Full Day Workshop Introducing MIR-SAT1

Venue: Atul Bihari Vajpayee Tower, Cybercity Ebene 72201

Date: Friday 1st March 2019

Time: 09:00 hrs

Satellite technology has come a long way since the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957. Since then, advances in technology have made satellites much more accessible, leading to thousands of artificial satellites orbiting the earth today. Satellites have become an important part of our everyday life, facilitating telecommunications, weather forecasting, oceanographic explorations, among others. Furthermore, Satellite/space Technology has led to major advancements in a number of fields including astronomy and surveillance amongst others. Mauritius, as a SIDS, currently benefits from numerous services provided by satellites.

The Mauritius Research Council (MRC), operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Technology Communication and Innovation and mandated by the Government of Mauritius to promote Science Research, Technology and Innovation in the Republic of Mauritius, envisages embarking into a new initiative geared towards exploring the potential of space/satellite technology for the socio-economic benefit of the Country. As a first attempt towards this aim, a team led by the MRC submitted a proposal entitled the MIR-SAT 1 under the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) KiboCUBE Programme 2018. The UNOOSA/JAXA KiboCube Program provides developing countries opportunities to embark into space activities with an ultimate objective to build national capacity in space technology.

The Mauritian proposal MIR-SAT1 was retained by the JAXA/UNOOSA as the best submission from a developing country in 2018 and consequently Mauritius will be offered the opportunity, for the first time in its history, to build and deploy a Mauritian Nano Satellite from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) KiboCUBE. The MRC also benefited from the collaboration of AAC-Clyde Space (UK), expert in nanosatellite technologies. The MIR-SAT1 will collect images of Mauritius and surrounding regions using longwave infrared (LWIR) thermal camera, demonstrate technology of S-band high speed data transmission. The data from the satellite will be collected by a main ground station to be built in Mauritius. Secondary ground stations are planned to be built by university students at later stages. Data collected from the satellite will be used for capacity building, advanced research and innovation in areas pertinent to national problems. The expected deployment in space for the first Mauritian Cube Sat is around October 2019. This will be done by JAXA via the KIBO arm of the International Space Station.

The MRC is organizing a full day workshop on the 1st of March 2019 at the Conference Hall Level 1 of the Atul Bihari Vajpayee Tower (CyberTower 1) as from 09:30 am to disseminate the MIR-SAT 1 initiative to the public, in particular, how it will be built and deployed in space and how data will be captured from the satellite.