The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) was established in 2010. Following a period of rapid growth and transition the agency has made significant advancements towards addressing its mandate of deriving greater value from space science and technology for the benefit of South African society.

Precision Farming trial findings: Satellite Based Augmentation System yields positive results

on . Posted in SANSA Space Operations News

SBAS SANSA's Navigation unit completed three Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) trials during the months of February and March 2013. Together with the trials, a Lead User Group meeting was held at Hartebeesthoek to confirm user requirements and illustrate the importance of this development to Treasury.

The first trial was held in Heidelberg from 26-28 February 2013 and was based on Precision Farming. Following that, the second took place in Gauteng together with Tracker; and the final GIS trial took place at the Kruger National Park in March 2013. The trials objectives were to illustrate the necessity of an improved navigation system, by comparing the results of a normal GPS to that of the SBAS.

For the Precision Farming trial, a tractor equipped with both the standard GPS as well as the SBAS was driven along specified lines on the farm. To test their accuracy, breaks were taken in between and the 'same' positions resumed – simulating a typical farming pattern. Results from the trial prove that the SBAS unit is indeed more accurate than the current GPS being used; and that the system could potentially eliminate several challenges faced by farmers.

SANSA to support radio astronomy infrastructure in Africa

on . Posted in SANSA Space Operations News

RadioAstronFollowing the signing of the RadioAstron space satellite agreement between the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) at the 5th BRICS Summit held in Durban this year, SANSA will be responsible for the installation, operations and maintenance of the receiving antennae.

The RadioAstron satellite was launched on 18 July 2011 and carries a radio telescope that will obtain images and coordinates of various radio-emitting objects. As a single, virtual telescope, it will be the world's largest radio telescope, with a "dish" measuring approximately 390 000 km. The mission has an expected lifetime of five years and will support and improve investment in radio astronomy infrastructure in Africa and complement radio astronomy facilities such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), enhancing the continent's reputation as a premier destination for radio astronomy.

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