The Technology Experiment Carrier (TET-1) went into orbit on 22 July 2012. Its design was based on its predecessor BIRD (Bi-spectral InfraRed Detection), which was the first orbiter to be used in a small satellite mission for collecting data regarding high-temperature events.
The initial objective of TET-1 was to carry out 11 experiments over the course of one year as part of the OOV programme (On-Orbit Verification of new techniques and technologies). Research facilities and industry could test and verify their systems on the TET-1 in space conditions. These tests included a lithium-polymer battery system, a GPS receiver and new solar cells. Following the successful completion of the OVV mission, the satellite was deployed for use within the follow-up mission, FireBIRD.
TET-1's main payload is the high-performance infrared camera system known as the Hot Spot Recognition System (HSRS), which was already successfully used prior to the launch of BIROS as a forest fire detector. For example, in the summer of 2015, it was able to register and measure a large fire as well as several smaller fires in the US state of Oregon. In October 2015, the DLR satellite provided accurate images of the wide-spread forest and peat fires in Indonesia. Together with BIROS, as part of their joint FireBIRD mission, it has been in orbit since June 2016.
Operation and finance
TET-1 (like BIROS), is operated and monitored from the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) in Oberpfaffenhofen, with its antenna facilities in Weilheim. The data obtained from the payload are received, processed, archived and then made available for research by the German Remote Sensing Data Ceter (DFD) at the DLR site in Neustrelitz. The construction and operation of TET-1 is funded by DLR.
Overview of important system parameters in TET-1
|Type of orbit||LEO (Low Earth Orbit)|
|Average orbital altitude||497 to 522 kilometres|
|Orbital inclination (angle between the equator and the orbit)||53 Grad bis sonnensynchron (ca. 90 Grad)|
|Potential alignments of the payload||Sun, Earth, nadir (vertical direction to Earth), zenith (extended vertical direction), direction of flight, deep space|
|Position and orbit control||three-axle stabilisation|
|max. 20 watts (continuous power)||max. 20 Watt (Dauerleistung)|
|Maximum power||160 watts for 20 minutes (within any one day, five times per day)|
|Temperature range||-10 to +30 degrees Celsius|
|Nominal battery voltage||20 volts (min. 18 volts, max. 24 volts)|
|Maximum current||8 amperes|
|Payload data rate||2.2 megabytes/second|
|Data storage||512 megabytes|
|TET dimensions LxWxH|
|67 x 58 x 88 centimetres|
|Payload dimensions LxWxH|
|46 x 46 x 42 centimetres|
|TET gross mass of payload||50 kilograms|
|TET total mass||120 kilograms|