The Rwanda Space Agency (RSA) has revealed plans to establish a teleport, strategically positioning Rwanda in the global space landscape and fostering significant contributions to the nation’s socio-economic growth. According to reports from the RSA, the decision to invest in ground-based space infrastructure aligns with Rwanda’s vision for inclusive and sustainable growth in key sectors, addressing the needs of the growing African space industry.
In 2024, Euroconsult projects that revenues from the Earth Observation data segment and Value-Added Services (VAS) will reach USD 5.6 billion. Notably, substantial income is expected from space missions (Telemetry, Tracking, and Control) and hosting private ground stations (teleport services). As of January 2024, the World Teleport Association (WTA) lists only three member teleports and one certified teleport in Africa, none of which are certified in Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the opportunity for Rwanda.
The RSA intends to unveil its state-of-the-art teleport featuring multiple ground stations. Notable features include a 9.3-meter diameter antenna designed for optimal performance, with a gain-to-noise (G/T) ratio of 21.5 dB/K in the S-band and an impressive 36.0 dB/K in the X-band. These metrics signify the antenna’s efficiency in signal reception while minimising background noise, ensuring optimal performance across frequencies.
The Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) measures 60 dBW, highlighting the antenna’s unique ability to transmit signals with extensive power. These specifications showcase how RSA’s antenna can provide a robust and reliable command link for lunar missions, enabling the rapid download of critical data to support priority sectors like agriculture, urban planning, disaster management, and climate change.
The teleport, situated in the Equatorial Zone, holds a strategic advantage in direct satellite communication. This geographical positioning is particularly advantageous for specific space missions, such as lunar missions, due to its proximity to the Equator. Furthermore, the Eastern province’s low precipitation makes it an ideal location, enhancing efficiency and responsiveness in space-based activities providing strategic sites with a clear line of sight for satellite communications and other space missions.
The Agency can confirm the keen interest of numerous entities in using Rwanda’s infrastructure to support their space missions and host their satellite ground stations at RSA’s teleport. This trend underscores Rwanda’s emergence as an ideal host for space-based projects with substantial global impact potential. This development reflects the nation’s commitment to scientific and technological progress, dedication to innovation to address challenges, and contributions to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global objectives, including mitigating global warming and ensuring space sustainability.