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South Africa to Commercialize First Indigenous Micro Satellite

[Via Satellite 10-07-2014] South African aerospace group Space Commercial Service Holdings (SCSH) has launched its first self-developed export product.

The Phoenix-20 HS is a micro-satellite that uses an advanced remote sensing system based on hyperspectral imaging, which breaks up images in different spectral bands and enables it to unveil more details of the Earth’s surface.

The Phoenix-20 HS can be used for monitoring the health of agriculture crops for food security, forest canopies to enable early warnings for pest control, soils and vegetation restoration after mining operations, aquatic ecosystems for future water resource, mapping of natural vegetation, shoreline changes, the effect of climate change, and the management of natural disasters.

The Phoenix, according to Sias Mostert, CEO of SCSH, will have a total weight below 24 kg and cost between $2.5 million and $4 million. It is available in two options: either with a design lifetime of one year and 500 km orbital height above the Earth’s surface, or a three to five year lifespan at a height between 500 and 700 kilometers. It typically takes around two years from signing of the contract to the launch of a satellite.