NTU successfully launches Singapore’s first student-built satellite


1.33kg VELOX-PII Pico-satellite

Satellite built by NTU students sent into space

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’s X-SAT shows resilience in second year of operation

DUBAI

NTU satellite, X-SAT, marks two years in space

Published on: 22-April-2013

Singapore’s most well-travelled two-year-old has gone to space and seen Madrid, Venice, Paris and Dubai. The traveller has also survived solar storms, radiation and 15 near-collisions with large chunks of space debris. Today, the Republic's first locally-built satellite, the X-Sat, celebrates its second anniversary in space. Built by NTU and DSO National Laboratories, the X-Sat has taken almost 5,000 photographs of Earth, helping researchers to monitor sea pollution, forest fires and other environmental changes.

NTU soars to new heights in space exploration

Up, up and away: NTU soars to new heights in space exploration

Published on: 21-Feb-2013

Not long after building Singapore’s first locally-made satellite (X-SAT) and pioneering the country’s first satellite research programme for undergraduates, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is once again soaring to new heights in space exploration.

NTU is embarking on three new space projects:

1) It will develop Singapore’s first tropical weather satellite expected to be ready for launch in three years’ time.

2) It will be involved in the building of Singapore’s first commercial satellite.

3) It will conduct research on the aerodynamics and safety of high altitude vehicles.

"NTU will keep on pushing the frontiers in satellite research. NTU has already shown its satellite capabilities when we launched the X-SAT in 2011. By working with established industry partners like ST Electronics and global aerospace leader Lockheed Martin, we will further accelerate the commercialisation of made-in-NTU satellite technologies," said NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson.

“NTU is also helping to train bright young talent for the industry. From the get-go, our students are given strong exposure to the field under NTU's unique Undergraduate Satellite Programme. Under the guidance of our experienced faculty, they have the chance to build satellites that are slated for actual launch – a clear example of how NTU prepares our students for the real world.”


Joint venture into space

  • The Straits Times online, 11 Feb 2013
  • The New Paper, 12 Feb 2013, Pg 7
  • Berita Harian, 13 Feb 2013, Pg 3
  • Phys.Org, 11 Feb 2013
  • NTU partners Israel's top university to boost satellite and space research

    Published on 11 Feb 2013

    Israel Institute of Technology (Technion), Israel, have teamed up to collaborate in satellite and space research. The collaboration will allow NTU to expand its satellite research programme with Technion, one of the world's top science and technology research universities and often dubbed “Israel's MIT”. The university is known for producing the majority of leaders in Israel's high-tech companies.

    It also comes at a time where both universities have embarked on separate plans to build nano-satellites over the next five years. NTU has a 10-year road map to build four nano-satellites under its VELOX programme, while Technion’s three nano-satellites are slated for launch by 2015 under its Space Autonomous Mission for Swarming and Geolocation with Nanosatellites (SAMSON) mission.

    The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed 10 February 2013, by NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson, and Technion IIT President, Professor Peretz Lavie at the Technion campus in Haifa, Israel.

    A satellite image of a forest fire in Sumatra on Sept 18 2011
    A satellite image of a forest fire in Sumatra on Sept 18 2011.

  • The Sunday Times, 22 April 2012, page 24 [PDF | 713 KB]
  • Ayes all round for S'pore eye in the sky

    Published on 22 April 2012

    First locally developed satellite invaluable in helping to monitor environmental change.

    One year in space, and Singapore's first locally designed and built satellite has not only captured images of Sumatra's forest fires and the Bangkok floods, but also had a few near misses with floating debris.

    Since last May, X-SAT, which hovers 800km above ground, has taken and beamed back more than 1,000 satellite images from space to help researchers on the ground monitor the effects of environmental changes.

    Associate Professor Low Kay Soon, one of X-SAT's team leaders, said the National Environment Agency and environmental consultancy Sentinel Asia have benefited from X-SAT's images.

    The red-and-black photographs - with red denoting vegetation and black representing bodies of water - can be used to measure soil erosion, sea pollution and environmental changes within an area of 50km by 30km.


    Estonia satellite image captured by X-SAT on 1st April, 2012

    Making History – X-SAT First Anniversary

    Published on 20 April 2012

    On 20 April 2011, another first was made in Singapore’s history as the nation’s first indigenously built micro-satellite, X-SAT, was successfully launched into the space on board India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C16 at 12.42pm, Singapore time from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, India.

    Designed for earth monitoring missions, the X-SAT is the result of a close collaboration between DSO and NTU, as engineering experts from both institutes came together to realize a vision.

    Today marks the first anniversary of successful operation of X-SAT. X-SAT has completed more than 200 imaging missions, capturing over 1200 images across all continents. Many of these images have been sent to the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Sentinel Asia, a Pan-Asia satellite-based disaster monitoring effort for further assessment.

    The success of this satellite has resulted in a joint venture comprising of NTU, DSO and ST Electronics to market the manufacturing and services for small satellite business. NTU students are also working towards the development of pico- and nano-satellites named VELOX-P and VELOX-I. These student’s built satellites are scheduled to be launched by 2013.

  • Lianhe Zaobao, 30 Oct, page 8 [PDF | 323 KB]
  • The Straits Times, 29 Oct, page B8 [PDF | 323 KB]
  • TODAY, 28 Oct, page 20 [PDF | 273 KB]
  • Channel NewsAsia online, 28 Oct [PDF | 256 KB]
  • NTU’s satellite wins Defence Technology Prize by Mindef

    Published on : 31-Oct-2011

    The team from NTU and DSO National Laboratories, who successfully designed, built and launched Singapore's first-ever microsatellite, known as the X-SAT, was one of the winners of the Defence Technology Prize – the Ministry of Defence’s annual award to honour the finest in defence research and engineering. Five teams and one individual received the awards this year. The 120kg X-SAT monitors environmental changes, such as forest fires and oil pollution. Launched on April 20, it will orbit the earth for three years, while capturing images within a 12m resolution.

  • MediaCorp Channel 5, News 5 Tonight, 9:30pm, 24 May 2011 [WMV | 8 MB]
  • Channel NewsAsia, Singapore Tonight, 10pm, 24 May 2011 [WMV | 19 MB]
  • The Straits Times, page B3 [PDF | 977 KB]
  • The Straits Times (online) [PDF | 410 KB]
  • Lianhe Zaobao, front page [PDF | 1010 KB]
  • TODAY, page 30 [PDF | 554 KB]
  • my paper (English section), page A2 [PDF | 474 KB]
  • my paper (Chinese section), page B3 [PDF | 468 KB]
  • asiaone [PDF | 1 MB]
  • The Straits Times, page B7, 26 May 2011 [PDF | 786 KB]
  • X-SAT beams images back to Singapore

    Published on : 25-May-2011

    Singapore’s first locally-built micro-satellite has started transmitting images back home. NTU embarked on the project with DSO National Laboratories in 2002, hoping to generate interest among the young in engineering R&D. The X-SAT, as it is known, sent the first image of Singapore on 7 May, more than two weeks after its launch. On 7 May, the micro-satellite orbited within a 3,000-km radius of Singapore – an ideal range to send back its first image of Tuas. That morning, the satellite passed by the western part of Singapore. Four days later, the ground centre received the first complete image of Singapore. Scientists can use the satellite photographs to track environmental changes, such as soil erosion and oil pollution. Director of NTU's Satellite Research Centre, Associate Professor Low Kay Soon, said the successful transmission of images was a great achievement for Singapore. “Space science is the pinnacle of science and technology. We hope to train more undergraduates to work in the field of satellites.” X-SAT will be exhibited at the Science Centre Singapore over the June school holidays.

  • Channel NewsAsia (online), 20 Apr 2011 [PDF | 691 KB]
  • AsiaOne, 20 Apr 2011 [PDF | 791 KB]
  • xinmsn.com, 20 Apr 2011 [PDF | 828 KB]
  • The Straits Times (online), 20 Apr 2011 [PDF | 669 KB]
  • The Straits Times, page 10 [PDF | 1 MB]
  • TODAY, page 32 [PDF | 803 KB]
  • Lianhe Zaobao, page 2 [PDF | 587 KB]
  • Tamil Murasu, front page [PDF | 1 MB]
  • tabla!, 22 Apr 2011, page 3 [PDF | 714 KB]
  • First S'pore-built satellite now in orbit

    Published on : 21-Apr-2011

    Singapore's first locally-built satellite has officially been launched into space. Riding on a rocket owned by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the micro-satellite X-SAT blasted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India on 20 April. The 105kg fridge-size satellite, which will be used to take photographs to measure soil erosion and environmental changes on Earth, was one of three riding on ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16).

    X-SAT is designed and built from scratch by scientists and engineers from NTU and Singapore's defence research body DSO National Laboratories. Now in orbit, X-SAT is establishing communication contact with ground control in NTU, a process likely to take up to a week. Once contact has been made, an initial health status of the satellite will be ascertained and confirmed. This includes checking its solar panels and communication systems and the IRIS camera, which can capture images of forest fires and sea pollution.

    With the successful launch of X-SAT, Singapore is one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to have its own satellite in space. The launch capped more than nine years of hard work by scientists and engineers. NTU President Dr Su Guaning congratulated the team, and said the launch represents “a huge leap” in Singapore's efforts to build space technology. He added that he hopes X-SAT’s launch will “excite and inspire” more youth to take up engineering and venture into space technology.

  • The Straits Times, page B4 [PDF | 2 MB]
  • S'pore's first satellite to launch today

    Published on : 20-Apr-2011

    Singapore will finally head to space on 20 April afternoon. The Republic's first locally-built micro-satellite will blast off on an Indian rocket at 12.42pm, Singapore time, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India, barring last-minute hitches.

    The 105kg refrigerator-size X-SAT will be one of three satellites riding on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C16, which is owned by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro). The other two satellites are built by Russia and India.

    NTU collaborated with the DSO National Laboratories to build and design the satellite from scratch. NTU and Isro scientists and engineers have been working closely in the run-up to the launch and stringent checks have been carried out. X-SAT will orbit for three years at a height of 800km and take photographs to measure soil erosion and environmental changes on earth. It will then relay data to a ground station at NTU. X-SAT's launch will make Singapore one of the first Southeast Asian countries to have a locally designed and built satellite in space.