Mauritius was the winner of the 3rd round UNOOSA/JAXA KiboCube Programme in 2018, whereby Mauritius was awarded (by JAXA) the opportunity to build and deploy, for the first time in its history, a 1U Cube Satellite through the International Space Station (ISS). The MIR-SAT1 has now been handed over to JAXA to be deployed from the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) “KiboCUBE” on the International Space Station (ISS).
MIR-SAT1 (Mauritius Imagery and Radio – Satellite 1) was designed by a team of Mauritian Engineers and an experienced Radio Amateur from the Mauritius Amateur Radio Society in collaboration with experts from AAC-Clyde Space UK.
The primary objective of the MIR-SAT1 is to acquire satellite technology through the design process, design review, assembly, integration and testing. In parallel, the MRIC will set up a Ground station located at its premises in Ebene, which will serve to control and operate the MIR-SAT1. This Ground station will also allow the receipt of data and telemetry from other satellites. The Ground Station will be equipped with a ‘FlatSat’ module which is a replica of the 1U, which will enable engineers to simulate all the required manoeuvres prior to sending the command to the CubeSat. The FlatSat Module is a key tool for the Mauritian Engineers to design future CubeSats after the MIR-SAT1.
Data that will be collected from the 1U cubesat are:
- satellite health data (e.g. battery charge level, the status operating system onboard, etc.),
- payload data, i.e., pictures of Mauritius and surrounding regions
- experimenting island to island communication.
The MIR-SAT1 is expected to have ground contact with Mauritius 4 to 5 times per day depending on the season and its expected lifetime is about 2 -3 years.