About MSCI


MSCIís Role

  • Prime Contractor and Systems Engineering
  • Attitude Control
  • Structure
  • Flight and Ground Software
  • Power and Instruments Electronics

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Alan Hildebrand of the University of Calgary
  • Dr. Brad Wallace of Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC)

CustomerThe Canadian Space Agency

CustomerThe Official NEOSSat Website

Purpose — To detect and identify near-Earth asteroids, and to track satellites and debris in Earthís orbit


Science Instrument

  • Optics: 15-cm aperture f/5.88 Maksutov telescope with a 0.86 deg unvignetted FOV
  • Two (2) 1024x1024 frame-transfer CCDs, focal plane passively cooled to < -40C
  • External baffle to shield aperture from sunlight and Earth-reflected light
  • Telescope able to detect and track satellites and debris in Earthís orbit, as well as faint asteroids against the dark background of deep space

Microsat Bus and other technologies

  • Size = 137x78x38 cm envelope, Mass = 74 kg (incl. margin)
  • Orbit: 630-830 km altitude, circular, dawn/dusk sun-synch (i=98 deg, 6 PM or 6 AM ascending node)
  • Attitude Control: less than 1 arcsec pointing error using a star tracker, Sun sensor, magnetometer, reaction wheels and magnetic torque rods
  • Power: 45W orbit-average power, using triple junction, gallium arsenide solar arrays on all 6 sides, Lithium-ion batteries
  • On-Board Computers: one Aitech S921 Command & Data Handling Computer for housekeeping operations, attitude control, and science data processing, two 80 MHz DSPs for CCD image read-out and science data processing, 2 Gbytes FLASH memory for bulk data storage
  • Telemetry & Telecommand: S-band packet-protocol uplink and downlink, 4 kbps up, 2 Mbps down, Reed-Solomon/Convolutional Forward Error Correction available on downlink, CCSDS compatible.


MSCI applies a comprehensive approach to Product Assurance for microsatellites based upon the best of practices for all facets of full space qualified programs, but tailored to provide cost and schedule effective results for our customers. Our extensive track record of success in orbit speaks for itself.

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The MOST microsatellite's outstanding flight heritage ó remaining in orbit four years longer than expected and still going strong ó has surpassed all expectations without indication of deterioration. MOSTís longevity has resulted in a prodigious amount of research
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We are proud of our outstanding flight heritage that continues to exceed all expectations. It is a testament to the quality of the minds at MSCI and to the excellence of their creations.
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