AeroAstro today announced that STPSat-1 successfully completed Normal Operations Readiness Review (NORR), conducted on 28 March at the Space Development and Test Wing (SDTW) at Kirtland AFB, NM. The NORR marks completion of the on-orbit checkout period that began with STPSat-1’s launch on 8 March from Cape Canaveral on an Atlas V rocket. The checkout encompassed complete verification of each spacecraft subsystem’s performance, and initialization of the two payload experiments. The checkout period was baselined for 30 days, but was accomplished in less than 3 weeks.

STPSat-1’s primary experiment, Spatial Heterodyne Imager for Mesospheric Radicals (SHIMMER), is a high-resolution ultraviolet spectrometer based on the new optical technique known as Spatial Heterodyne Spectroscopy (SHS). SHS facilitates the design of low mass, low power, high throughput spectrometers for space-based remote sensing. The secondary experiment, the Computerized Ionospheric Tomography Receiver in Space (CITRIS), is investigating irregularities that affect propagation of satellite-to-ground links for GPS and communications.

“The STPSat-1 checkout period was accomplished rapidly and smoothly.” said Richard Barnisin, AeroAstro’s STPSat-1 Program Manager, and Vice President of Space Programs. “Most of the subsystems are performing even better than predicted, and we’ve confirmed that the experiments are getting good data. The launch sequence and final orbit were near-perfect, providing further verification that the EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) is a viable secondary launch alternative.” AeroAstro developed the low-earth orbiting spacecraft under contract to the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program.

About the STPSat-1 Spacecraft

STPSat-1 continues STP’s mission to provide access to space for DoD- sponsored experiments. The spacecraft’s elegant design incorporated both proven technical design from previous missions and advanced technologies. The satellite construction was tailored for the highly constrained ESPA environment and included advances in electronics packaging, space materials and manufacturing techniques.

About AeroAstro

AeroAstro, founded in 1988, is a leader in innovative microsatellite systems, components, and advanced communications technologies. AeroAstro was the prime contractor for STPSat-1 responsible for spacecraft design and fabrication, integration of all experiments, space vehicle testing, launch integration support, launch and early orbit operations support, and post- launch mission operations support.