On August 17, 2021, NanoDragon satellite, made by Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC), Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), was officially handled to Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) at the launch site located in Uchinora Space Center, Kagoshima, Southern Japan. Before the hand over, on August 16 and 17, JAXA has conducted several final tests, ensuring the safety of the launch of satellite, including shape and size check, kill switch check, etc.
According to Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, NanoDragon is planned to board for orbit before March, 2022, following the “Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration-2” program. NanoDragon and its companions make a crew of 9 satellites, which are:
- 1 main satellite, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s RAISE-2, weighs approximately 100 kilograms,
- 4 micro satellites, including:
- Tokyo Institute of Technology’s HIBARI (55 kilograms),
- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co, Ltd.’s Z-Sat (46 kilograms),
- Kawasaki Heavy Industries Co, Ltd.’s DRUMS (62 kilograms),
- Teikyo University’s TeikyoSat-4 (52 kilograms),
- 4 cube satellites, including:
- Vietnam National Space Center’s NanoDragon (3,8 kilograms), in cooperation with Meisei Electronics Co, Ltd.,
- Chiba Institute of Technology’s ASTERISC (4 kilograms),
- Aoyama Gakuin University’s ARICA (1 kilogram),
- National Institute of Technology, Kochi College’s KOSEN-1 (3 kilograms).
All the 9 satellites will be on board Japan’s Epsilon 5 for their space journey. Details of launch schedule will be announced by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
NanoDragon’s companions to space in “Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration-2” program (Credit: JAXA, Legend: VNSC)
3U Cubesat NanoDragon (100 ´ 100 ´ 340 mm), weighs approximately 3,8 kilograms, was developed by Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC), Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) as the result of the “Nano-class satellite development, launch and trial operation” project, under “National Science and Technology Program on space technology from 2016 to 2020”. Its design, integration and functional verification were conducted entirely in Vietnam by VNSC researchers, noted that its structure, power distribution unit and other supporting boards are completely designed and manufactured in Vietnam.
To verify the possibility of ship collisions prevention using a constellation of nano satellites, NanoDragon was designed with purposes to assess the quality of the satellite’s attitude determination and control system (ADCS) and a newly developed advanced on-board computer (OBC), and to evaluate the success of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver in a 3U cubesat bus. The satellite will be working on Sun synchronized orbit (SSO), at 560 kilometers high from the Earth surface.
NanoDragon with 100% R&D, design and manufacture completed in Vietnam, is one of the products belong to VNSC’s “Made in Vietnam” small satellite development roadmap, which is part of “The strategy towards 2030 for developing and applying space science and technology” approved by the Prime Minister on April 2, 2021.