The YAMSAT is the first Pico-Sat developed by the collaborative efforts from Taiwan Space Agency (TASA), research institutes, universities, and private sectors in Taiwan. With size similar to a yam, YAMSAT is a minimized satellite and can be put on a palm. However, despite its small size, YAMSAT is fully functional just like a full size satellite. The key components and the devices for ground communication used in a regular satellite are also found in YAMSAT. The differences are that the functions of the components in YAMSAT are less complicated and sizes are much smaller.
|Satellite Serial Number||YamSat-1B||YamSat-1A|
|Purpose||Spare and Display||For Flight|
|Solar Panel||All are silicon solar cells||One panel uses silicon cells; 5 panels use gallium arsenide cells|
|Batteries||Panasonic P-150S||Domestic ICR18500A Lithium battery|
|Weight||846 grams||857 grams|
YAMSAT is a 10-centimeter cube that weighs only 857 grams. The mission lifetime of YAMSAT is 1 month while the design lifetime is 2 months. The expected orbit altitude is between 600~650 kilometers. The scientific payload on YAMSAT is the micro-spectrometer that measures the scattering of visible solar spectrum in the atmosphere. The micro spectrometer is used for the analysis of atmospheric elements.
The design, analysis, manufacturing, assembly, and testing phases of YAMSAT are all completed under the guidance of TASA. The manufacturing of the YAMSAT provides opportunities to on-orbit verification of several domestic components or parts, such as solar cells, batteries, magnetic coils, micro controller, memory chips, mechanical structures, and micro spectrometer. These parts are supplied by domestic manufacturers or research institutes. Finally, the assembled YAMSAT has proceeded strict dynamics and thermal vacuum testing at TASA testing facility. These test procedures are designed to ensure the manufacturing and performance of satellite subsystems are compliant with the space quality.
The YAMSAT project was initiated on April 2001 and the final assembly and testing were completed on March 2002. The YAMSAT was scheduled to launch together with Pico-Sats developed by US and Japan through the Russian launch rocket vehicle. However, the launch plan was abandoned after facing objection from Russian governments. Since no appropriate launch vehicle has yet been identified, currently, there is no plan for YAMSAT launch.
Although the YAMSAT was not launched, the YAMSAT project has already achieved its educational purposes. The National Cheng Kung University and National Central University have already been developing their own Pico-Sat under the assistance of TASA. In the foreseeable future, we can expect the significant growth in the development of the fundamental space technology in Taiwan. With such firm space technology foundations, Taiwan will be able to fully develop its self-reliant space program in the future.