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Namibia To Have Its Own Satellite Tracking And Data Reception Facility

Namibia To Have Its Own Satellite Tracking And Data Reception Facility

The development of a satellite ground segment complex in Namibia has been approved by the Namibia Infrastructure Development and Investment Fund (NIDIF) management enterprise, Eos Capital. The development of the complex will be led by satellite service provider and now also emerging space satellite services sector infrastructure developer Q-KON Namibia (part of the South African Q-KON group). Q-KON Namibia is licensed by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia.

The project is dubbed the Namibia Space Port, although it will, as currently described, not actually be a space port. Strictly speaking, this term refers to a place from which spacecraft are launched from, and sometimes also return to, Earth.

“The Namibia Space Port represents a monumental stride towards harnessing the vast potential of space technology for the growth of Namibia’s and Africa’s communication capabilities,” enthused Namibian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister Emma Theofelus. “The project shows Namibia’s commitment to space exploration, innovation, and sustainable development. With a strategic focus on collaboration, capacity building, and technological advancement, the Namibia Space Port will make our country a worthy player in the African space arena.”

Namibia launched a National Space Science and Technology Policy in 2021. This project is also intended to boost the country’s ICT sector and expand digital inclusion and connectivity across the entire country. “This landmark initiative aligns with Eos Capital’s mission to facilitate strategic investments that propel Namibia into the future and earn positive returns to investors,” explained Eos Capital chief investment officer Frederico van Wyk.  

Initially, the new facility will focus mainly on ground gateway terminal hosting, Earth observation (EO) downlink services, and tracking, telemetry and control (TT&C). Ground gateway terminal hosting means the provision of the infrastructure – such as sites to build antennas, plus the requisite civil works, power and connectivity – necessary for the setting up of ground gateway terminals for low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations. EO downlink services will allow EO satellites to provide images and other data directly to Namibia, for use in research, education, and in developing the economy and advancing social development. TT&C will allow the monitoring and control of satellites passing over or by Namibia, and this capability will strengthen Africa’s TT&C network, as well as strengthen global TT&C networks.

“We are honoured to lead this transformative initiative that will not only elevate Namibia’s technological prowess but also play [a] role in the growth of the LEO industry in sub-Saharan Africa,” affirmed Q-KON Group CEO Dr Dawie de Wet. 

Source: Engineering News

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