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TLDR; Get the latest beta: https://github.com/macluky/IRAS/releases/tag/v0.2

For my first mod, I will try to recreate the IRAS satellite. Constructed at Hollandse Signaalapparaten which
was my first employer. Though I was coding real time operating systems at the time, rather
than building telescopes, it still feels like a great thing to at to KSP.




The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) was the first-ever space telescope to perform a
survey of the entire night sky at infrared wavelengths. The telescope was a joint project
of the United States (NASA), the Netherlands (NIVR), and the United Kingdom (SERC).
Over 250,000 infrared sources were observed at 12, 25, 60, and 100 micrometer wavelengths.

IRAS performed the first "all sky Survey "out in the infrared part of the spectrum. T
he results was made the first celestial atlas of infrared radiation sources.

The project was a collaborative effort between the United States, the Netherlands and
the United Kingdom. The US contribution was coordinated from the US space agency NASA,
which provided the design and development of the telescope, with the main contractor
company Ball Aerospace of Boulder in Colorado. The detailed elaboration of the received
scientific data was provided by NASA's JPL.

The Dutch contribution was coordinated by the Dutch space agency NIVR, which arranged the
delivery of the actual spacecraft, the assembly and testing of the entire satellite and
flight operations. Main contractors for the Dutch side were Fokker Space and
Hollandse Signaalapparaten which was actually my first employer.

They were supported by the NLR, which was responsible for the application of the flight
software, testing of the integrated satellite and execution of flight operations.
The British contribution was coordinated by the Science and Engineering Research Council
(SERC), which was responsible for setting up the base system needed to monitor the
satellite and the initial impact of the received scientific data. Main contractor
for this was the UK Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Chilton in Oxfordshire.

IRAS had on board a Ritchey-Chrétien-telescope with mirrors of beryllium because of the
low operating temperature of 4 K. The primary mirror had a diameter of 57 cm and a
composite focal length of 5.5 m. The low operating temperature of a few degrees
above the absolute zero (-273.15 degrees Celsius) was necessary in order to be able to
observe the weak sources of infrared radiation from the universe. The telescope was
not cooled to such low temperatures, they would be blinded by its own heat radiation.
The cooling was carried out by placing the whole telescope, including detectors, in a
Dewar flask that was filled with 475 liters of liquid helium. The telescope was
screened in several ways from other sources of heat such as the Sun and the Earth.

The view direction was perpendicular to the Sun and Earth, where the solar panels
IRAs fulfilled a dual role as a sunscreen for the dewar. A large lens hood in the form
of a bevelled cone prevented that stray light would end up in the telescope.
Finally, the space vehicle itself was with multiple layers of insulating material
separate from the telescope.

All of these measures were found to be very effective, allowing IRAS reached a sensitivity
which, in theory, it made it possible to observe the heat radiation of a
bicycle lamp at 5000 km away.

The observations were carried out with the instrument head, which consisted of 62 elements
with filters, and the Dutch DAX-instrument (Dutch Additional experiment) with a
spectrometer and photometer. Both used wavelengths of 12, 25, 60 and 100 micrometers
for observation. In order to contamination of the detector to prevent dust was drawn
dewar vacuum and hermetically sealed with a lid. A few days after the launch this
cover was shot and started with IRAS observations.

The main instrument were eventually detected more than 350,000 individual sources such
as stars, galaxies, interstellar dust and some unknown objects with an accuracy
of 20 arc seconds. In addition, some thousands of objects were subjected to a
detailed inspection with the aid of the Dutch-DAX instrument. The detectors operating
temperature was 2 K or 2 degrees above absolute zero. The observations generated
more than 100 megabytes (MB) of information per day, which was temporarily stored
in two data recorders on board the satellite. Once every twelve hours IRAs passed
on the ground in Britain and became the stored data 'dumped' at a rate of 1 million
bits per second. After the data dump was the observation program for the next 12 hours
sent to the satellite and stored in the onboard computer. IRAs conducted his
observations fully automated and independent.


Research mainly done. Initial model made in blender. Figuring out how unwrapping and texturing should work.


Edited by MacLuky
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  like that, is very Interesting,

but how can you implement it into the gameplay? Have you already thought about it, you write a plugin to it or does it need an already existing plugin?

Some time ago there was an astro-telescope-mod* (plugin) with which one could shoot photos of galaxies. (Science career)

[* sorry does not know the name since I no longer use it ]

cheers !

Edited by RaendyLeBeau
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First step will be simple science reports using the built in system. Eventually I can write a plugin that creates an infrared image. However IRAS was not designed to look at planets but galaxies

Perhaps one can access the background image in KSP and look at the milky way 

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13 hours ago, RaendyLeBeau said:

Some time ago there was an astro-telescope-mod* (plugin) with which one could shoot photos of galaxies. (Science career)

It was called Tarsier Space Technologies (it is still alive and well)...

13 hours ago, MacLuky said:

Perhaps one can access the background image in KSP and look at the milky way 

...and it does something kind of similar.  The galaxies in question aren't actually visible (of course) so it has a preset point on the sky to aim the scope for the required "photo".  Very much looking forward to what you come up with for IRAS.  I love adding space telescopes of all kinds to my games. :D

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So i checked everything and here is the results-

Different science reports-Yes (i really like that you managed to add unique reports to the most of the planets)

Looks cool-Yes ,only problem is that it is very large(i can get used to it), and do not ideally fit with stock parts (though i really like the texturing)

Can you please add large solar panel to the mod pack? Because there is no good stock ones that could be used to copy the IRAS's Solar panel.

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Started on the solar panels, still need to discover how to animate them.


Historically accurate panels. Well more or less, based of a texture that was a photo of the original mockup of the panel.


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On 3/6/2017 at 9:05 AM, DarthVader said:

@CobaltWolf Would it be possible to mm.cfg the delta II EETALTT to the  3.66 foot scale shorter ETAT stage for this and other payloads?

Yeah I saw this but forgot to reply. I'm not sure what you're asking? If you just want to scale the tank, yeah, go ahead. Should be easy I think?

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On 3/6/2017 at 3:05 PM, DarthVader said:

@CobaltWolf Would it be possible to mm.cfg the delta II EETALTT to the  3.66 foot scale shorter ETAT stage for this and other payloads?

I've added a patch for BDB that shrinks IRAS so it will fit.

For the daring ones: in GitHub is a functional prototype with solar panels thanks to @CobaltWolf


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