The first real-time data from South Africa's ZACube-2 nanosatellite was
unveiled on Tuesday, 26 February 2019.
The continentˇ¦s most advanced
nanosatellite to date, the ZACube-2, was successfully launched into space in
December. It is expected to provide cutting-edge remote sensing and
communications services to South Africa and the region.
The satellite will help monitor ocean traffic as part of the oceans economy
and also monitor veld fires and provide near real-time fire information
ensuring a quick response time by disaster management teams.
The satellite was developed by some of South Africaˇ¦s youngest and brightest
minds under a programme representing the countryˇ¦s diversity, in particular
black students and young women.
According to the Department of Science and Technology, the satellite is a
technology demonstrator for Maritime Domain Awareness that will provide
critical information for the countyˇ¦s oceans economy.
It will monitor the movement of ships along the South African coastline with
its automatic identification system (AIS) payload.
Weighing just four kilograms, the ZACube-2 is South Africaˇ¦s second
nanosatellite to be launched into space and three times the size of its
It is regarded as the continent's most advanced cube satellite and is in
fact a precursor to the MDASat ˇV a constellation of nine nanosatellites that
will be developed to provide cutting-edge very high frequency data exchange
communication systems to the maritime industry.
CPUT has already received useful AIS data from ZACube-2, which was fed into
the National Oceans and Coastal Information Management System of Operation
The unveiling of the first data from ZACube-2 took place during the plenary
briefing led by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko
ˇV Source: SAnews.gov.za