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NTU, Thales team up to create new satellite technologies

Posted: 12 Feb 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:S4TIN? nanosatellite? microsatellite?

Nanyang Technological University joins forces with Europe's largest satellite manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space, to develop new concepts and technologies for small satellites. Also included in the collaboration is Thales in Singapore, the only Thales corporate research centre in Asia.

The partnership aims to leverage the rapidly growing nanosatellite and microsatellite segments of the global satellite industry, which usually refers to satellites less than 100kg.

The partners will set up a joint research laboratory in NTU named S4TIN, short for Smart Small Satellite SystemsThales in NTU.

The lab brings together the world-renowned heritage of Thales Alenia Space in satellite systems, NTU's pioneering research in small satellite platforms and technologies, and the local research and technology capabilities of Thales in Singapore.

Several joint projects have been identified. The first is to develop small and robust infrared cameras that are able to detect changes in the climate from space. Another proposed joint research programme is to study the use of satellite technology for maritime security.

The S4TIN joint lab was launched by Yeoh Keat Chuan, managing director of Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), NTU Provost Prof Freddy Boey, Thales Alenia Space's Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Patrick Maute and Thales in Singapore's Chief Executive Officer Jean-Noel Stock.

Boey said this landmark collaboration is an international recognition of NTU's strengths in satellite research and development.


Launch of the Thales-NTU joint lab by (left to right) Thales in Singapore’s CEO Jean-Noel Stock, NTU Provost Prof Freddy Boey, Yeoh Keat Chuan, Managing Director of EDB, and Thales Alenia Space’s CTO Patrick Maute. (Source: NTU)

"NTU is home to some of the brightest minds in engineering in Singapore today. We have successfully built, launched and operated four satellites in space for the last five years. Satellite research and development is extremely demanding and highly multi-disciplinary and to put even one in space is no small task," Boey said.

"Using the expertise we gained, we are now tackling an even bigger challenge. Together with Thales, we now aim to develop more advanced satellite technology to bring the world better telecommunications and more accurate climate sensing and observation data. This is also the more sustainable route, as smaller satellites require less resources and time to build, launch and operate."

Maute affirmed NTU's impressive achievements, adding that the creation of S4TIN demonstrated the mutual commitment to push the frontiers of nano/micro-satellite technologies.

"We are impressed with NTU's ability to build, launch and operate four satellites in such a short period of time. The talents trained by NTU had proven themselves to be fully capable of developing nano/micro-satellites at a rapid pace. We are excited to work with NTU to explore innovative applications of such satellites in remote sensing, environment monitoring, or navigation / automatic identification system (AIS) among others," he said.

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