Credit: Manufacturer Image
AKA: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship SATellite. Status: Operational 1995. First Launch: 1995-11-04. Last Launch: 1995-11-04. Number: 1 . Gross mass: 55 kg (121 lb). Height: 0.82 m (2.69 ft).
The satellite was designed to mimic signals from planetary spacecraft, and radiated milliwatt level RF signals in X-, Ku-, and Ka-band. These signals supported research and development experiments supporting planned implementation of Ka-band communications, tests of new 11m ground stations built to support the Space Very Long Baseline Interferometry project (SVLBI), and training of ground station personnel. From conception through launch, the spacecraft cost ~$3 million, including design, fabrication, test, and launch integration. The mission's goal was to provide one year of continuous operation, although the lack of any consumables aboard the spacecraft would permit several additional years of operation.
The spacecraft consisted of two aluminum boxes that remained permanently bolted to the launch vehicle's second stage. The SUSFSAT-1/Delta 2 system was gravity gradient stabilized. Power was provided by body-mounted solar panels providing ~15W orbit average power. The boxes were electrically connected by an interconnecting wire harness. Three omni antennas (two on the "primary" box, one on the "secondary" box) were used for uplink and downlink. Three independent command detector units were used to control operational state. The vehicle used passive thermal control. There was no propulsion system, batteries or attitude control / determination.
One transponder was carried in each box. The "primary" transponder operated at X-band (8 Ghz) and Ka-band (32 Ghz). The "secondary" transponder operated at Ku-band (15 Ghz). Both transponders radiated milliwatt level signals through the omni antennas.