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Safran Reosc develops mini-camera for nanosatellite
Norsat-1 and 2. © Norwegian Space Agency

Safran Reosc develops mini-camera for nanosatellite

The company is developing an innovative miniature camera for Norway's future NORSAT-4 nanosatellite.

Safran Reosc is developing an innovative miniature camera for the Norsat-4 nanosatellite for the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). NORSAT-4 is intended to conduct surveillance on ships in the Arctic circle, with a view to preserving the sovereign status of Norway's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which stretches from the North Sea to the Barents Sea.

The satellite will be in a low Earth orbit at approximately 600km altitude, enabling it to detect ships across a wide viewing range and retransmit highly precise images despite the low light levels around the North pole.

Well known for its expertise in optics for astronomy and space applications, Safran Reosc is designing the whole camera, including the optics, image sensor and thermal control.

The main challenge is to miniaturise the technologies without impairing performance. To this end, Safran Reosc is proposing a camera with an especially high-performance Size Weight and Power (SWaP) factor: a mass of 8kg and a volume of 8 litres, along with a power requirement of just 30 Watts. According to Safran Reosc, the 20kg NORSAT-4 will exhibit similar characteristics to the 1.7t SPOT-1, launched over 30 years ago.

Safran Reosc will work hand in hand with UTIAS/SFL — satellite builder at the University of Toronto and a specialist in nanosatellites and “New Space” — which is responsible for the Norsat-4 platform development.

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