NovaSAR-1 and SSTL S1-4 countdown to launch

NovaSAR-1 and SSTL S1-4 countdown to launch

Two SSTL satellites are currently undergoing final launch preparations at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India ready for lift-off on Sunday 16th September at 16:37 UTC, 17:37 BST.

NovaSAR-1 is a technology demonstration mission designed to test the capabilities of a new low cost S-Band SAR platform.  The satellite was designed and manufactured by SSTL, with an S-Band SAR payload developed by Airbus Defence and Space in Portsmouth, UK and an Automatic Identification Receiver supplied by Honeywell Aerospace.  

The SAR payload has a dedicated maritime mode designed with a very wide swath area of 400km to enable the monitoring of the marine environment, and will provide direct radar ship detection information simultaneously with AIS ship tracking data to assist with the identification and tracking of sea-going vessels. In addition to operating in maritime mode, NovaSAR-1 has been optimised with three additional imaging modes, including a six metre resolution imaging mode, for a range of other applications, such as flood monitoring and agricultural and forestry applications.

SSTL S1-4 satellite is a sub one metre Earth observation satellite identical in design to the three DMC3/TripleSat Constellation satellites launched in 2015.  A contract to provide data from SSTL S1-4 was signed with Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology Co., Ltd (21AT) in February 2018.  

A live launch feed will be available at


NovaSAR-1 & SSTL S1-4 at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India. Photo courtesy of ISRO/Antrix Corp.

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