If the gamma meter of the SMOG-1 satellite, which was launched in March, passes the test, engineers can build a grid around the Earth.

Within the first three months of its mission, the first small astrophysics micro-satellite developed in Hungary, GRBAlpha, has been successfully commissioned, said the Earth and Astrophysics Research Center of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH CSFK).

A small satellite designed in collaboration with CSFK researchers, built in Hungarian-Slovak-Japanese collaboration It was launched into space on March 22, 2021 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. GRBAlpha is a 10 x 10 x 11.3 cm satellite named after the gamma ray bursts (GRBs) associated with the largest eruptions in the universe.

The goal of the mission is to promote one of the most exciting issues in high-energy astrophysics, to learn as accurately as possible about phenomena called gamma-ray bursts, using new types of detection systems that can be used on satellites as small as 10 -30 cm in size. .


According to a previous report by CSFK, if dozens of very heavy decagram-based gamma-ray detectors pass the test, they can later build a network around the Earth on satellites, up to several hundred fleets of commercial satellites. The vast network of satellites that will be created in this way will design an Earth-sized detector screen capable of detecting gamma flashes, which will allow the source of the gamma-ray bursts to be determined very precisely.

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Gamma ray bursts are short-lived events in which large masses of celestial bodies, such as exploding stars or merging neutron stars, emit electromagnetic radiation, and gamma rays, which have properties similar to visible light but are more energetic and focused.

[Elindult az űrbe az első magyar asztrofizikai kisműhold]

“Gamma radiation is hard to focus on, so as usual in classical photography and photography, they can’t really get answers to basic questions like where these celestial events occur, so they can then be examined with other types of instruments and binoculars.” – explains András Pál, who He leads system development on behalf of CSFK.

“However, we can take advantage of the fact that even the narrow environment of the Earth in a cosmic sense only light passes through within a few centuries of a second: that is, if we place several similar satellites, we get surprisingly accurate images from the perceived time differences.” identify many characteristics that can be measured with the satellite,” added Werner Norbert, who helped coordinate the project.

“The first three months of the mission can be said to be successful in many ways: all the satellite systems on board are in good condition, and both independent channels of the detector system are working fine,” Laszlo Mezaros, who is responsible for the mechanical aspects of the detector, reported the results.

“We have passed a number of interesting and more technical tests, such as the routine update of several software components of the data acquisition electronics, which can take over most of the functions of the onboard computer if the need arises,” Masanori explains. Ohno in the statement .. because of the project he moved to Budapest from Hiroshima, Japan. “These solutions are unique to such small satellites of 10x10x10 centimeters in size and significantly increase the success of the experiment,” adds astrophysicist Jakub Ripa.

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According to the announcement, the team’s detectors, similar to those from GRBAlpha, will be launched into space in December aboard the Czech-developed VZLUSAT-2 satellite, and CSFK researchers are currently working on another detector. “This actually paves the way for triangulation-based positioning,” he adds.

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