ISTSat-1 went through intensive vibration tests carried out at ESA past August. Tests are designed to shake equipment, simulating the stresses they will experience during a rocket launch.
ISTSat-1 is the first ever satellite built by a university student team in Portugal. Students are from Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, and benefit from guidance, technical and resources support form Research Institutes associated with IST: Instituto de Telecomunicações, INESC-ID and IDMEC.
ISTSat-1’s mission is to carry out a feasibility study of the use of nanosatellites to track and characterize the transponder signals of aircraft (ADS-B) over remote areas. For that, the students designed, built, and tested their own structure, on-board computer, electrical power system (including the battery pack), communications subsystem and the ADS-B antenna and receiver.
The test was completed successfully on an almost-exact copy of the flight model. It produced important results for post-test inspection and correction of ‘anomalies’ before the flight spacecraft is ready to go. This campaign was possible due to the strong ESA education team support.