Encyclopedia Astronautica
Tubsat


German communications technology satellite. 7 launches, 1991.07.17 (Tubsat-A) to 2007.01.10 (Maroc-Tubsat). Germany's Technical University of Berlin (TUB) built a successful series of 40 kg 'Tubsat' experimental technology satellites.

Each satellite could be oriented in three axes and carried an imaging payload. The series also included two Tubsat-N 'nanosatellite' Tubsats.

AKA: Technical University of Berlin Satellite.
Gross mass: 45 kg (99 lb).
Height: 0.50 m (1.64 ft).
First Launch: 1991.07.17.
Last Launch: 2007.01.10.
Number: 7 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Ariane First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • PSLV Indian third-generation launch vehicle, large enough to carry polar-orbiting earth resources satellites. More...
  • R-29 First intercontinental submarine-launched ballistic missile (range 7800 km). First flight 1969. Development completed 1973. The variants of this missile were given three different DoD designations over the years (SS-N-8, SS-N-18, and SS-N-23). More...
  • Tsiklon The R-36 ICBM was the largest ever built and the bogeyman of the Pentagon throughout the Cold War. Dubbed the 'city buster', the 308 silos built were constantly held up by the US Air Force as an awesome threat that justified a new round of American missile or anti-missile systems. On the other hand, the Americans were never motivated to build and deploy corresponding numbers of their equivalent, the liquid propellant Titan 2. Derivatives of the R-36 included the R-36-O orbital bombing system, the Tsiklon-2 and -3 medium orbital launch vehicles, and the replacement R-36M missiles. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the design and manufacturing facility ended up in independent Ukraine. Accordingly the missile was finally retired in the 1990's, conveniently in accordance with arms reduction agreements with the Americans. More...
  • Zenit Zenit was to be a modular new generation medium Soviet launch vehicle, replacing the various ICBM-derived launch vehicles in use since the 1960's (Tsiklon and Soyuz). A version of the first stage was used as strap-ons for the cancelled Energia heavy booster. But it was built by Yuzhnoye in the Ukraine; when the Soviet Union broke up planned large-scale production for the Soviet military was abandoned (Angara development was begun as an indigenous alternative). Launch pads were completed only at Baikonur; those at Plesetsk were never finished and are planned to be completed as Angara pads. However the vehicle found new life as a commercial launch vehicle, launched from a sea platform by an American/Ukrainian consortium. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Tsiklon Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. The R-36 ICBM was the largest ever built and the bogeyman of the Pentagon throughout the Cold War. Dubbed the 'city buster', the 308 silos built were constantly held up by the US Air Force as an awesome threat that justified a new round of American missile or anti-missile systems. On the other hand, the Americans were never motivated to build and deploy corresponding numbers of their equivalent, the liquid propellant Titan 2. Derivatives of the R-36 included the R-36-O orbital bombing system, the Tsiklon-2 and -3 medium orbital launch vehicles, and the replacement R-36M missiles. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the design and manufacturing facility ended up in independent Ukraine. Accordingly the missile was finally retired in the 1990's, conveniently in accordance with arms reduction agreements with the Americans. More...
  • R-29 Russian submarine-launched ballistic missile. First intercontinental submarine-launched ballistic missile (range 7800 km). First flight 1969. Development completed 1973. The variants of this missile were given three different DoD designations over the years (SS-N-8, SS-N-18, and SS-N-23). More...
  • Tsiklon-3 Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. The Tsyklon 3 was developed in 1970-1977 as a part of a program to reduce the number of Soviet booster types. The first two stages were derived from the 8K68 version of the R-36 ICBM, while the restartable third stage was derived from that of the R-36-O. Compared to the Tsyklon 2, the launch vehicle increased payload to 4 metric tons, provided for completely automated launch operations, and had increased orbital injection accuracy. More...
  • Ariane French orbital launch vehicle. First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Ariane 4 French orbital launch vehicle. The ultimate Ariane development. Compared with the Ariane 2/3, the Ariane 4 featured stretched first (61%) and third stages, a strengthened structure, new propulsion bay layouts, new avionics, and the Spelda dual-payload carrier. The basic 40 version used no strap-on motors, while the Ariane 42L, 44L, 42P, 44P, and 44LP versions used varous combinations of solid and liquid propellant strap-on motors). Development was authorised in January 1982, with the objective of increasing payload by 90%. Total development cost 476 million 1986 ECU's. More...
  • Zenit Zenit was to be a modular new generation medium Soviet launch vehicle, replacing the various ICBM-derived launch vehicles in use since the 1960's (Tsiklon and Soyuz). A version of the first stage was used as strap-ons for the cancelled Energia heavy booster. But it was built by Yuzhnoye in the Ukraine; when the Soviet Union broke up planned large-scale production for the Soviet military was abandoned (Angara development was begun as an indigenous alternative). Launch pads were completed only at Baikonur; those at Plesetsk were never finished and are planned to be completed as Angara pads. However the vehicle found new life as a commercial launch vehicle, launched from a sea platform by an American/Ukrainian consortium. More...
  • Zenit-2 Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. Two-stage version that continued to be used for launch of Russian military satellites tailored to it after the fall of the Soviet Union. More...
  • Ariane 40 French orbital launch vehicle. 3 stage core vehicle with original Ariane H10 upper stage. A fully fueled Ariane core cannot lift off the ground without strap-on liquid or solid motors. When Ariane 4 is launched in this configuration, the propellant tanks of the first and second stages are not completely filled. More...
  • PSLV Indian third-generation launch vehicle, large enough to carry polar-orbiting earth resources satellites. More...
  • Shtil-1/1N Russian intercontinental ballistic orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle based on R-29RM SLBM. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • TUB German manufacturer of spacecraft. Technische Universitaet Berlin, Berlin, Germany. More...

Associated Programs
  • Tubsat Small experimental store and forward communications satellite series. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA GSFC Orbital Parameters,
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • National Space Science Center Planetary Page, As of 19 February 1999.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • TUBSAT Project Homepage, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...
  • Plesetsk Plesetsk was the Soviet Union's northern cosmodrome, used for polar orbit launches of mainly military satellites, and was at one time the busiest launch centre in the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union put the main launch site of Baikonur in Kazakh territory. It now seems that once the Proton rocket is retired, Baikonur will be abandoned and Plesetsk will be Russia's primary launch centre. Upgrades to existing launch facilities will allow advanced versions of the Soyuz rocket and the new Angara launch vehicle to be launched from Plesetsk. Plesetsk's major drawback was the lower net payload in geosynchronous orbit from a northern latitude launch site. However Russia is planning to remove the disadvantage by looping geosynchronous satellites around the moon, using lunar gravity to make the necessary orbital plane change. More...
  • Barents Sea Launch Area Submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area known to have been used for 119 launches from 1965 to 2007, reaching up to 1270 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...
  • Sriharikota India's primary space launch center, located on the east coast of the peninsula with a firing sector over the Bay of Bengal. In use from 1971 to present. More...

Tubsat Chronology


1991 July 17 - . 01:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 40. LV Configuration: Ariane 40 V44.
  • Tubsat-A - . Payload: Tubsat A. Mass: 38 kg (83 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: Orbcomm. Program: Tubsat. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: Tubsat. USAF Sat Cat: 21577 . COSPAR: 1991-050D. Apogee: 772 km (479 mi). Perigee: 762 km (473 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 100.20 min. Tubsat-A was the first satellite built at Germany's Technical University of Berlin was intended primarily to test attitude control subsystems and give students practice in the design, construction and operation of a satellite. Tubsat-A was launched piggyback with the first ERS mission, and because of it's near polar orbit, the spacecraft became an important communications tool for arctic and Antarctic expeditions. The spacecraft also acted as a testbed for some industry technology including GaAs cells and a transputer. Payload: Star Sensor, Sun Sensor, 3-Axis Magnetic Field Sensor, Magnetorquer, Store & Forward Communication. Dimensions: 38x38x38 cm. Mass: 35 kg. Still in operation as of 2003.

1994 January 25 - . 00:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: Tsiklon. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Tubsat-B - . Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: TUB. Program: Tubsat. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Tubsat. USAF Sat Cat: 22970 . COSPAR: 1994-003B. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi). Perigee: 1,184 km (735 mi). Inclination: 82.6000 deg. Period: 109.40 min. Following the success of the magnetic torque attitude control system that flew on Tubsat-A, researchers and students at Germany's Technical University of Berlin constructed Tubsat-B to test and demonstrate attitude control with a star sensor and three reaction wheels. An on-board 1m telescope was used for astronomy and for Earth observation at 10m resolution. Dimensions of the satellite were 38x38x50 cm, mass 40 kg. Unfortunately communications with the satellite were lost after 39 Days

1998 July 7 - . 03:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Barents Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: 69.5 N x 34.2 E. Launch Platform: K-407. LV Family: R-29. Launch Vehicle: Shtil-1/1N.
  • Tubsat-N - . Mass: 8.00 kg (17.60 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: VMF. Manufacturer: TuB. Program: Tubsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian store-dump communications satellite. Spacecraft: Tubsat. Decay Date: 2002-04-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 25389 . COSPAR: 1998-042A. Apogee: 776 km (482 mi). Perigee: 400 km (240 mi). Inclination: 78.9000 deg. Period: 96.40 min. The first satellite launch from a submarine. The Shtil-1 launch vehicle was a converted Makeyev R-29RM SLBM. The satellite payload was placed in the standard re-entry vehicle. The launch platform was the K-407 Novomoskovsk, a 667BDRM Delfin class submarine of the Russian Northern Fleet 3rd Flotilla. The launch was made from a firing range in the Barents Sea off the coast of the Kolskiy Peninsula, at 35.3 deg E 69.3 deg N. The payloads were the Tubsat-N and Tubsat-N1 `nanosatellites'. Tubsat-N entered a 400 x 776 km x 78.9 deg orbit. Both carried small store-forward communications payloads used to keep track of transmitters placed on vehicles, migrating animals, and marine buoys. They are owned, operated and built by the Technische Universitat Berlin (TUB). Tubsat-N was the larger of the pair, with dimensions of 32x32x10.4 cm and a mass of 8.5 kg.
  • Tubsat-N1 - . Mass: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: VMF. Manufacturer: TuB. Program: Tubsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian store-dump communications satellite. Spacecraft: Tubsat. Decay Date: 2000-10-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 25390 . COSPAR: 1998-042B. Apogee: 776 km (482 mi). Perigee: 400 km (240 mi). Inclination: 78.9000 deg. Period: 96.30 min. The dual Tubsat-N/Tubsat-N1 repersented the Technical University of Berlin's first Nanosatellite project. Tubsat-N1 measured 32x32x3.4cm and had a mass of 3 kg. The technology demonstrator satellite provided store and forward communications and conducted attitude control experiments.

1999 May 26 - . 06:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota PSLV. LV Family: PSLV. Launch Vehicle: PSLV. LV Configuration: PSLV PSLV-C2.
  • DLR-Tubsat - . Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Class: Earth. Type: Seismology satellite. Spacecraft: Tubsat. USAF Sat Cat: 25757 . COSPAR: 1999-029B. Apogee: 733 km (455 mi). Perigee: 712 km (442 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 99.20 min. DLR-Tubsat carried on the experimental work of Tubsat-A and -B. The satellite measured 32x32x32 cm and had a mass of 44.8 kg. The dechnology demonstrator conducted earth observation with 6 m resolution and conducted attitude control experiments. It was still in operation as of 2003.

2001 December 10 - . 17:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC45/1. LV Family: Zenit. Launch Vehicle: Zenit-2. LV Configuration: Zenit-2 19L (1381573091).
  • Maroc-Tubsat - . Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: Morocco. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: TuB. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Tubsat. USAF Sat Cat: 27004 . COSPAR: 2001-056D. Apogee: 1,014 km (630 mi). Perigee: 985 km (612 mi). Inclination: 99.2000 deg. Period: 105.10 min. Maroc-Tubsat was built by the Technical University of Berlin for the Centre Royal de Teledetection Spatiale, Morocco, and had a mass of 47 kg. It carried an imager and a store-forward communications test payload. The satellite measured 32x34x36,2 cm and was still in operation as of 2003.

2007 January 10 - . 04:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota PSLV. LV Family: PSLV. Launch Vehicle: PSLV. LV Configuration: PSLV-C7.
  • LAPAN Tubsat - . Mass: 56 kg (123 lb). Nation: Indonesia. Agency: ISRO. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Tubsat. USAF Sat Cat: 29709 . COSPAR: 2007-001A. Apogee: 638 km (396 mi). Perigee: 620 km (380 mi). Inclination: 97.9000 deg. Period: 97.30 min. Summary: Experimental satellite developed with assistance from TUB (Berlin Technical University. It carried a 5-meter-resolution surveillance camera..

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use