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CSIR camera to be launched into space

10 October 2018 News

A CSIR-developed ‘K-line’ camera will be the first in the world to be launched into space on a nanosatellite.

The camera, which was featured at the Africa Aerospace and Defence 2018 exhibition, will serve as an optical payload on South Africa’s ZA-CUBE-2 to be launched into orbit in the coming months.

The K-line camera was designed by the CSIR to detect forest fires from space by detecting traces of potassium radiated from burning vegetation. The eventual goal is to establish a constellation of low-cost satellites that will produce data with a high spatial and temporal resolution for a large variety of applications.

The optical payload features a medium-resolution, near-infrared, potassium-sensing imager. Data from the camera will be fed into the CSIR-developed Advanced Fire Information System that provides near real-time warnings and updates on fires to clients around the globe. The envisaged nanosatellite constellation will improve the revisit time as the size of the constellation increases and with improved spatial resolution, as a result of refinements in commercial camera detector technology.

The K-line concept makes use of commercial, off-the-shelf components, such as camera modules, lenses and filters, which are space-qualified through processes and procedures developed at the CSIR.

For more information contact David Mandaha, CSIR, +27 12 841 3654, dmandaha@csir.co.za, www.csir.co.za





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