Developed by TUBITAK UZAY, Türkiye's first domestic and national observation satellite with sub-meter resolution IMECE has started its journey in space. After two delays, IMECE's launch program from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA, with Space X's Falcon 9 rocket, was delayed once again yesterday, with 27 seconds left due to strong winds.
The fourth attempt to launch IMECE was successful. IMECE, Türkiye's first domestic and national observation satellite with sub-meter resolution, was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA at 09:47 CET.
The program includes Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, Chief of General Staff General Yasar Guler, Presidential Strategy and Budget Head Ibrahim Senel, Presidency Defense Industry Head Ismail Demir, Digital Transformation Office Head Ali Taha Koc, TURKSAT General Manager Hasan Huseyin Ertok and TUBITAK President Hasan Mandal. The engineers and their families involved in the production phase followed from the center established in the TUBITAK Space campus in Ankara.
After the launch, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made statements:
"The IMECE satellite will be Türkiye's most advanced earth observation satellite in terms of image resolution, communication speed and maneuverability. The IMECE satellite will be our eye in many areas, including national defense, disaster management, agriculture, forestry, environment and urbanism. We designed, manufactured, assembled, integrated and tested all the subsystems required for an observation satellite. We proudly sent our country's first high-resolution satellite into space, the herald of the Turkish Century."
Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank also connected to the ceremony by phone after the launch and thanked those who contributed.
SpaceX company also published a video of the launch moment on its Twitter account.
The spacecraft is being produced by the TUBİTAK Space Technologies Research Institute (TUBİTAK UZAY) at the facility of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TUSAS) in Ankara Kahramankazan.
The mass of the spacecraft, envisioned for a five-year mission, is 800 kg (1,800 lb).
It will be at 680 km (420 mi) in a geocentric orbit with the sun.
Panchromatic (PAN): 0.99 m (3 ft 3 in),
Multispectral (MSI): It will have an image area of 13.9 km × 16.2 km (8.6 mi × 10.1 mi) in a single frame with an image resolution of 3.96 m (13.0). ft).
IMECE, which will be located in an orbit synchronized with the sun at an altitude of 680 kilometers, will serve the country in many areas such as target identification, detection, natural disasters, agricultural applications during its design mission life of 5 years. The satellite will be able to obtain images from anywhere in the world.
In the meantime, imaging satellite AKUP developed by TUBITAK UZAY together with IMECE, imaging satellite KILIÇSAT produced in cooperation with ASELSAN and GUMUS, and internet of things and imaging satellite CONNECTA T2.1 cube satellites produced by PLAN-S company will be launched into space in the same rocket.
The earth observation satellite IMECE, which was developed with national resources, was equipped with the experience gained from BİLSAT, RASAT and Gokturk-2 satellites. The electro-optical satellite camera with sub-meter resolution, produced for the first time in Türkiye, was developed by TUBITAK UZAY and integrated into IMECE. Thanks to this technologically critical camera, Türkiye's need for high resolution satellite imagery will be met with domestic resources.
In addition to the electro-optical camera at IMECE, the flight computer, electric propulsion, orientation and trajectory determination, power and communication subsystems were designed and produced by TUBITAK UZAY. Within the scope of IMECE Project, especially flight computer software, orientation and trajectory software, analysis software, ground station software were developed by TUBITTAK UZAY engineers. TUBITAK UME's magnetometer and magnetic torque rod and TUBITAK MAM's fixed solar panel contributed to the IMECE satellite.
The outputs obtained from the IMECE Project will form the building blocks of the new satellites that Türkiye will have in the future. With this project, in addition to the critical space technologies acquired, human power and knowledge will be gained in this field. With the space history of the equipment produced within the scope of the project, Türkiye will gain the potential to export systems with high added value.
The IMECE satellite, which successfully passed thermal vacuum, vibration, acoustic and electromagnetic compatibility tests as of June 2022, was sent to the USA, where the launch base is located, in February.