A BRITE nanosatellite.

Mission Overview

BRITE (Bright Target Explorer) is a network of five nanosatellites to investigate stellar structure and evolution of the brightest stars and their environmental interaction. Brightness oscillations of massive luminous stars are studied by differential photometry of unprecedented precision down to arcminute level. Observations with BRITE will help to understand astrophysical processes such as production of chemical elements in massive stars and their recycling in winds and supernovae. Each satellite including the whole equipment (telescope, computer, antennas, transceiver, solar panels, star tracker, and magnetometer) is limited to a weight of about 7 kg. The BRITE Constellation is a Canadian-Polish-Austrian project.

Contribution of our Institute

In a collaboration with the Space Flight Lab (SFL) at the University of Toronto Institute of Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), the Institute of Communication Networks and Satellite Communications (IKS) at the Technical University of Graz (TUG) and the Institute for Astrophysics of the University of Vienna have built, launched and operated autonomously the first two Austrian satellites BRITE-AUSTRIA (TUG-SAT-1) and UniBRITE with the mission control centre in Graz. Designing and building this satellite included delivering the science software as well as hardware construction, development and testing of the spacecraft. Another goal is the development of a generic satellite platform which can be used for future space missions.

Involved Personnel


PI UniBRITE: W. W. Weiss

PI BRITE-Toronto and BRITE-Montreal: A. Moffat

PI BRITE-Lem and BRITE-Heweliusz: G. Handler


Launch date: 25 February 2013


Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) - BRITE-AUSTRIA

University of Vienna - Uni-BRITE

Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the

Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences (BRITE-Lem and BRITE-Heweliusz)

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the

Space Flight Lab (UTIAS-SFL) (BRITE-Toronto and BRITE-Montreal, the latter not operational)



BRITE-Constellation (UNIVIE website)

Website BRITE@TU Graz

The BRITE constellation (Canadian Space Agency)