Ocean monitoring in SA set for major boost with launch of 3 nanosatellites

The project will see the satellites, weighing just over two kilograms each, launched into orbit from the Cape Canaveral facility in the US on Thursday.

The three locally produced nanosatellites will be launched into space on 13 January 2022 as part of SA's Maritime Domain Awareness Satellite (MDASat) constellation. Picture: Supplied by CPUT

CAPE TOWN - Ocean monitoring in South Africa is set to get a major boost with the launch of three nanosatellites on Thursday.

The project will see the satellites, weighing just over two kilograms each, launched into orbit from the Cape Canaveral facility in the US.

Since 2018, the ZACube-2 satellite has been providing data to the country's maritime industry.

CPUT acting Chief Engineer Nyameko Royi explains: "The first thing for us it to prove that the concept works. We'll be getting that information to CPUT, at our ground station, and once everything works in order and we see that the supplies are working, then the government department will take care of that."

The Department of Science and Innovation's Mmboneni Muofhe: "Our oceans are a huge contributor to our economy and we, therefore, have to constantly have a sense of who is in our waters, what are they doing, are they there illegally or legally or also in terms of monitoring the algae blooms which can actually be dangerous for our fishing industry."