The TET-1 satellite was the core element of the “On-orbit Verification of new techniques and technologies” (OOV) programme, which was designed to bridge the gap between the ground testing of new systems and their operational service and qualification. Research institutions and industrial companies were provided with a system they could regularly use at short notice to test their latest products under space conditions and confirm their reliability and utility. The TET-1 satellite was built in Germany by a consortium under OHB System GmbH in cooperation with Astro- und Feinwerktechnik Adlershof GmbH and DLR institutes. Overall responsibility for the project lay with the DLR Space Administration division, supported by the DLR Program Directorate Space Research and Technology.
The TET satellite has a volume of 670 x 580 x 880 mm³ and a total weight of 120 kg; it was launched as a secondary (“piggyback”) payload. TET offers a payload volume of 460 x 460 x 428 mm³ weighing up to 50 kg. The satellite bus has multimission capabilities. That is, it can meet the requirements of a variety of LEO (Low Earth Orbit) missions with an integrated payload, for example, high-precision earth observation or science missions. This multimission capability is made possible by subdividing the satellite bus and by an adaptive payload supply system that provides each payload with the required interfaces.
The satellite was launched from Baikonur spaceport on 22 July 2012 on a Soyuz-Fregat rocket, together with four other satellites from Russia, Belarus and Canada. In its target orbit at some 520 kilometres altitude, TET-1 has an orbital period of 90 minutes, during which it is exposed to 60 minutes of sunlight.
TET-1 Orbit Parameters at the Beginning of the Mission
Minimum altitude for first orbit (above ref. sphere R = 6371 km)