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Earth-observing satellites

Platform is based on CAN

Published 2018-07-26

Beginning of July, a Long March 2C rocket took-off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) in Shanxi province. It carried one PRSS-1 satellite and one Paktes-1A satellite.

China launched a Long March 2C rocket with two satellites on behalf of Pakistan (Photo: Xinhua)

The PRSS-1 (Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite) is an optical satellite designed for earth-observing purposes. It monitors oceans and weather. The satellite’s platform is based on CAN. It is powered by solar cells capable of generating up to 600 W. Details of the mission and the launch is not known. The satellites are expected to go to a sun-synchronous orbit. The life-time is about five years, said some sources.

The PRSS-1 is the first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan by China, and the 17th satellite developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) for a foreign buyer. The 1,2-ton satellite operates at an altitude of 640 km and enables Pakistan to meet its imagery requirements in the areas of land mapping, agriculture classification and assessment, urban and rural planning, environmental monitoring, natural disaster management and water resource management for socio-economic development, the Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

Prototype of the satellite’s CAN controller (Photo: FO)

The PRSS-1 on-board computer is based on a 386 processor and it features CAN connectivity. PIC controllers have been used to establish sub-system communication with the on-board computer. The host computer has been mounted and harnessed with other subsystems. Ground station software functionality with hardwired link has been successfully established and tested along with telemetry acquisition and tele-command generation. The system is equipped with redundant logic circuits, which can handle any kind of error occurring in space.

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