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Technical Specifications

Star Tracker System

Hexagonal Body Structure

X-band Antenna Pointing Mechanism

KhalifaSat Camera System

S-band Antenna

Hexagonal Body Structure

Solar Panels

KhalifaSat Key Parameters

  • Sun-synchronous orbit, nominal altitude - 613km Inclination - 98.13°

  • 330Kg

  • 0.01° (full -3axis stabilised)

  • 450W @ EOL

  • 512 Gbit

  • TT&C (Telemetry Tracking and Command) in S-band Uplink and downlink data rate of 32 kbit/sPayload data downlink in X-band at 320 Mbit/s

  • 5 years

The satellite systems & payload

To provide high-resolution imagery of 0.7m in a Low Earth Orbit trajectory, KhalifaSat has been designed and manufactured with some of the most advanced instruments and components ever to be included in a satellite of its class.The development of the satellite is based upon the platform, heritage and foundations laid by DubaiSat-2, while advancing on each component. The satellite bus is hexagonal in shape and features four deployable solar panels.

The bus comprises two decks and also an upper sun shield that has been manufactured to protect the cold propellants from both solar and Earth radiation. The satellite’s electronics are distributed evenly on both decks and on the side panels of the bus. The four solar panels are attached to the sides of the satellite bus structure, the frame of which is manufactured from longerons and rails.

The KhalifaSat Camera System (KHCS) is extremely sensitive, and the system is protected from harmful radiation, sunlight and severe fluctuations in temperature by a Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) sun shield. The satellite shell is just under two metres in height and less than 1.5 metres in diameter. The total mass of the spacecraft is estimated to be around 330 kg.

KhalifaSat Camera System (KHCS)

KHCS Parameters

  • Instrument Type: Pushbroom imager
  • Instrument Mass: 70kg
  • Telescope Clear Aperture: 400mm
  • Attitude Accuracy: <0.01º (full 3-axis stabilised)
  • Power Consumption: 168W
  • Area Imaging: Images of a large area can be taken to construct a wide swath image within one pass over the area
  • Mass Storage Capacity of SSR (Solid State Recorder): 512 Gbit
  • Ground Sample Distance (GSD): 0.7m
  • Pan: 2.98 m MS (4 bands, RGB+NIR)
  • IFOV: Pan< 1.21 µrad, MS< 4.86 µrad
  • Downlink Data Transmission Speed: 320 Mbit/s
  • Swath/Field of View: 12km at nadir (FOV> 1.15º for each band)
  • Detector: TDI
  • Data Quantisation: 10 bit

KHCS features several imaging modes, these are:

Single Pass Stereo and tri-Stereo Imaging - Images can be acquired of any target from two different angles. This feature enables the generation of stereo pair images.

Multi-point Imaging - Allows capture of multiple targets located within 600km of the ground track, manoeuvring between targets.

Single Strip Imaging - Images up to 12km in width and 1,500km long can be captured

Space Imaging – The satellite can point to outer space objects like the Moon and stars for enhancement of the image quality

Area Imaging - Images up to 36 km in width through advanced control system that enables three consecutive imagings in one pass to extend the swath width

Ground Station

The MBRSC ground station in Dubai will support KhalifaSat and its functions from Earth. The ground system includes three main subsystems: Antenna and Radio Frequency (RF) subsystem, Mission Control Station (MCS), and Image Receiving and Processing Station (IRPS).

The main function of the Antenna & RF subsystem is to transmit imaging orders, give commands to the satellite, receive information and download images through the X-band feed. The MCS plans and operates the entire mission. This included the configuration and scheduling of resources for both space and ground elements.

The IRPS provides real-time receiving and processing of downlink data. It also generates standard image products and catalogues, manages archives, and interfaces with client IRPS.


Primary Reflector Structure

Instrument Tower

Satellite Tracking Positioner