BIUST Partners With European Firm To Build Botswana's First Satellite

Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) is partnering with European satellite manufacturer EnduroSat to build Botswana’s first satellite called Botsat-1.

EnduroSat said engineers from BIUST are joining the manufacturer’s team in Bulgaria to help make Botsat-1, based on a three-unit (3U) standard cubesat structure. 

Booked on SpaceX’s Transporter-13 rideshare mission slated to launch no earlier than February 2025, Botsat-1 would have a hyperspectral sensor to gather ground composition data to support mining and agriculture businesses in the country.

An EnduroSat spokesperson said the sensor would have a spatial resolution of 32 meters at 500 kilometers altitude and a 32 kilometer swath. By collecting multiple bands of light within the visible and near-infrared (VNIR) portion of the spectrum reflected by the surface of the Earth, the data can help identify materials and provide insights on vegetation, water and air quality.

Botswana’s government is funding Botsat-1, which EnduroSat said is part of a broader goal to build out a space hub in the country and would leverage its Space Engineering & Technology qualification program due to kick off in October.

“BIUST has already invested in developing its own equipment, including … ground stations,” the EnduroSat spokesperson said, “so synergy on educational programs [is] one of our common priorities within this mission. BOTSAT-1 is the first step towards implementing practice-driven space education to attract and train regional talent.”

Engineers from BIUST are due to help complete Botsat-1’s assembly and payload integration in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. BIUST would also operate the satellite from within Botswana via mission operations software EnduroSat has developed.

“This partnership brings us closer to realizing our shared vision and underscores the strength of our mutual commitment to advancing space technology in Botswana,” BIUST vice chancellor Otlogetswe Totolo said. 

Info source: SpaceNews

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