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Current Activities

19 October 2018 - Observations of Orion/Taurus and Cassiopeia

BRITE-Austria is currently observing stars in the Orion/Taurus field, as well as in the Cassiopeia field. In the meantime, BRITE-Austria has travelled 1344 million kilometers and is currently 2062 days in orbit.

25 February 2018 - Happy 5th Anniversary BRITE-Austria and UniBRITE!

During its first five years in orbit BRITE-Austria has successfully:

- travelled 1190 million kilometers and over 26000 orbits
- performed 20 observation campaigns, observing over 270 stars
- collected over 650,000 science datasets
- produced over 32 GB raw data

... to be continued.

23 August 2017 – Observations of Cassiopeia and Sagittarius fields

BRITE-Austria is currently concluding its observations at the Sagittarius field, while observing stars in the Cassiopeia field in parallel.
BRITE-Austria is already 1640 days in orbit and has travelled over 1069 million kilometers.

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 Orion

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 (2nd-Turn)

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 Conference

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 BRITE-Austria!

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 Pyxis.


10 November 2014 - Observations of Perseus and Orion Star Field

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 Characterization

Payload 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 Checkout

The ADCS checkout is in progress. Regarding the instrument sensitivity and performance checks are made.

2 April 2013 - Startracker Tests initiated

Within 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 Telescope

The 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-1

After 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 Status

TUGSAT-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 Status

TUGSAT-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-1

The 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.
Launch Event
(fr.l.) Projekt coordinator Otto Koudelka, Harald Posch, Head of the Aerospace Agency of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, Pavan Badhe, Representative of the Indian Embassy, and Rector Harald Kainz at the Launch Event at TU Graz ©TUGraz/Lunghammer

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 Completed

PSLV-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.

BRITE integrated

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 Center

TUGSAT-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.

Prelaunch test

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.



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