ALSAT-Nano (AlSat-1N, ALSAT 1N, AISAT-Nano)

AlSat Nano
AlSat Nano
Spacecraft name ALSAT-Nano (AlSat-1N, ALSAT 1N, AISAT-Nano)
Spacecraft type CubeSat
Units or mass 3U
Status Operational (Press release 2019-10-07 and IAC paper from 2022 about over 5 years of measurements)
Launched 2016-09-26
NORAD ID 41789
Deployer ISIPOD [ISISpace]
Launcher PSLV
Organization UK Space Agency
Institution Space agency
Entity Government (Civil / Military)
Nation (HQ) UK
Nation (AIT) Algeria
Manufacturer AIVT by ?
Operator SSTL
Partners Surrey Space Centre, Algerian Space Agency

Educational training and demonstrate thin-film solar cells.


Teach Algerian students how to design, build and operate a 3U CubeSat. The programme involves a number of Algerian graduate students who will be hosted at the Surrey Space Centre (University of Surrey) and focuses on the development of the CubeSat as a hands-on learning exercise for the students, to demonstrate the practical implementation of this type of low cost space technology.

As well as the practical element of the programme there will be a focus on research modules around the use of low cost nano-satellite technologies and applications in developing nations such as Algeria, which would help to create sustainable growth and have practical uses such as earth resource management (agriculture, water), atmospheric monitoring, and disaster management.

SpaceMag-PV Boom - arms used to hold instrument sensors as far as possible from the spacecraft body to minimise interference. C3D2 is a highly customisable CubeSat camera offering three fields of view and innovative on-board software processing capabilities.

The payload will also be a remote experiment of the Open Science Laboratory - suite of remote experiments that supports distance learning students studying science and engineering. The payload development is led by the Open University Centre for Electronic Imaging with sensor hardware provided by e2v Ltd and electronics from XCAM Ltd. Thin Film Solar Cell is a novel and potentially step-changing solar cell structure which is directly deposited on cover glass just 1/10th of a millimeter thick.


Achieved its mission objectives and has exceeded its performance expectations.

The experiment has provided the first in-orbit current/voltage (I/V) measurements of this novel technology, and more than five years of flight results have now yielded new insights into its longer term performance and inherent radiation hardness, which makes them particularly attractive for maintaining high end-of-life (EOL) performance for long duration space missions. The results help to strengthen the argument for further development this technology for space application. The data, collected over nearly 30,000 orbits, show no signs of cell delamination (a potential risk for such technologies), no deterioration in short circuit current or in series resistance. However, all four cell’s fill factors were observed to decrease over the duration of the mission, caused primarily by a decrease in their shunt resistance. This has been attributed to the diffusion of gold atoms from the back electrical contacts. We conclude therefore that further development of this technology should utilise more stable back contacting methodologies more commonly employed for terrestrial CdTe modules.

Sources [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
Photo sources [1]
Keywords Deployable boom
Space photos AlSat NanoAlSat NanoAlSat NanoAlSat NanoAlSat NanoAlSat Nano

[1] [2] [3]

Last modified: 2023-11-04

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