South Africa and France announce the launch of the nano-satellite ZACUBE-2
On Tuesday 17 April 2018, the send-off event of the most advanced South African CubeSat to date, ZACUBE-2, developed by the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI) took place at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). This ceremony was chaired by South African Science and Technology Minister, Mrs. Kubayi-Ngubane, to celebrate the completion of the satellite development and its shipping to India for a launch expected to take place on 18 July. Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Mr. Christophe Farnaud, participated in the ceremony.
The 4kg ZACUBE-2 is the precursor of the future nanosatellites expected to constitute the next satellite constellation to be launched by the South African government in the framework of the PHAKISA blue economy programme. It benefits from the experiences gained by CPUT and F’SATI over the last 5 years through the development of ZACUBE-1, the first south-African nanosatellite launched in Africa in 2013, and results from French-South African cooperation in satellite engineering.
The objective of 10 x 10 x 10 x 30 cm ZACUBE-2 is the automatic tracking of boats along South African coasts and early detection of forest fires through an imager payload developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The project is driven and funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) in close cooperation with the University of Montpellier, the French Embassy and the Paris Chamber of Commerce.
Minister of Science and Technology Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane is at #CPUT this afternoon and will participate in the send-off of Africa’s largest and most advanced cube satellite to India from where it will be launched in July. pic.twitter.com/Jn0gXxOjjV
— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) April 17, 2018
The French South African Institute of Technology, F’SATI, a postgraduate institute for teaching, research and development, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016. It boasts two campuses - one at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria and one at CPUT. The main scientific fields covered are spatial, electric, water and disabled person engineering. F’SATI was initiated by the South African and French governments following the visit of late former President Nelson Mandela to France. It aims to contribute to the creation of knowledge and transfer of technology between South Africa and France as well as capacity-building and technical training of South Africans.