PENANG: A cube-shaped NanoSatellite named MYSat or Malaysia Youth Satellite would be launched into outer space to study the possibility of early detection of earthquakes, the outcome of a research by a group of students and their lecturers from the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Aerospace Engineering (PPKA).
The USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Industry and Community Network), Professor Dr Abdul Rahman Mohamed said this at the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between USM and the National Space Agency (ANGKASA) to collaborate in the launch of MYSat.
“PPKA has developed the MYSat with the aim of conducting a scientific mission, which is to study and collect data from the ionosphere for the purpose of earthquake detection,” said Abdul Rahman.
“Once gathered, the scientific data would be utilised to assist in the research and the planning of disaster management, especially in relation to earthquakes and tsunamis,” he added in representing the USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Datuk Dr Asma Ismail.
According to the Director- General of ANGKASA, Dr Noordin Ahmad, the agency fully supports the initiative by USM in developing and enhancing the knowledge on outer space, especially in relation to satellite technology like MYSat.
“We are truly proud in being able to share our expertise and consultancy with USM, as this cooperation and established relations between the government and the institution would certainly benefit all,” said Noordin.
The satellite is expected to be launched beginning next year and to be put in orbit between 6 months to a year depending on environmental conditions; the launching will be carried out by astronauts from the Kibo module owned by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) at the International Space Station (ISS).
The total cost of the programme, which involves a spacecraft bus, payload, launcher, construction and operation of a ground station, and personnel including satellite operators is estimated to be at RM250,000. – USM