Satellite

Rwanda-Japan collaborate to deploy RWASAT at Transform Africa Summit

Credits: Space in Africa

Teams from Rwanda and Japan have collaborated to develop a cube satellite, RWASAT that is set to launch in July this year.

The satellite signals another milestone in the country’s progress toward its National Space Research Agenda.

The cube satellite is expected to provide crucial data streams relating to the country’s environment, agriculture and other sectors.

Developed by local engineers in partnership with Tokyo University, the cube satellite and other products were presented at the Transform Africa Summit, that took place from May 15-16, 2019.

The new satellite comes installed with two cameras for monitoring agriculture status and an antenna for data collection. Information from the ground is transmitted to the satellite and later beamed back to control areas. In this way, sensors can be installed on the ground to monitor water resources in disaster-prone areas.

According to Risk Atlas for Rwanda, a combined assault by disasters could cost the country a loss of Rwf 100bn ($132m). Therefore, the installation of such cube satellites will be instrumental in providing substantial data to help the government in disaster management.

Minister for ICT & Innovation, Paula Ingabire officially received the satellite as part of the Japan-Rwanda partnership on space ambitions that was presented at the Transform Africa Summit.

Commenting on the partnership, Ingabire said: “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 the University of Tokyo. This is the beginning of the broader space program Rwanda has ventured in and we look forward to the launch in the next two months.”