The compact SATRAM spacecraft payload equipped with the Timepix semiconductor pixel detector is operating in LEO orbit at 820 km altitude onboard ESA’s Proba-V satellite launched on 7th May 2013. The technology demonstration payload was successfully commissioned and has been providing continuous time-stamp monitoring of the space radiation field in the satellite environment along its orbit.

The instrument was designed and constructed by CSRC, Brno with with the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics (UTEF) of the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague with funding by the European Space Agency, Grant No. 4000105089/11/NL/CBi.

VdG_accel.png, 44kB FIG. 1: SATRAM engineering model (EM) (a) and the QFM payload (b) attached to ESA’s Proba-V satellite external bottom side(b) prior launch by Vega-2 rocket. SATRAM payload size: 55.5 mm (height), 62.1 mm (width) and 107.1 mm (length); mass including shielding box 380 g. Proba-V satellite size: 80 cm × 80 cm × 100 cm; mass 138 kg.

Space Application of Timepix based Radiation Monitor (SATRAM)

SATRAM is a technology demonstration device carrying the Timepix position-sensitive semiconductor pixel detector. On board ESA’s Proba V satellite, (see Fig. 1). Since launch on the 7th May 2013, SATRAM has been continuously operating in open space. The payload has the capability to read up to several frames per second (fps), with adjustable frame length (from µs up to arbitrarily long acquisition times (e.g. few s and longer)).

Data products

Measurement of spectral characteristics and composition of mixed radiation field in the satellite environment. Spatial- and time-distributions of radiation maps along the satellite orbit. Data products:

* on the detector. external field require satellite environment correction and numerical/MC simulations.


The SATRAM team at the IEAP CTU Prague:

  • Stepan Polansky
    (DAQ, data processing, telemetry) 
  • Zdenek Vykydal
    (PI, design, R&D, HW/SW, former staff) 
    • Stanislav Pospisil
      (IEAP CTU (former) Director, project concept/design)