NTU gives students hands-on training with real satellites

NTU gives students hands-on training with real satellites
From left: Assoc Prof Low Kay Soon, research engineer Chin Shi Tong, NTU undergraduate A Saravanan, and PhD student Charlie Soon at the NTU Mission Control Room, where satellite operations are controlled daily.

Engineering students at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) now have the opportunity to operate a satellite in outer space from the institution's Satellite Research Centre.

NTU announced on Monday, April 20, that students who join its satellite programme will stand a chance to be trained as the next generation of satellite engineers.

Three of NTU's satellites are now being used to train engineering undergraduates. These satellites are the X-SAT, Singapore's first locally-built satellite, the student-built 4.28kg nanosatellite Velox-I as well as the 1.3kg Velox PII.

All of the university's satellites have been in space for a combined seven years.

Director of NTU's Satellite Research Centre Associate Professor Low Kay Soon said the centre has been training satellite engineers and undergraduates in ground control operations using the three satellites over the past year.

He added: "Having three mission-complete satellites in space provides a rare opportunity for our students and new research staff to practise real ground control operations."

NTU also has two new satellites that are near completion, one of which will be Singapore's first weather satellite funded by the Singapore Economic Development Board.

To date, NTU has four satellites in space including a small smartphone-sized satellite that is packed on the bigger VELOX-I.

It is also the first time that ground operation training has been conducted in Singapore using real satellites instead of simulators.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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