The Algerian Space Agency(ASAL), last week, released a series of satellite imageries of South Wales, Australia forest fires captured by ALSAT-1B.
The Alsat-1B medium resolution satellite image acquired on December 20, 2019, made it possible to visualise the extent of the fires and the areas it affected in the state of New South Wales (New South Wales).
The ALSAT-1B is an Earth observation satellite, weighing 103 kilograms (227 lb). It carries an earth imaging payload with 12-metre (39 ft) panchromatic imager and 24-metre (79 ft) multispectral cameras.
The ALSAT-1B imagery consists of six images, specifically detailing areas in Muswellbrook, Singleton, Cessnock, Lithgow and Hawkesbury covered by smoke.
Since September 2019, the eastern part of Australia has experienced forest fires, which have affected more than 6 million hectares of bush, with the states of New South Wales and Victoria being the worst hit.
According to reports, prolonged drought, hot temperatures and strong winds created ideal conditions for flames to spread, with lives and properties lost. In addition, forest fires are most probably caused by natural phenomena.
Alsat 1B is an Algerian medium resolution earth observation satellite built jointly by the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), based on the SSTL-100 platform.
The contract for its construction, signed in July 2014, had eighteen ASAL engineers undertaking in the Assembly, Integration and Test phase of the satellite in Algeria. The project offered further opportunities for the transfer of skills and the development of local capabilities for the Algerian side.
ALSAT-1B was launched on 26 September 2016 into a 670-kilometre (420 mi) altitude polar orbit by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) using the PSLV–C35 rocket. The rocket carried other satellites. The launch site was Sriharikota, India.
The satellite uses three body-mounted solar panels for power generation, a 15 Amp-hour Li-Ion battery for power storage and warm gas, butane powered resistojets for propulsion. Its attitude control system uses sun sensors and magnetometers.