25 February 2017 - Happy 4th Anniversary BRITE-Austria!
During its first four years in orbit BRITE-Austria has successfully:
- traveled 952,8 million kilometers and over 21000 orbits
- performed 14 observation campaigns, observing over 230 stars
- collected over 515,000 science datasets
- produced over 25 GB raw data
... to be continued.
15 February 2017 - Observations of Vela/Puppis (3rd-Turn) next to
Next to the Orion field and after a short run at the Carina field, BRITE-Austria started with its observations of the Vela/Puppis field, which is located in the southern hemisphere. BRITE-Austria is already 1451 days in orbit and has already travelled over 946 million kilometers.
26 September 2016 - Observations of Orion (4th-Turn) and Cassiopeia
After successful conclusion of the Sagittarius-2 campaign, BRITE-Austria started its observations at the Orion-field (4th turn) and the Cassiopeia field (2nd turn) in parallel. Till this day BRITE-Austria is already 1309 days in orbit and has travelled over 844 million kilometers.
30 June 2016 - Observations of Sagittarius and Cygnus/Lyra
Currently BRITE-Austria is observing stars in two different fields in parallel: the Sagittarius starfield and the Cygnus/Lyra starfield.
04 February 2016 - Observations of Crux / Carina
The current primary target stars of BRITE-Austria span over several star fields: Crux, Carina, Centaurus, Musca and Circinus. In addition, the Orion field is observed in parallel to increase the science return. BRITE-Austria is already 1074 days in orbit and has travelled over 700 million kilometers.
22 November 2015 - 1000 days in Orbit
Since its launch on February 25th 2013 BRITE-Austria has already spent 1000 days in orbit. The satellite is currently investigating the Canis Majoris / Puppis star field.
23 September 2015 - Observations of Cassiopeia
After conclusion of the Cygnus and Scorpius observations, BRITE-Austria was oriented toward the Cassiopeia field at the begin of August. BRITE-Austria is already 940 days in orbit, has travelled over 600 million kilometers, resulting in 13475 orbits.
14 - 18 September 2015 - First BRITE-Constellation Science
In mid September the first conference on the exploitation of the
scientific data gathered from all BRITE satellites "Science with
BRITE-Constellation: initial results" was held in Gdansk, Poland and
was considered a great success.
8 June 2015 - Observations of Cygnus and Scorpius Star Field
End of May the observation campaign at the Vela / Puppis star field
has been concluded. The current intermediate observation campaign
includes two fields in both hemispheres, Cygnus and Scorpius. Both
fields are going to be observed until the next primary field
(Cassiopeia) is coming into view end of July.
Currently BRITE-Austria is already 833 days in orbit, has travelled
533 million kilometers and over 11850 orbits.
25 February 2015 - Happy 2nd Anniversary
During its first two years in orbit BRITE-Austria has successfully:
- traveled 470 million kilometers and over 10400 orbits
- performed 5 observation campaigns, observing over 70 stars
- collected over 200,000 science datasets
- produced over 5 GB raw data
... to be continued.
26 January 2015 - Observations of Vela / Puppis Star Field
In December 2014, BRITE-Austria has started the observation campaign
at the Vela / Puppis star field in parallel to the Perseus campaign,
which concludes at the end of the month. The Vela / Puppis field will
be the primary target field until May 2015. The following full frame
image states the stars currently observed for the given target. These
also include stars from neighbouring fields like Carina and
10 November 2014 - Observations of Perseus and Orion Star
Since September 2014, BRITE-Austria is observing the Perseus star field. A full frame image, seen below, states the stars currently observed in the given field. In addition, during selected orbits additional observations at Orion are performed.
17 September 2014 - Change in Target Field to Perseus Field
As the Centaurus field moved out of the visibility range at the end of
August, the Perseus field was chosen as next target field. After some
days of startracker tuning and attitude stabilisation tests, first
observations at the new field have started.
28 July 2014 - Continuous Operations @ Centaurus Field
BRITE-Austria / TUGSAT-1 has travelled about 334 million km and is
operating normally. Observations of the Centaurus field are under way
and return science data of high relevance on a regular basis. The
Centaurus field will be investigated until mid August, subsequently a
new suitable target field will be selected.
29 April 2014 - Observations of Centaurus Star Field
Starting end of March 2014, BRITE-Austria is performing an observation campaign of the Centaurus field. A full frame image taken by the BRITE-Austria instrument on March 28th 2014 is shown below, depicting the 30 bright stars that are being observed. Among these are Alpha and Beta Centauri, as well as bright stars from the constellations of Lupus and Circinus.
25 February 2014 - Happy Birthday BRITE-Austria/TUGSAT-1 !BRITE-Austria / TUGSAT-1 celebrates its first year in orbit! The spacecraft has travelled about 235 million km and is operating normally. Performance of the attitude control system is better than the specifications. Science data collection is carried out on regular basis. Until mid March, the observed target field is Orion, from then on, observation of the field of Centaurus is planned.
19 February 2014 - Observations of Orion Star Field
BRITE-Austria is regularly collecting science data. Currently, regions
of interest have been selected on the instrument’s CCD to obtain time
series of the 15 brightest stars in the Orion constellation. A full
frame image of the Orion constellation taken by the BRITE-Austria
instrument on November 7th 2013 is shown below, illustrating the 15
stars currently under observation.
2 December 2013 - Science Data Collection
BRITE-Austria has successfully increased its fine pointing accuracy and
is currently intensifying the collection of scientific data.
1 October 2013 - Final Commissioning Tasks
Calibration of attitude sensors is ongoing to increase the fine
pointing performance. In addition payload characterisation and hot
pixel variations of the instrument's CCD sensor are investigated.
15 July 2013 - Transition to Fine Pointing
BRITE-Austria is currently performing the transition to fine pointing.
The overall satellite is in a good health state and is looking forward
to start observations of bright stars.
04 June 2013 - Payload CharacterizationPayload commissioning of BRITE-Austria is currently in progress. The sensitivity of the telescope is checked out as well as tests for raster observations by defining regions of interest on the CCD are performed.
22 April 2013 - ADCS CheckoutThe ADCS checkout is in progress. Regarding the instrument sensitivity and performance checks are made.
2 April 2013 - Startracker Tests initiatedWithin the last days the test of the startracker has been initiated. The next steps will bring the spacecraft in fine pointing mode.
25 March 2013 - First Performance Assessment of the TelescopeThe first star image showing Delta Corvus B9V (magnitude 2.95) was downloaded and analysed by the experts from the Institute of Astrophysics in Vienna. Initial assessment of the payload performance indicates that the specifications are met.
23 March 2013 - Historic First Picture from TUGSAT-1After successful detumbling the spacecraft was put into coarse pointing mode. During the 404th orbit the first star image was taken by the scientific instrument (telescope).
11 March 2013 - Current Commissioning StatusTUGSAT-1 completed its 200th orbit and traveled a distance of 9 million kilometers in Space. All sensors (sun sensors and magnetometer) and the actuators (magnetorquers and momentum wheels) were functionally tested. The attitude control system is in passive measurement mode and performance logs are continuously downloaded and evaluated. When the evaluation is completed, de-tumbling will be carried out.
5 March 2013 - Current Commissioning StatusTUGSAT-1 completed its 100th orbit and already traveled a distance of approx. 4.5 million kilometers in Space. All subsystems tested so far show excellent health status. At present the attitude control system is checked out. De-tumbling of the spacecraft is planned for the next days.
25 February 2013 - Successful Launch of TUGSAT-1The PSLV-C20 launcher took off on February 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm CET as planned. Approx. 20 minutes later TUGSAT-1 was separated at an altitude of 792 km altitude. At Graz University of Technology about 140 people participated live in the thrilling launch event.
Already during the first orbital pass over Graz 3 hours later, at 4:46 pm CET, successful contact to the satellite could be established. This constituted the begin of the commissioning phase of the satellite which is expected to last for 3 months.
22 February 2013 - Launch Rehearsal CompletedPSLV-C20 is launching from the First Launch Pad (or Mobile Service Tower) where the rocket is assembled on the pad and the surrounding building is then rolled away for launch.
Some images of the spacecraft assembly prior to fairing closure can
be found at:
Additional pictures of the rocket integration and tower roll back can be found at:
15 February 2013 - Launch Integration Completed
BRITE-Austria / TUGSAT-1 was successfully integrated on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C20 on February 15th, 2013 and is now awaiting its launch on February 25th, 2013 on 13:22 CET.
25 January 2013 - BRITE Stars
The image of the team was captured by the BRITE scientific instrument. From Left to Right: M. Unterberger (TUGraz), C. Grant (SFL), M. Chaumont (SFL), P. Romano (TUGraz). The high-accuracy photometric instrument has been designed to achieve a specific point-spread-function through defocusing. This results in the characteristic blur as seen on the image. Testing of the two BRITE spacecraft has now been completed.
24 January 2013 - Prelaunch Testing at the Satish Dhawan Space CenterTUGSAT-1/BRITE-Austria is thoroughly tested in a cleanroom at the Space center prior to integration into the PSLV-C20 launcher by Patrick Romano and Manuela Unterberger.
22 January 2013 - Arrival at the Launch Site in Sriharikota
The team and the accompanied satellites arrived safely at the launch site at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota/India.