Göktürk-1 Earth Observation Satellite, Turkey


Göktürk-1 Earth observation satellite

The Göktürk-1 reconnaissance and Earth observation satellite is being built for the Turkish Ministry of National Defence, by satellite services provider Telespazio, in cooperation with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Thales Alenia Space.

The satellite is intended to provide high-resolution aerial images of the Earth for a wide range of military and civilian applications, including reconnaissance, homeland surveillance, intelligence, environmental monitoring, forest control, cadastral surveys, identifying illegal construction sites, crop management, damage assessment after natural disasters, and management of natural resources.

The Göktürk-1 satellite is scheduled for launch by Vega launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center, French Guiana, in November 2015. It will be placed into a Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700km and will have a design life of seven years.

The Göktürk earth observation satellite series also includes Göktürk-2 and Göktürk-3.

Development of Göktürk Earth observation satellite



KazEOSat-1 is the first Earth observation satellite from Kazakhstan, which launched into a low Sun-synchronous orbit in April 2014.


The Ministry of National Defense of Turkey's Undersecretariat of Defense Industries signed a contract with Telespazio to build the Göktürk observation satellite system, in July 2009. The system comprises an Earth observation satellite fitted with high-resolution optical sensors, ground control segment, and a satellite assembly, integration and test centre.

Telespazio, a joint venture (JV) between Finmeccanica and Thales, is the prime contractor for the Göktürk satellite programme. The JV entered design and construction phase in September 2010. It is responsible to build the entire ground segment and provide services during satellite launch. It will also support early orbit operations and test phase.

Thales Alenia Space will oversee the construction of the satellite bus and development of the satellite assembly, integration and test centre in Turkey, which will be operated by TAI.

The Göktürk satellite system components are supplied by the local industrial partners in Turkey, including Aselsan, Tubitak Uekae, Roketsan and TR Tecnoloji. The local partners will also support construction of the satellite integration centre, remote sensing data processors, data acquisition station, and mission planning systems.

Arianespace was contracted by Telespazio to provide Vega light launcher for the launch of the Göktürk-1 Earth observation satellite, in June 2013.

Göktürk-1 satellite's features and communications

"The Göktürk satellite system components are supplied by the local industrial partners in Turkey, including Aselsan, Tubitak Uekae, Roketsan and TR Tecnoloji."

The Göktürk-1 Earth observation satellite will have a launch weight of 1,100kg. It will be equipped with two deployable fixed solar arrays and batteries. It will have a signal-to-noise ratio of more than 100. The satellite image data can be transmitted to the ground segment over S-band and X-band links. It will be capable of supplying images of the Earth in all weather conditions during day and night.

The satellite will use a key management system and crypto systems developed by Tubitak for secure transmission of data.

The G-DCUA ground station crypto module will encrypt satellite commands received from the ground station. It will also decrypt the encrypted satellite image data, which will then be processed by the ground station. The S-DCUA satellite crypto system will be used to decrypt and verify commands and transmit them to the satellite. It will also encrypt image data before transmitting it to the ground segment.

Payloads attached to the Göktürk-1 Earth observation satellite

The Göktürk-1 satellite will be equipped with an electro/optical (E/O) camera system for capturing high-quality imagery of the Earth from any location, with a ground sample distance of 0.5m. The camera system will operate in various display modes such as point, strip, wide area and stereo.

Göktürk satellite's ground segment

"The ground station will receive image data and send commands to the satellite using a 7.3m fixed antenna with S/X-band feed and a 5.4m S/X-band mobile antenna."

The ground station will control the satellite's missions as well as in-orbit operations. It will receive image data and send commands to the satellite using a 7.3m fixed antenna with S/X-band feed and a 5.4m S/X-band mobile antenna. It will also perform acquisition, processing and distribution of data received from the satellite.

Vega launch vehicle

Operated and marketed by Arianespace, the Vega launch vehicle successfully performed a qualification flight in February 2012. It is intended to launch small to medium-sized satellite payloads. It has a length of 29.9m, diameter of 3.02m, height of 30m, with a lift-off mass of 137t and the capacity to carry payloads of up to 1,500kg.

The launch vehicle comprises four stages. The first three stages are powered by solid propellant motors P80, Zefiro 23, and Zefiro 9. The upper stage, the Attitude and Vernier Upper Module (AVUM), is powered by N2O4/UDMH propellant.

NRI Energy Technology