, who said the move set the course for the development of Slovenian technology and proved that Slovenia was an important partner in space technology and thus also of the ESA.
Slovenia became an associate member of the ESA at the end of 2016.
The head of the Trisat project, Iztok Kramberger, stressed that Trisat, whose lifespan has been estimated at six years, was almost entirely a product of Slovenian know-how. It has been developed and manufactured in Slovenia, except for the solar panels, he noted.
You can learn more about the project here