Developed and built by the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC) engineers, Vietnam-made micro-satellite NanoDragon was sent to the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan between March 8-22, to undergo quality control before being launched into the orbit.
During the testing process, NanoDragon underwent vibration, shock and thermal vacuum testing in a simulated pre-launch environment, the last steps in its hardware development.
The satellite weighs some four kilos and belongs to the CubeSat category, a type of miniaturized satellite for space research that is made up of multiple 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm modules.
Following the completion of these tests, the satellite will be returned to Vietnam before being launched by the Japanese Epsilon missile in September at free cost in line with the "Innovative satellite technology demonstration" program.
Vietnam’s NanoDragon satellite undergoes thermal vacuum test at the Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan. Photo: VNSC
Deputy General Director of VNSC Le Xuan Huy said that the NanoDragon satellite has met all targets as required in terms of design and safety prior to launch.
"The satellite is operating normally after being transferred back to Vietnam, awaiting its launch into orbit," Huy added.
He stressed that the NanoDragon satellite is expected to operate in solar synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 560 kilometers from Earth.
As a product of Vietnam's nano-sized micro-satellite project for the 2016-2020 period, Huy said NanoDragon's main task will be to integrate an Automatic Identification System (AIS) used for the purpose of tracking and monitoring vessels at sea.
"At present, VNSC engineers are putting the finishing touches to installing the ground station which will operate the satellite following its launch," he added.
The VNSC is a pioneer agency in the country that researches and develops modern space technologies with the aim of supporting economic development and environmental protection locally.
Iin 2013, the VNSC manufactured the PicoDragon satellite that weighs one kilogram, along with the five-kilogram MicroDragon satellite, which proved to be very successful projects. PicoDragon was Vietnam's first native satellite sent into space.
Vietnam is one of the countries in the world most affected by global warming and climate change. Space services and technologies will help the nation better understand climate change while supporting the process of monitoring and preventing natural disasters, therefore helping to mitigate its consequences.