Inside ‘RWASAT I’, the first satellite made by Rwandans

On 16 May 2019 at 11:00

Rwanda expects to launch its satellite dubbed ‘RWASAT I’ into space to be used in agriculture monitoring aligning with the country’s vision to prioritize technology within three months.

The project to acquire the satellite implemented in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda and Japan through Tokyo University was announced two months ago.

The project was designed to have the first institution in Rwanda helping to reduce expenses spent on obtaining data from foreign satellites.

In December 2018, three Rwandans went to Japan to work on the project and acquire knowledge that would lead into making their own satellite in coming days and fixing technical issues for ‘RWASAT-1’.

Today, ‘RWASAT I’ has been completed and is exhibited at Kigali Convention Center where the 5th edition of Transform Africa Summit is taking place.

RWASAT project Program Manager, Quentin Verspieren has told IGIHE that the satellite has two major duties.

“The first is to collect data from the earth. The satellite is made with advanced technology enabling it to record data even from remote areas without phone network,” he said.

The satellite is equipped with a small technology device that can test the quantity of water, warmth, humidity among other climate measurements.

“We can synchronize all these measurements and combine them into the device before sending them to the satellite using weak signal,” said Quentin.

The satellite has the capacity to monitor different directions using its two cameras that can capture pictures on Rwanda’s earth.

“By combining these indications, we can identify the structure of a particular area whether there is water or productive fertile garden,” said Quenti.

The satellite weighs 3.8 Kgs. It will in the near future be handed to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) which will take it to the monitoring station before launching it into space.

RWASAT will be launched on 400 kilometers altitude.

Rwanda’s satellite will be used in agriculture and preserving the environment.

RWASAT I will be the second satellite Rwanda launches in the space following the launch of ‘Icyerekezo’ satellite on 28th February 2019 expected to expand internet access in rural areas.

It was launched by the Government of Rwanda in collaboration with OneWeb.