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Malaysia’s Universiti Teknologi Mara launches its first nanosatellite into space

Malaysia’s Universiti Teknologi Mara launches its first nanosatellite into space

An announcement
made by the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) highlighted two of its students
who were able to develop a nanosatellite, in collaboration with the Kyushu Institute
of Technology
(KyuTech), which was launched into space.

UiTM has built and launched its inaugural
nanosatellite called the UiTMSAT-1 into space. The nanosatellite was launched
on-board the Space X Falcon 9 cargo rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station in Florida, USA to the International Space Station (ISS).

Two UiTm students built the 10-centimetre
nanosatellite in Japan. The students, Syazana Basyirah Mohamad Zaki and
Muhammad Hasif Azami, collaborated with KyuTech through the Joint Global
Multi-Nation (BIRDS-2) program.

Syazana Basyirah and Muhammad Hasif are
students from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FKE). They are currently
pursuing Masters and PhD studies in related fields in the country.

Some of the notable people who witnessed
the launch of the UiTMSAT-1 through the live feed on YouTube were UiTM Vice
Chancellor Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Hassan Said; Dean of the Faculty of
Electrical Engineering Professor Dr Mohd Nasir Taib; Director of UiTM Satellite
Communication Centre Professor Ir TS Dr Mohamad Huzaimy Jusoh.

According to Dr Hassan, the nanosatellite
will be stored in the ISS temporarily. It is expected to be released into
orbit, which is approximately 400,000 kilometres from the ground, this August.

He added, “I think it is a great
achievement and it should be the beginning for UiTM citizens to reach the next
level. It is hoped that more high-impact projects will be produced as it will
definitely benefit the university as well as the nation.”

He explained, “In terms of cost, UiTM only spent
RM500,000 for the cost of building the nanosatellite. The students are sent to
Japan on government scholarship. The satellite launch are subsidised through
the collaboration made with Japan.

Dr Mohamad Huzaimy explained that the
nanosatellite has six missions while in space. These are image retrieval,
testing satellite location correlation, Global Positioning System (GPS) chip
test, measuring magnetic field in space for geomagnetic mapping data for the Southeast
Asia region and radio communications.

Around 2,500 faculty students are expected
to benefit from the six missions that the nanosatellite is supposed to do. This
is beneficial for them as it relates to research for five courses that are
being offered at the faculty.

He added that FKE has built a ground
station, having a high speed communication channel, at the faculty in
preparation for the data that will be transmitted by the nanosatellite later on.

He shared, “The UITMSAT-1 has a speed of 28,000
km/hr. It is capable of circling the earth up to seven times a day.”

It is essential to build a high speed
communication channel in order to receive the data transmitted. It moves so
fast that it can go through Malaysia in around 10 minutes.


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