Austrian Nano Satellites

Within the last decade, a new field of competence has emerged in Austria, the so-called nano satellites. They are small satellites with a weight between 1 and 10 kg.

Since 2013, three nano satellites have been launched for scientific purposes. They transmit data of very bright stars (TUGSAT-1, UniBRITE) or explore the thermosphere (PEGASUS). The fourth, launch planned for 2019, will test and validate new techniques in mission control and on-board systems (OPS-SAT).

The increasing expertise in nano satellites goes along with the adoption of the Austrian Outer Space Act in 2011.

MOST

From 2003, a ground station for the Canadian nano satellite MOST (Microvariability and Oscillations of STars) was located in Vienna. It was developed and operated by the Vienna University of Technology.

TUGSAT-1 / BRITE-Austria

TUGSAT-1, an optical astronomy spacecraft, was launched in 2013. It was developed by Graz University of Technology, University of Vienna and Vienna University of Technology and is operated by Graz University of Technology. 

  • Programme: BRITE (BRIght Target Explorer) Constellation.
  • Funding: Austrian Space Applications Programme.

UniBRITE

UniBRITE, an optical astronomy spacecraft, was launched in 2013. It was developed by Graz University of Technology, University of Vienna and Vienna University of Technology and is operated by the University of Vienna. 

  • Programme: BRITE (BRIght Target Explorer) Constellation. 
  • Funding: Austrian Space Applications Programme (operations).

PEGASUS

PEGASUS, an Earth observation spacecraft, was launched in 2017. It was developed by the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, Vienna University of Technology, University of Vienna and Austrian Space Forum. 

  • Programme: QB50, a network of 36 nanosatellites built by university teams all over the world. 
  • Funding: European Union Horizon 2020, Austrian Space Applications Programme (pulsed plasma thruster).

OPS-SAT

The launch of OPS-SAT, a spacecraft to be used as in orbit test bed for innovation, is planned for 2019. It was developed by Graz University of Technology.