Final SATSA training workshop held in Madrid

SATSA trainingSince the beginning of the year, the Madrid-based company GMV has been collaborating with SANSA to increase the technological satellite-navigation capacity (GNSS) in South Africa. Ahead of the extension to this region of the European navigation system EGNOS, GMV is leading the SBAS Awareness and Training for South Africa (SATSA) project which forms part of the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme (FP7).

The fourth training session, given over to SBAS Operations, Maintenance and Service Provision; was held on the 13th and 14th of November 2012 at the AENA's ESSP Operations Centre at the Torrejon Air Force base near Madrid. The training was organised by GMV and focused on operations, maintenance and service provision including training lectures from ESSP staff. The training addressed topics such as EGNOS services, performance, roadmap NOTAM and the LPV implementation status in Europe. Representing SANSA Space Operations, Eugene Avenant and Farhad Hassim attended the training.

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.

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