The goal of the BRITE Mission (BRITE Target Explorer) is the long-term observation of the brightness variations of massive luminous stars by a constellation of six nanosatellites, each carrying an astromical telescope.
Design and construction of BRITE-Austria was funded by the Austrian Space Applications Programme(ASAP).
The satellite will be launched into a sun-synchronous orbit on PSLV-C20 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India in February 2013 as a secondary payload.
The photometric data will provide time series with unprecedented precision that cannot be obtained from the ground due to limitations imposed by the terrestrial atmosphere.
The nanosatellite carries a telescope (with no moving parts, hence only one filter) and detector with a large field of view (24 degrees) which can monitor multiple target stars, so that differential photometry can be obtained both in brightness and colour with precision better than 0.1% for a single observation.
The project is concerned with the commissioning of the spacecraft, the test of all subsystems in Space and the qualification of the Science instrument, the telescope. Under this project the first Science data will be collected and validated. Furthermore, the housekeeping data will be received by telemetry and analysed on a daily basis.