Encyclopedia Astronautica

South Korean technology satellite. 2 launches, 1993.09.26 (Oscar 23) to 1999.05.26 (Kitsat-3). South Korean indigenous 50-kg-class small satellite series, developed originally with technology transfer from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

In August 1992 South Korea's first completely indigenous satellite was launched as a piggyback payload on the Topex/Poseidon mission. The 50-kg microsat was known variously as Kitsat 1, Oscar 23, and Uribyol 1 (Our Star).

The Kitsat-1 satellite's experimental payloads included:

Earth Imaging System (EIS) - The KITSAT-A EIS consisted of two charge-coupled device (CCD) imagers, two lenses, and a Transputer Image Processing Experiment. One of the imagers would provide a wide field of view with approximately 4km-ground resolution. The second imager would provide telephoto facility giving approximately 400 meters ground resolution.

Digital Signal Processing Experiment (DPSE) - The DPSE comprised two Texas Instruments DSP microprocessors which could work separately or in parallel. The DPSE would broadcast stored speech; relay compressed speech in real time; and implement advanced data link modulation techniques.

PACSAT Communications System (PCS) - The KITSAT-A PCS would provide store-and-forward digital communications for stations in the Amateur Satellite service. This system would use standard protocols for message forwarding. Storage would be in a 13 Mbyte CMOS SRAM bank.

Cosmic Ray Experiment (CRE) - KITSAT-A would continue the radiation environment and effects monitoring which was currently ongoing on the UoSAT-3 and UoSAT-5 satellites. A total dose experiment would measure total ionizing dose and a Cosmic Particle Experiment would monitor energetic particle events. The data collected from KITSAT-A's high-altitude, inclined orbit would be compared with that available in the 800-km polar orbits already monitored.

The collaboration has also encompassed the installation of ground station facilities in Korea, participation of Korean engineers in the UoSAT-5 mission, technology transfer and training of students on the MSc courses at Surrey.

Gross mass: 50 kg (110 lb).
First Launch: 1993.09.26.
Last Launch: 1999.05.26.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
  • Korea South South Korea became familiar with large-scale rocketry through maintenance and modification activities on American-supplied Honest John and Nike Hercules tactical missiles. By the 1990's Korea had developed an independent capability to manufacture solid propellant rocket motors of up to one tonne mass. In 1990 KARI was funded to build the first indigenous sounding rockets, flown as the KSR-I and KSR-II. In December 1997 KARI was allowed to proceed with development of liquid oxygen/kerosene rocket motor for an orbital launcher, but this was abandoned when the South Korean government decided it wanted to be among the top ten spacefaring nations by 2015. The existing program was too limited in growth potential to allow that. Therefore it was decided to leapfrog the technology by contracting with Russian companies. First launch of the KSLV-I launch vehicle from the new space centre took place in 2010. More...

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...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Kosmos 11K65M Russian orbital launch vehicle. Definitive and prolific production version of satellite launcher based on Yangel R-14 IRBM. After further development at NPO Polyot (Omsk, Chief Designer A S Klinishkov), the modified Kosmos-3M added a restartable second stage with an orientation system. This booster was launched form two 'Cusovaya' launch complexes from 1967. The second stage used low thrust rockets using gas generator output to adjust the final velocity of the stage 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 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...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • KAIST South Korean manufacturer of spacecraft. Korea Advanced Institute for Space Technology, Korea South. More...

Associated Programs
  • Oscar Amateur radio satellite network. For over a third of a century a series of OSCAR satellites have been launched in a variety of configurations and by many nations. More...

  • 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.

Associated Launch Sites
  • 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...

Kitsat Chronology

1993 September 26 - . 01:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 40. LV Configuration: Ariane 40 V59.
  • Kitsat-2 - . Payload: Oscar 25. Mass: 49 kg (108 lb). Nation: Korea South. Agency: KAIST. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Kitsat. USAF Sat Cat: 22825 . COSPAR: 1993-061C. Apogee: 801 km (497 mi). Perigee: 790 km (490 mi). Inclination: 98.3000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. KITSAT-OSCAR 25 was a South Korean experimental microsatellite based on the SSTL UoSAT bus built by the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). KO-25 was operated from The Satellite Technology Research Center (SaTReC) in South Korea. KO-25's mission was to take CCD pictures, process numerical information, measure radiation, and receive and forward messages. The Infrared Sensor Experiment (IREX) was designed to acquire I/V characteristics of IR sensors. A passive cooling structure was devised for this experiment. KO-25 was eventually operated purely as a packet store-and-forward satellite.

1999 May 26 - . 06:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota PSLV. LV Family: PSLV. Launch Vehicle: PSLV. LV Configuration: PSLV-C2.
  • Kitsat-3 - . Nation: Korea South. Agency: ISRO. Manufacturer: KAIST. Class: Earth. Type: Seismology satellite. Spacecraft: Kitsat. USAF Sat Cat: 25756 . COSPAR: 1999-029A. Apogee: 727 km (451 mi). Perigee: 707 km (439 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 99.10 min.

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