In addition to making contact with TalTech’s and AS Datel’s joint satellite “Hämarik” on the 21st of November, the first information packages were gathered from Koit for the first time ever since the satellite was sent on orbit in the summer of 2019.
The information package was gathered thanks to a very rare coincidence, backed by TalTech’s satellite team with software specialist Madis Kaal, Tartu Observatory’s chief engineer Viljo Allik and the observatory’s researcher Tõnis Eenmäe in charge. “The fact that we caught the package was a complete coincidence!” said Madis Kaal. “The antennas happened to be in the exact right place and transmitters on the correct frequency during Hämarik’s overflight. We received another package in addition to Hämarik which after decoding turned out to be Koit.”
TalTech’s satellite team’s priority now is to get their ground station up and running. Thus far they have used either Tartu observatory’s antennas or even private ones. “Since the signal coming from the satellites is very weak, we are considering using the Mektory antennas” said Rauno Gordon, the head of Mektory Space Centre
Estonia has sent three satellites to the orbit and contact with all of them has been achieved. TalTech’s Koit is the second satellite ever by Estonia (first being EstCube-1) sent to space from Russia’s Vostotšnõi cosmodrome on the 5th of July 2019. Just like Hämarik’s, Koit’s mission is land-monitoring, using RGB and NIR cameras. Koit is orbiting Earth on the altitude of 530km with the speed of 7,7 km/s.