MISSION OBJECTIVES

EXTRACTING COASTAL BOUNDARIES FROM SPACE

OirthirSAT's main objective is to make use of onboard processing capabilities to automatically extract coastal boundaries such as shorelines and coastal vegetation edges for the entirety of the UK. When combined into a timeseries of lines, this boundary data provides a standardised measure of coastal change. This ultimately gives coastal managers and decision-makers the most up-to-date information on how coasts are being impacted by climate change, and who is most adversely affected by these changes.

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SAVING TIME AND EFFORT

Gathering data about the coast is notoriously costly, labour-intensive, and logistically difficult. Traditional approaches include ground surveys limited to specific accessible sites or manual digitisation from aerial imagery or topographic data. Satellite imagery has opened the doors to novel and efficient techniques for gathering coastal data. However, experts must still process each image to extract meaningful data. OirthirSAT will perform all the required processing to extract shoreline vectors onboard, which not only shortens the lead time by 300%, but greatly reduces the size of downlinked data packages.

MINIMISING SPACE DEBRIS

To complement the mission’s environmentally-focused primary objective, the Nanosat must not leave a detrimental footprint on the Space environment. The use of a drag augmentation device, such as a Drag Sail, will allow the OirthirSAT platform to deorbit once it has stopped gathering useful coastal data. The use of a Drag Sail presents the opportunity to safely deorbit the Nanosat without the need for a complex propulsion system. By demonstrating the simplicity of implementing such a device, sustainable spaceflight can be made more accessible
and widely adopted.

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