An eye from space: SA marine traffic to be monitored by nanosatellite

Minister of Science and Technology Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane hailed the send-off of the ZACube-2 satellite as a job well done by CPUT.

Minister of Science and Technology Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane in the clean room with senior engineer Nyameko Royi and the ZACube-2. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Marine traffic will soon be monitored using a nano-satellite built at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

Dubbed the ZACube-2 satellite, the device, weighing around three kilograms, carries an advanced camera which will detect forest and veld fires. Nanosatellites are small satellites weighing between 1kg and 10kg.

It was developed by the French South African Institute at the campus.

GP coordinates, registration information, speed and direction of travel of ships will be retrieved which will assist authorities to track ocean traffic in our exclusive economic zone and improve the safety of ships.

CPUT engineer Arthur Mabunda says information will be channelled to a control centre situated on campus.

“It has this sensor which will communicate with our satellite to check illegal fishing, trafficking and all activities occurring in the ocean.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)