Rwanda will in July this year launch another satellite into lower orbit space signaling yet another progress in its broader National Space Research agenda.
Engineers from Rwanda and Japan have been working in close collaboration to develop a cube satellite which is expected to provide the much needed data in the country’s environment, agriculture and other sectors.
Rwanda sent some of its fine engineers to Japan to work on this project in partnership with Tokyo University and one of the products has been presented to Rwanda at the transform Africa summit which has been running under the theme Boosting African digital economy.
Developing space engineering capacity in Rwanda. It has two cameras for monitoring agriculture status. An antenna for data collection. A sensor may be placed into the ground and information from ground is transmitted to the satellite and later beamed back to control centres.
For example the sensors can be placed on ground to monitor water resources and disasters in prone areas.
Technically a CubeSat is a type of miniaturized satellite for space research that is made up of multiples of 10 cm × 10 cm × 11.35 cm cubic units.
Expert builders of CubeSats say they weigh no more than 1.33 kilograms per unit, and often use commercial off-the-shelf components for their electronics and structure.
According to Risk Atlas for Rwanda, a combined assault by disasters could cost the country a massive Rwf100 billion ($132 million) loss bigger than the budget allocated to the agriculture sector.
Such cube satellites could be instrumental in providing substantial data to help the government in planning ahead of time to avert possible disaster related incidences. These space vehicles could also help in providing vital data for Agriculture especially meteorological.
The Japan-Rwanda partnership on the space ambitions has produced a modern cube satellite that has been presented today at the Transform Africa Summit.
Minister for ICT & Innovation Paula Ingabire officially received the satellite.
“I appreciate the partnership. When we started shaping and designing our national space program, we knew building capacities were going to be a foundation. We have been working with different partners specifically the government of Japan and university of Tokyo,” the Minister said.
According to Minister Ingabire, this result is a testament to some of the work that has been going on in building capacities and helping some of Rwandan engineers to build cube satellites and other types of equipment.
“This is the beginning of the broader space program Rwanda has ventured in and we look forward for the launch in the next two months.