Singaporean Satellites Complete First Space Missions

Two satellites entirely designed and built by teams from Nanyang Technological University have been testing out new technologies in space.

AsianScientist (Feb. 12, 2016) – Two new satellites launched in Singapore two months ago have successfully completed their first space missions. The experiments in space conducted by the two new satellites have proven the commercial viability of several new made-in-Singapore satellite technologies, such as a space navigation system, precise and fast-locking GPS receivers and radiation resistant hardware.

The two satellites, designed and built by teams from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), are the VELOX-CI, Singapore’s first climate monitoring satellite, and VELOX-II, the world’s first small satellite which carries a “communication-on-demand” technology. The latter is capable of sending data back to NTU anytime, anywhere in space.

With the two successful satellites completing their primary missions, NTU now has six satellites out in space.

“NTU’s expertise in satellite technology has grown rapidly since we built and launched X-SAT, Singapore’s first locally built satellite in 2011,” said NTU Provost Professor Freddy Boey. “In just a few years we have proven that NTU has what it takes to play a major role in supporting Singapore’s leap into the space industry.”

“We are among the very few universities in the world to have designed and successfully operated six satellites in space. With this track record, we can now offer our satellite building expertise to international and Singapore companies that are hoping to develop innovative space products for the global market.”

One such successful industry partnership is with Singapore company Addvalue Innovation. VELOX-II carries a communication payload built by Addvalue.

Director of NTU’s Satellite Research Center Associate Professor Low Kay Soon said that the success of its latest satellites shows that Singapore has highly competent manpower and can sustain a local satellite industry.

“Our next challenge now is to design future satellites that can carry advanced custom-built payloads,” Low said.

(L-R) Associate Professor Low Kay Soon and researchers Dr. Lee Guo Xiong and Ms. Chin Shi Tong with the VELOX-CI. Credit: NTU
(L-R) Associate Professor Low Kay Soon and researchers Dr. Lee Guo Xiong and Ms. Chin Shi Tong with the VELOX-CI. Credit: NTU

The 123 kg microsatellite VELOX-CI was designed to evaluate a new precise navigation system and to measure atmospheric parameters for studying the tropical climate. Since its launch on December 16, it has flown over Singapore more than 750 times in the last 50 days.

The 12 kg nanosatellite VELOX-II was designed and built by NTU to test several unique technologies for small satellite systems. It has also been broadcasting a beacon signal every minute while orbiting in space. This unique signal contains the satellite name and its status, such as the operating mode, battery levels and temperature. This signal can be received by any amateur radio operator within the line of sight of the satellite.


Source: Nanyang Technological University.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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