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VELOX

NTU launches 7th satellite into space
Published on 18-Jan-2017​

The first Singapore satellite launched from the International Space Station took place successfully on Monday evening. Called AOBA VELOX-III, it is a joint project between NTU and Japan's Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech). It is also the seventh satellite that NTU has launched.​

 

Two NTU satellites pass first year with flying colours
Published on 25-Dec-2016

Two of NTU's youngest satellites recently had their birthdays in outer space, and their makers have much to celebrate. Since their launch on Dec 16 last year, both satellites have flown a combined 10,000 times around the Earth and travelled 400 million km

 

NTU satellites complete first missions in space
Publised on 06-Feb-2016

Two satellites built by NTU and launched in December have completed their first space missions to test a variety of new Singapore-made satellite technologies. NTU is one of the few universities in the world to design and operate satellites in space, and with the latest launch, the University can now offer its satellite building expertise to companies hoping to develop innovative space products for the global market.

 

NTU launches its fifth and sixth satellites into space
Publised on 18-Dec-2015

Six satellites by Singapore were successfully launched into space from Andhra Pradesh state in India on Wednesday. They include NTU's fifith and sixth satellites, the VELOX-CI and VELOX-II and also the 400kg TeLEOS-1, which was produced by ST Electronics (Satellite Systems), a joint venture that includes NTU.

 

NTU partners Kyutech to launch new satellite
Publised on 14-July-2015

NTU is partnering Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) to build and launch a new satellite. Named AOBA VELOX-III, the new nanosatellite weighing two kilogrammes will be launched by Japan's national agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency in 2016. This is the first such partnership between the two universities and is meaningful as this is the first time the satellite programme is using a micro-propulsion system.

 

NTU engineering students to train with real satellites in space​
Published on 21-April-2015

​After years of using simulators, students here can finally operate an actual satellite. Engineering students and budding satellite engineers at NTU are now able to work with genuine satellites, in a breakthrough several years in the making. It came about after three of the university's satellites completed their respective space missions last year, which included testing sensors built by students from the university.

 

NTU to build two more satellites
Published on 26-Nov-2014

NTU is building two new satellites that will be launched into space next year - Singapore’s first climate satellite and an experimental communication satellite. The two new satellites will be adopting some of the technologies that have been successfully tested in NTU’s VELOX-PII, a pico-sized satellite built by its undergraduates which marks its one-year anniversary this week, and its bigger brother VELOX-I launched in June.

 

Two new NTU satellites lift off successfully
Published on 03-Jul-2014

Singapore now has two new satellites orbiting in space, built by Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

The nation’s latest satellites, VELOX-I and VELOX-PIII, were launched into space on India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV C-23 at 9.52 am (12.21 pm Singapore time), on Monday, 30 June 2014.

Designed and built by students and researchers at the NTU Satellite Research Centre, the VELOX-I is a nano-satellite, which weighs a total of 4.28kg. VELOX-PIII piggy-backs on its bigger "brother" as one unit but they will be separated in the later part of this experiment.

Both satellites are flying 650 kilometres above the Earth, on an orbital plane that has a fixed orientation with the sun, known as a sun-synchronous low-Earth-orbit.

 

NTU successfully launches Singapore’s first student-built satellite
Published on : 25-Nov-2013

Singapore now has a second satellite – both built by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – orbiting in space.

Wholly designed and built by NTU students, this latest satellite lifted off on board Russia’s RS-20B rocket (Dnepr) at 3:10pm, Singapore time (7:10am Co-ordinated Universal Time, UTC) on Thursday, 21 November 2013. All systems are functioning well.

Launched from the Yasny Launch Base located in the Orenburg Region, Russia, the VELOX-PII is NTU’s second satellite in space. Singapore’s first locally-built satellite, the X-SAT, developed by NTU and DSO National Laboratories, was launched into space on 20 April 2011.

NTU has also built a new ground station on campus to control and monitor VELOX-PII for the next 12 months of its operating life. NTU’s ground station has successfully contacted the satellite on Thursday, 21 November 2013 from 10:41pm to 10:54pm, Singapore time. In addition, VELOX-PII successfully transmitted data to NTU’s ground station on Friday, 22 November 2013 from 12:18am to 12:30am, Singapore, indicating that the satellite is now fully operational.

The VELOX-PII, classified as a pico-satellite (a satellite that weighs around 1 kg), is now soaring some 600 kilometres above Earth, on an orbital plane that has a fixed orientation with the sun or what is known as a sun-synchronous low-Earth-orbit.

The 1.33 kg VELOX-PII is developed under NTU’s Undergraduate Satellite Programme, a multi-disciplinary hands-on space project for students. The objective is to train highly-skilled engineers to support Singapore’s space industry.

NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson, said: “I am pleased that our engineering students have done us proud with the successful launch of VELOX-PII. This proves that they have the aptitude and attitude to successfully apply what they have learnt in the sophisticated area of satellite-building. It is also a fantastic showcase of NTU’s strengths in research and engineering which augurs well for the future of Singapore’s aerospace and space industry.

“We are confident that this remarkable satellite project will spur greater academic interest in engineering research and development among undergraduates. We will continue to nurture young talents under our revolutionary undergraduate research programme where students can design and build satellites together with our experienced faculty. In addition, we remain committed to push the frontiers in satellite research and further accelerate the commercialisation of made-in-NTU satellite technologies.”

While in space, VELOX-PII will run tests to prove the viability and robustness of NTU’s satellite technology, including hardware and software built in-house by students. This includes the fine sun sensor that is used to determine a satellite’s orientation with respect to the sun; control and sensing algorithms that determine and control the satellite’s orientation; and a power management system to harvest maximum solar energy for its solar panels.

Director of NTU’s Satellite Research Centre, Associate Professor Low Kay Soon said: “The successful launch of VELOX-PII marks yet another momentous chapter in our journey into space. At NTU, we believe in doing applied research that can add value to various industries or sectors. We are thrilled by the enthusiastic response by our undergraduates who have participated in these challenging multi-disciplinary and team-based projects.

“Our pipeline of bigger projects will not only train our future students for a career in the aerospace and space industry, it will also further strengthen NTU as an exceptional institution of excellence in satellite technology as well as realise Singapore’s ambitions to make a global mark in the space industry.”

NTU is Singapore’s first university to develop a satellite programme for undergraduates. Since 2009, second year engineering students onwards develop and build real satellites under the programme managed by NTU’s Satellite Research Centre.

Mr Charlie Soon Jing Jun, who worked on the power management system of VELOX programme for his Final Year Project before he graduated with first class honours in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2010 at NTU, said the building of the satellites from scratch has proved to be a unique challenge.

“The skills and knowledge acquired from building a satellite with its many subsystems that need to be integrated well, will help me to excel in whatever I do in the future. With the emerging satellite industry being identified as a new growth industry for Singapore, I hope to combine my research in photovoltaic power system with satellite technology to explore new possibilities,” said Mr Soon, now an NTU PhD student who mentors current students under the satellite programme.

Another NTU Electrical and Electronic Engineering 2010 graduate who had worked on the VELOX project is Mr Xing Yi Tong, now a research associate in NTU’s Satellite Research Centre. Mr Xing said that one of the attractions of the VELOX project is its multi-disciplinary nature.

Although my scope of work is focused on the attitude control of the satellite, I have the opportunity to work closely with specialists from different fields. Teamwork and excellent communication skills are integral in ensuring the success of this project. Apart from the technical knowledge gained from this programme, I have no doubt that the soft skills I have honed will be transferable and put me in good stead for my future career,” said Mr Xing who graduated with an NTU Master of Engineering degree in a research topic on satellite attitude control last year.

 

NTU students build nano and pico satellites
Published on : 19-Jul-2011

The pair of small satellites are being designed, built and operated by NTU engineering students and will be in orbit in 2013.

They weigh just 3.5 kg and 1.5 kg but they will punch above their weight when NTU’s latest two satellites are launched into space in 2013. These satellites are designed, built and operated by NTU mark another milestone in NTU’s satellite technology and research.

Called the VELOX-I, it is the first milestone project of NTU’s Undergraduate Satellite Programme (USP).

The VELOX-I satellite consists of two satellites - a nano satellite that weighs 3.5 kg called N-Sat and its tiny sibling, the P-Sat, a pico satellite that tips the scales at a mere 1.5 kg.

In comparison, the pico satellite weighs less than three iPads (601 grammes each) and measuring 10 cm on each side of the cube, it is still shorter than the height of the iPad (18.5 cm).

The nano satellite is just over half a kilogramme heavier than a 17-inch Macbook Pro (299 grammes) and at 20 cm long, it is 12.5 cm shorter than the laptop.

NTU’s latest satellites will be ready to be launched into orbit in the first quarter of 2013 where it will validate the satellite-building skills of the engineering undergraduates. Having undergraduates trained in such sophisticated research and technology development augurs well for the future of Singapore’s aerospace and space industry.

For Mr Charlie Soon Jing Jun, who worked on the power management system of VELOX-I for his Final Year Project before he graduated with first class honours in Electrical & Electronic Engineering in 2010, the building of the two satellites from scratch has proved to be a challenge but one that can be surmounted.

Mr Soon said: “The main challenges in building a satellite are to design reliable subsystems that are able to survive in the harsh conditions in space. The students also had to ensure that all the subsystems are to be integrated into a complete satellite within a given time schedule.”

But Mr Soon, who has since returned to NTU as a PhD student to work on solar energy research and has mentored the undergraduates working on the VELOX-I, added that the project is richly satisfying and encouraged students to join the programme, saying: “Students who are involved in the USP will gain valuable knowledge in building satellites that are useful for both space and aerospace industries for their future careers.

“It also gives them experience in working on large-scale multi-disciplinary projects. Although the project is challenging, it will be most rewarding when the satellite is launched into the space. All the USP students can point to the sky and say he or she was involved in building a satellite which is making a full orbit of the Earth every 100 minutes.”

During the first six months after launch, the N-Sat will deploy its solar panels, extend its optics mechanism to capture images of the Earth with an NTU-designed camera and communicate with the ground station for its primary mission. It will also test some of the sensors and actuators designed and built in-house at NTU. Furthermore, the satellite will conduct experiments to study quantum physics through a scientific payload.

After half a year in orbit, the P-Sat will detach from VELOX-I where, for the next 18 months, the two satellites will carry out tests on inter-satellite radio link and attitude control algorithms.

VELOX-I is the first space mission conducted under the USP. Fifty students in their 2nd to 4th year are participating in the project each year, with the support of research students and staff. The project officially started in April 2010. The ground station for mission control has since been set up and operated by a student team in the NTU campus. The students are from the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and School of Computer Engineering.

Professor Freddy Boey, NTU Deputy President and Provost, said: “Space is one of the final frontiers in science and I am delighted that NTU students are building a pair of satellites that will be orbiting Earth to conduct scientific experiments. This is a clear demonstration of how far NTU has come.

“The creation of the VELOX-I satellites is also significant as it showcases NTU’s capabilities in satellite technology and we can be a talent source that can ultimately serve Singapore’s growing aerospace and space industry.”

Associate Professor Low Kay Soon, the Director of NTU’s Satellite Research Centre, added: “NTU has entered another exciting phase in our space programme with the creation of VELOX-I.

“The VELOX-I shows that NTU engineering students are capable of building something as sophisticated as a satellite and I hope that our success will inspire more students to join the Undergraduate Satellite Programme.

“Through this USP, we will nurture creativity and imagination in our undergraduates by providing them with a challenging multi-disciplinary and team-based project like the VELOX-I. These projects will also train them for a career in the aerospace industry as well as support Singapore’s future ventures in the space industry.”

On 20 April 2011, X-SAT, the first made-in-Singapore satellite, was launched into space. It was wholly designed and built by NTU in collaboration with the DSO National Laboratories. X-SAT is a micro-satellite weighing 105 kg.

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