İMECE Successfully Launched into Space

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First Signal Received from İMECE Satellite Developed Indigenously and Nationally by TÜBİTAK UZAY

Turkey's first domestic and national high-resolution imaging satellite İMECE, which was designed, developed and produced by TÜBİTAK UZAY, funded by TÜBİTAK and the Presidential Strategy Budget Presidency, with the Presidency of Defense Industries as the client institution and the Air Forces Command as the end user, was successfully launched into space.

İMECE was launched into space with a Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in the United States on April 15, 2023 at 09:48 Turkish time, after three postponements by SPACE X, the launch company.

Experience Gained from RASAT and GÖKTÜRK-2 Satellites

Following the RASAT and GÖKTÜRK-2 satellites developed by TÜBİTAK UZAY with domestic and national facilities, the IMECE Project was launched with the aim of increasing the localization rate at the equipment level, reducing foreign dependency in satellite and space technologies, increasing knowledge and training human resources with the experience gained.

Within the scope of the project, a space-compatible electro-optical camera was designed, developed and produced for the first time in Turkey. Thus, Turkey has gone from being a supplier of earth observation satellite images to producing and even exporting its own cameras.

In addition, all the equipment needed for an earth observation satellite was developed by TÜBİTAK UZAY and its stakeholders within the scope of the IMECE Project.

The X-Band and S-Band Communication Equipment and BİLGE Flight Computer used in the GÖKTÜRK-2 Satellite, which has been in service for more than 10 years despite its design life of 5 years, were also used by reproducing them within the scope of the IMECE Project, thus eliminating foreign dependency in terms of communication subsystems and satellite management software.

With the satellite systems development and test infrastructures established in our country with the IMECE Project, all design, production, assembly, integration and testing activities carried out within the scope of the project were carried out within the borders of our country and by Turkish engineers. Thanks to the space technology infrastructures that few countries in the world have, an important step has been taken for future satellite projects.

In addition to the electro-optical camera, the electric propulsion system, solar sensor, star tracker, reaction wheel, global positioning system receiver, magnetometer and magnetic torque rod were produced for the first time within the scope of the IMECE Project, enabling the satellite to fulfill its orientation and orbit control functions with domestic facilities.

In addition, using the know-how and engineering experience gained from the RASAT and GÖKTÜRK-2 projects, payload data recording and formatting equipment, power regulation and distribution equipment, X-Band and S-Band communication systems and flight computers were designed and manufactured by TÜBİTAK UZAY.

Within the scope of the IMECE Project, flight computer software, orientation and orbit software, analysis software and ground station software were developed by TÜBİTAK UZAY engineers.

The Most Advanced Satellite Produced in Turkey

İMECE, which is the most advanced satellite produced in Turkey in the field of space technologies so far, will ensure that the next satellite projects can be carried out domestically and will be our pioneering power in space technology.

In addition to developing satellite equipment and systems, TÜBİTAK UZAY also indigenized the hardware and software of the ground station with a 7.2 m diameter antenna in order to download the captured images to the earth and communicate with the world, and developed a national ground station for the communication of earth observation satellites within the scope of the project.

İMECE will operate in a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 680 kilometers and will meet our country's need for high-resolution satellite imagery.

IMECE, which can capture images from anywhere in the world without geographical restrictions, will serve Turkey in many areas such as defense, disaster management, environment and urban planning, agriculture and forestry.

First signal received from IMECE

Within minutes, we received the first signal from İMECE, which separated from its rocket and settled into its orbit at 12.24 p.m. Turkey time. It was confirmed that the satellite's Orbit Orientation Control System successfully performed the control in 3 axes and that the satellite's Solar Panels were automatically switched on. It was observed that the power generation and battery voltage level were at the expected level, and that there were no problems in opening and operating the mission software. Regarding ground communication; no problems were observed in upward and downward communication.

Export Potential

The outputs obtained from the IMECE Project will form the building blocks of the new satellites that Turkey will have in the future. In addition to the critical space technologies acquired through this project, trained manpower and know-how have also been gained in this field. With the IMECE Project, which will meet Turkey's need for high-resolution satellite imagery, our country has reached a position where it can produce and even export its own cameras. Turkey will also be able to export other systems with high added value as the equipment produced within the scope of the project gains space history.

Flew to the US in February

İMECE Satellite, which successfully passed the thermal vacuum, vibration, acoustic and electromagnetic compatibility tests as of June 2022, was sent to the USA in February, where the launch base is located.

Our National Equipment Developed within the Scope of İMECE Satellite:

- Electro Optical Camera

- Next Generation Flight Computer

- Reaction Wheel

- X band Transmitter,

- S Band Transceiver

- Electric Propulsion System

- Data Compression, Recording and Formatting Equipment

- Solar Sensor

- Star Traces

- Reaction Wheel

- Global Positioning System Receiver

- Magnetometer and Magnetic Torque Bar

- Power Regulation and Distribution Equipment

Our CubeSat is also in Space!

On the same rocket as İMECE, 50 more satellites started their space journey to take their place in space. The imaging satellite AKUP (APSCO CubeSat Project), developed by TÜBİTAK UZAY, also took its place in orbit and transmitted its first signal to the ground station at TÜBİTAK UZAY at 11:02.

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