Mats

MATS (Mesospheric Airglow/Aerosol Tomography and Spectroscopy) is an upcoming Swedish satellite mission designed to investigate atmospheric waves. It will do so by imaging variation in the light emitted by oxygen molecules at 100 km, as well as structures in the highest clouds in our atmosphere, the so-called noctilucent clouds, which form around 80 km. By performing a tomographic analysis of these images, 3D reconstruction of these waves can be done. This will allow the MATS mission to provide the first global map of the properties of atmospheric waves in all spatial dimensions.

The MATS mission is based on the development of the InnoSat spacecraft concept. The InnoSat spacecraft is a small, capable and low-cost platform intended for a range of scientific research missions in Low Earth Orbit. It is designed to fit within a piggyback launch envelope, and has a mass of roughly 50 kg mass and a size of 60×70×85 cm. The satellite is being developed by OHB Sweden, ÅAC Microtec, Department of Meteorology (MISU) at Stockholm University, Department of Earth and Space Sciences at Chalmers, Space and Plasma Physics Group at KTH and Omnisys Instruments. The mission is funded by the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB).

The satellite is scheduled for launch 2019.

 

MATS Instrument

The MATS satellite is the first satellite based on the InnoSat platform will also serve as a pilot mission in an intended programme of small, low-cost research satellites funded by the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB). The 50 kg micro satellite is planned to be launched in 2019 as an auxiliary payload into a 600 km dawn/dusk circular sun-synchronous orbit. There are two science instruments on board: the limb imager and the nadir imager.

In order to capture 3D wave structures in the MLT, MATS is designed to measure two phenomena occurring in the MLT region. Noctilucent clouds and atmospheric airglow from the Oxygen A-Band. This will be achieved by imaging the limb of the atmosphere at six different wavelengths; two in UV (between 270-300 nm) and four in IR (760-780 nm). The two UV channels will give information on small scale structures using solar light scattered of NLCs, while the IR channels provide larger scale structures, as well as atmospheric temperatures by measuring the emission from photochemically exited oxygen molecules.


The Limb imager.


To perform the limb imaging, an off-axis 3 mirror telescope based on free-form mirrors is used. The limb of the atmosphere is imaged onto the 6 CCD channels, where wavelength separation is achieved using a combination of dichroic beam splitters, and narrowband filters. The image detection is based on advanced CCD sensors with readout electronics that allows for flexible pixel binning and image processing. Telescope optics and interior instrument setup are carefully designed to suppress stray light effects. Of particular importance is the layout of the limb baffle system that is optimized by making use of the entire available length of the InnoSat platform.

 

 

MATS Platform

The MATS mission is based on the development of the InnoSat spacecraft concept. The InnoSat spacecraft is a small, capable and low-cost platform intended for a range of scientific research missions in Low Earth Orbit. It is designed to fit within a piggyback launch envelope, that is roughly 50 kg mass and 70×60×85 cm size, and to provide high performances in terms of pointing, power and data downlink.


The InnoSat Platform has been designed to maximize the use of the launcher volume available for a piggyback launch. The main drivers behind this are simply the power and volume needed for the payload. A key factor of being able to meet those demands is to baseline a dawn/dusk orbit or go to a sun pointing mode. Having the sun from one side reduces the amount of necessary solar panels in different directions, which allows for greater flexibility for the payload accommodation. All platform avionics will be accommodated into one module, called the Service Module. This module has a launch vehicle adapter on one side and a payload interface on the other side.


 

The standard InnoSat platform

• S/C mass and size: 70 x 60 x 85 cm, ~50 kg (incl. payload)
• Max payload size: 65 x 53 x 48 cm (blue volume)
• Max payload mass: 15 kg
• Max payload power: 40 W (average)
• Solar array: 170 W installed power
• Downlink bitrate: 3-5 Mbps (S-band)
• Stabilization: 3-axis with RW and Star Tracker
• Orbit: 550 to 650 km dawn/dusk (SSO)
• Orbit determination: On-board GPS
• Payload can be Earth- Limb- or Space-facing

Last updated: 7 December 2016