SAMARA, Russia (Sputnik) – Russia’s Samara University has said that its pioneer ultra-light optics for nanosatellites will be sent to space for testing.
“Ultralight optical systems for remote sensing of Earth, developed by scientists of the Samara University named after [famed Soviet rocket engineer Sergei] Korolev, will be tested in space aboard Russian nanosatellites Cube SX-HSE and Cube SX Sirius HSE,” the university said.
According to the university, cheaper nanosatellites with compact optics make it possible to create large-scale orbital constellations from hundreds of such satellites to ensure monitoring of Earth in near real-time and quickly obtain an image of any spot on Earth’s surface without waiting for a large remote sensing satellite to fly over the right place. Such information could be vital for a range of purposes, including tracking the spread of wildfires and floods or monitoring agricultural crops.
The ultralight optical system for remote sensing of Earth is based on a flat diffraction lens developed by the university. The lens is capable of replacing the system of lenses and mirrors of modern telephoto lenses and has a very light weight. Previously, optical systems based on diffraction lenses have not been used in space.
The space tests are expected to demonstrate the capabilities of such optical systems and identify areas for improving the technology. Incoming images from Cube SX-HSE and Cube SX Sirius HSE nanosatellites will be transmitted to Samara University for computer processing.