Gladys Magagula represents SANSA at the 3rd Annual Women in Engineering Conference

Women in engineeringGladys Magagula, Mission Control Specialist at SANSA's Space Operations directorate; was invited to be a guest speaker at the 3rd Annual Women in Engineering Conference. The event took place from the 28-30 November 2012 at Gold Reef City with almost 300 delegates attending the three-day conference with women representing the various sectors in the engineering industry.

Gladys gave insights into SANSA, its directorates and the role of women in the South African and African Space industry.

Visit to the University of Limpopo

Univ LimpopoGladys Magagula from SANSA's Space Operations directorate was invited to the University of Limpopo to talk to the students about Careers in Science, specifically those offered at SANSA. The visit took place on Friday 12 October 2012 and Gladys was accompanied by Daniel Matsapola from the SANSA Earth Observation Directorate. Both Gladys and Dan are alumni of the university.

Gladys presented the importance of studying subjects in the Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) category in general. She also spoke about different career paths in the fields of Physics, Chemistry and Geology. Dan then followed by sharing his personal experiences as a student and the challenges he faced as well as the triumphs.

SANSA undertakes to turn dreams into a reality - one child at a time

IMG 9505Lethabo Moropa, a four year old boy suffering from Kidney cancer, visited Hartebeeshoek on the 18 September 2012 to fulfil his dream of being a Satellite Engineer. Like many young boys, he loves speed, Ben 10 and McDonalds. His wish of being a Satellite Engineer however, was fulfilled as Lethabo visited the SANSA Space Operations ground station directorate, as part of a Reach For a Dream Foundation initiative.

"Little Lethabo was assessed by the organisation in hospital while receiving chemo," says Adele Hattingh Johannesburg Dream Coordinator at the Reach For A Dream Foundation. "He is a huge soccer fan and loves fast cars, but the one thing he kept on repeating over and over again is that he wants to spend time with a Satellite Engineer!"

The KSAT Antenna Inauguration ceremony, a collaboration between SANSA and KSAT

KSATThe 4 December marked the official unveiling of the KSAT antenna, a symbol of increasing cooperation between South Africa and Norway, in the Space industry.

Kongsberg Satellite Services AS (KSAT) is a commercial Norwegian company that initiated talks with the then CSIR Satellite Applications Centre, now a directorate of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA); in November 2009 to host an antenna in support of earth observation data. "The unique positioning of SANSA's Space Operations ground station makes it an ideal location to position an antenna for optimum data downloading," explained Rolf Skatteboe, KSAT President. "This, together with the SANSA's world-class facilities made it an easy choice for us."

The project commenced in February 2011 and became fully operational in June 2011. "Since early 2012, more than 1000 earth observation images have been downloaded via the antenna, with an excellent pass rate of 99.2%," adds Tiaan Strydom,International Business Manager at SANSA Space Operations and KSAT Project Manager.

This auspicious event was marked with an overview of the project followed by the breaking of a champagne bottle against the antenna by HE Ambassador Kari Maren Bjørnsgaard from the Norwegian Embassy.

SANSA Space Operations hosts the SATSA training workshops and is part of the EGSA Task Force

SATSAEugene Avenant, TT&C Director at SANSA Space Operations; is part of the South African delegation working on an architectural study for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS) in South Africa (EGSA).

EGNOS is Europe's augmentation system for GPS, and is similar to other Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) worldwide. EGNOS increases GPS accuracy and supports applications requiring high precision by correcting errors caused by atmospheric disturbance factors.

The first EGNOS in South Africa (EGSA) Task Force meeting took place in Brussels from 1-3 October 2012. "The main objective of the Task Force is to prepare a proposal detailing the requirements around the implementation of EGNOS in South Africa," Avenant says.

In preparation for SBAS being deployed in South Africa SANSA along with its European partners is completing an FP7 project to prepare industry for this.

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