Zoom on "CHALLENGE ONE", the first Tunisian satellite

May 03, 2021 | by: David Kodjani

Challenge One is a Tunisian artificial nanosatellite launched on March 22, 2021 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz-23 rocket. With Challenge One, Tunisia becomes the first Maghreb country and the sixth in Africa to manufacture its own satellite.

Challenge One is the first Tunisian satellite to be launched. It was built by a team of 20 Tunisian engineers from the Telnet group. The satellite cost 1.6 million euros.

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Challenge One is a CubeSat 3U9 format nano-satellite. Its main mission, which is estimated to last 5 years, is related to the Internet of Things. It is the first of thirty constellations of satellites to launch by 2023 to use the LoRaWAN telecommunications protocol.

The Challenge One satellite plays the role of a LoRa gateway placed in orbit in space, and therefore will be able to receive the data intended for it and sent by the terminals on the ground. It should be noted that LoRa is a technology allowing an object to exchange data of small size and at low speed, which makes it possible to reduce its energy consumption and thus gives it an autonomy of up to 15 years.

Challenge One has a speed of 7.5 km / s. It was placed in low earth orbit - LEO - at an altitude of 550 km and circled the earth in 90 minutes.

Challenge One is made up of:

  • An aluminum structure
  • An OBC on-board computer (On Board Computer)
  • An EPS (Energy management System) solar energy management)
  • module An ADCS (Attitude Determination and position control module and Control System)
  • Several on-board payloads of the IoT type such as a LoRa gatewayLoRa
  • Several antennas (patch) to establish the link with the terrestrial terminals
  • A UHF antenna (401-402 MHZ) to ensure the transfer link of the collected data to the earth and guarantee the possibility of configuring and parameterizing the satellite in orbit
  • Solar panels not for collecting the operating energy of the satellite
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