The HAMSTER Project

O. Shemesh, E. Vax, V. Chereshchuk, R. Divekar, M. Ben Eliyahu, O. Ohana, S. Ifergan
Dr. Fred Ortenberg, Dr. David Mishne

The heliosinchronous autonomus microsatellite Terra-SAR escorting and recording (HAMSTER) project is a very small satellite, composed of off the shelf parts only and weighs only 75 kg, the estimated cost including the launch is 4.1 M$. Hamster was designed for six month missions to prove capabilities for future use and can also be used as it is today. The main property of Hamster is the escorting of an existing satellite with SAR imaging capabilities called TerraSAR-X while proving control capabilities in various flight formations using a CCD camera at varying distance between 500 meters to 10 km. Hamster has two models but the project focuses on the one which has a payload of a multispectral push broom camera for complementary imaging with the TerraSAR-X imager, this complementary imaging method eliminates the need for rescanning which appears while imaging SAR only. The second model is a SAR antenna receiver payload for a bi-static SAR imaging with TerraSAR-X, TerraSAR-X transmits a single and both satellites receive the reflected signal and synchronal analyze the image, this SAR imaging method also reduce the number of rescans of the area.