Known as a Compact Advanced Satellite 500 (CAS500), this new South Korean Earth-observation model boasts a launch mass of just 500 kg. It has been designated for various Earth-observation endeavours, such as land surveying and assistance with landscape planning. The first model in this class, the CAS500-1, represents a joint development between the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd. (KAI). CAS500-1 is scheduled to launch in 2019 and operate for four years. KAI will construct a second satellite, slated for a 2020 launch, on its own – benefiting from the expertise the company acquires between now and then. This means overall responsibility for additional planned compact satellites of this class lies with industry.
To determine their position while orbiting Earth, the South Korean satellites will rely on a new variant of satellite-navigation receiver made by RUAG Space: a single-frequency version of the same generation of RUAG Space receivers that have sold well for many years. These new LEORIX receivers, as they are known, can use GPS or Galileo signals to ensure precise orbit determination (POD) with an error of margin under one metre. LEORIX receivers not only meet the requirements of widely used compact Earth-observation satellites such as the CAS500, but also round out RUAG Space’s product portfolio. The single-frequency LEORIX solution is particularly cost-effective thanks to an innovative, rugged and truly simple antenna designed by RUAG Space Sweden.
Delivery of the first two LEORIX receivers for CAS500-1 is set for spring 2018, with two receivers for CAS500-2 to follow one year later.