On Friday, July 7, Ghana celebrated the launch of its first satellite into space. The satellite will be used to monitor Ghana’s coastline for mapping purposes, and to build capacity in space science and technology. The two year project began in October 2015 and cost about $500,000.
GhanaSat-1, which was developed by students at All Nations University in Koforidua, was sent into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS) after being lifted off from the launch pad of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) aboard the H-II transfer vehicle (Kounotori). The University also received some assistance from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The Cubesat, described as the first university satellite in sub-Saharan Africa, has low and high resolution cameras on board to take pictures of our homeland and provide data that can be used to monitor the coastal areas of Ghana.
It also has Digi-Singer SNG mission from which the national anthem and other independence songs can be broadcast from space, as well as collect requested songs from the ground and send to the satellite to broadcast in space. The students will operate the satellite using the All Nations University College Ground Station at Koforidua.
The three students spearheading the project are Benjamin Bonsu, Joseph Quansah and Ernest Teye Matey, who executed the project under the supervision of Professor Mengu Cho, the Director of Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering (LaSEINE). The students completed their Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering at All Nations University in 2013 and constructed the university’s amateur Ground Station that currently allows the station to receive information from passing satellites.