NUS Takes the Quantum Leap into Space


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Two satellites designed and built by students, researchers and faculty from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have been successfully launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh, India, on Wednesday, 16 December 2015 at 8.30pm (Singapore time). These are the University’s first satellites in space, and they are part of six Singapore satellites that were launched in the same operation.

The Singapore satellites were deployed by the polar satellite launch vehicle of the Indian Space Research Organisation into a near-equatorial orbit.

Galassia, a two-kilogramme nanosatellite, was developed by students and researchers from the Faculty of Engineering; Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing & Processing (CRISP); and Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT). Kent Ridge 1, a 77.2-kilogramme microsatellite, was developed jointly by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and CRISP, together with partners including Berlin Space Technologies, Nanyang Polytechnic and ST Electronics (Satcom and Sensors Systems) Private Limited. Both satellites are flying 550 kilometres above the Earth, on an orbital plane that has an inclination of about 15 degrees. The near-equatorial orbit that these two satellites will be orbiting will provide high revisit rates for its ground operations.

Professor Chua Kee Chaing, Dean of the NUS Faculty of Engineering, said, “The successful deployment of NUS’ first two satellites – Galassia and Kent Ridge 1 - in space is a proud moment for all of us and a remarkable endeavour by NUS faculty, researchers and students. Achieving this quantum leap in space R&D is an excellent demonstration of NUS’ strong capabilities in engineering and satellite technologies. The joint launch of six Singapore satellites into space is also a great celebration of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, marking the significant progress of Singapore’s nascent space industry.”

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