Encyclopedia Astronautica
Tubsat


Small experimental store and forward communications satellite series.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • 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. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • 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 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...
  • Shtil-1/1N Russian intercontinental ballistic orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle based on R-29RM SLBM. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Orbcomm American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Orbital Communications Corp, Dulles, USA. More...
  • TUB German manufacturer of spacecraft. Technische Universitaet Berlin, Berlin, Germany. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • 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...

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.

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