AlainSat-1 is a collaboration project between NSSTC and the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) in the form of the and GRSS Student Grand Challenge in order to allow student teams to develop Earth Observation payloads for a small satellite. The three winning teams building the satellite payload are:

  • Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain: An L-band radiometer for monitoring soil moisture, a multispectral camera for monitoring vegetation, and a software defined radio for monitoring Radio Frequency Interference along with an antenna system.
  • Telkom University, Indonesia: A camera and a miniature spectrometer for atmospheric sensing.
  • Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan: Algorithms for onboard image classification to automatically detect the best quality images for downlinking.

Mission Objectives

Foster creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking among young innovators bridging the application of technology and the unique environment of space for the advancement of engineering research and development.  
Position NSSTC internationally as a leading center for developing, building, testing, and operating satellites.
Development of low-cost remote sensing and earth observation payloads by university students and test them in-orbit.


Research and Development

Research and Development

  • Perform Microwave Radiometry (MWR) measurements at L-band, vegetation analysis using a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Near-Infrared Regions (NIR) camera, and Radio-Frequency Interference (RFI) detection and classification.
  • Capture and download images using a miniature Multispectral camera.
  • Perform image classification using machine learning algorithms to autonomously detect images qualified for download.



The Satellite

The Satellite

  • 3U Standard CubeSat
  • Dimensions = 30 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm
  • Mass < 4 KG
  • Altitude: LEO – Sun Synchronous Orbit (~550)
  • Launch Date: Q4 2024

Funding and Support

Joint funding from ICT Fund (Platform, AIT, and ground station mission operations) and IEEE-GRSS (Payloads).

Oct 5, 2023