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Aerocube 11-R3



The AeroCube 11 (AC11) or TOMSat (Testbed for Optical Missions Satellite) spectral satellite are two nearly-identical spacecraft featuring multispectral, pushbroom imagers that fly the Landsat-8 visible bands in a 3U Cubesat package. The goal of AC11/TOMSat is to show that these sensors perform comparably to flagship missions, such as Landsat.

The AeroCube 11/Testbed for Optical Missions Satellite (AC11/TOMSat) program consists of two nearly-identical spacecraft that will demonstrate the technological capability of two imaging sensors.

One satellite will host a pushbroom time delay integration (TDI) sensor that will provide normalized difference vegetation index (NVDI) data for comparison to NVDI provided by Landsat’s Operational Land Imager (OLI).

The second AC11/TOMSat spacecraft will host an SB-501 focal plane array that will image terrestrial, lunar, and stellar targets.

Both satellites will have a laser communication downlink.

It will demonstrate the utility of CubeSats to perform remote-sensing missions at a performance level comparable to that of larger spacecraft. The bus includes a 2.5-cm-diameter telescope paired with a visible-light sensor, 3-axis attitude control, 8 GB of image storage space, and a laser transmitter to downlink the images at a very high rate (up to 200Mbit/sec). The project began in mid-2014 and will be delivered in mid-2017, to be launched into a 500 km, 85° inclination circular orbit. With a ground sample resolution of 40 m and a field of view close to 50 km, the payload will produce data useful for agricultural and mineral surveys and coastal water quality monitoring, among other applications.

Alternate Names

    Facts in Brief

    Launch Date: 2019-12-16
    Launch Vehicle: Electron
    Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

    Funding Agency

    • Unknown (New Zealand)


    • Technology Applications

    Additional Information

    Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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