Egypt Receives Initial Data from its Experimental Satellite, NExSat-1

NExSat-1, Egypt (and Africa's) first satellite launch in 2024. Source: EgSA

Dr Ayman Ashour, Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, has announced Egypt’s milestone in receiving the initial data image captured by the experimental satellite NExSat-1, a collaborative effort with the esteemed German company BST. This success aligns with the steadfast directives of our esteemed political leadership aimed at fortifying Egypt’s national space technology and fostering growth within the space industry, thereby enhancing the nation’s advanced technological infrastructure.

The satellite launch adheres to the contractual agreement between the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS) and the German company BST, with the overarching objective of indigenising space technology through satellite design, manufacturing, launch, and operation. Weighing approximately 67 kg, the satellite marks a significant step forward in Egypt’s technological prowess.

Dr Ayman Ashour underscored the system’s success, highlighting the National Authority for Remote Sensing’s reception of the inaugural image from the experimental satellite on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, precisely at 10:26 PM Cairo time. The image, capturing the city of Assyout, was received via the Authority’s X band reception station in Aswan, marking a historic achievement for Egypt’s satellite capabilities.

                                              First image from the satellite. Source: Elbalad News

NExSat-1 boasts a single-spectrum camera with a resolution of 5m, holding immense potential for various applications such as agriculture and urban planning, following meticulous re-correction and processing by engineers at the Aswan reception station and specialised scientists at the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences.

This pivotal development signifies a transformative leap in Egypt’s remote sensing and satellite technology landscape, consolidating Egypt’s regional leadership and its key role in advancing space technology, satellites, and remote sensing across Africa. Egypt’s hosting of the African Space Agency headquarters further underscores its commitment to regional collaboration and advancement in space science and technology.

Prof Islam Abou El-Magd, President of the NARSS, affirmed the experiment’s success as a testament to the Authority’s prowess in remote sensing and space technology. This achievement is poised to catalyse growth within the national and regional space and information industries, offering economic and developmental benefits to the African continent.

Crucially, the project’s success owes much to the skilled human resources provided by NARSS, including the project manager, system engineer, members of the engineering team, and reception and analysis engineers at the Authority and the Aswan reception station. Their expertise and dedication have been instrumental in realising this groundbreaking endeavour.

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