The MINISAT programme aims to develop a system that will permit performance of space operations at a lower cost and within shorter delays when compared with present programmes. This programme is run by CICYTwith the collaboration of the Spanish industry.
Minisat 01 was launched by a Pegasus rocket. The selected payload to the MINISAT first mission (MINISAT 01) is scientific, composed of three instruments:
- EURD: It studies the background radiation in the extreme ultra-violet range (EUV). It has been developed by an international scientific team. See EURD page at LAEFF
- LEGRI: It studies the low energy gamma radiation (10-100 keV) from astronomical sources using HgI2 detectors. It was developed by an international scientific team with the Valencia University, Instituto de Fisica Corpuscular, CIEMAT and INTA for the Spanish part; and Birmingham University, Southampton University and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory for the UK part.
- CPLM: It studies the behaviour of liquid bridges in micro-gravity conditions and has been developed by the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid.
The MINISAT programme, in its first stage, concluded with the complete development and orbit qualification of the platform MINISAT 01. This platform is already left commercialy available to perform a lot of scientific missions.
The second stage consist in the modular upgrading of the Platform 0 up to reach the maximum performances, or platform MINISAT 1, to do earth observation missions like: Damage evaluation of natural disasters. Enviromental control. Town planing and control. Vigilance of chemical or nuclear accidents. Harvest planing and control. Crisis monitoring. Vigilance of compliance with internatinal agreements.
The third stage of the MINISAT programme will consist in the development of the Platform MINISAT 2 that will be an adaptation of MINISAT 1 to commuication missions even in geostationary orbit.
The first mission with the platform 1 started the phase A of feasibility study in nearly 1995.