Nepal | August 13, 2020

NepaliSat-1 ground station starts functioning

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, September 12

Ground station for NepaliSat-1, the country’s first satellite has come into operation. Nearly five months after launching the satellite, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology finally completed construction of its ground station.

Sending command and receiving data from the satellite is now possible from the ground station.

NAST officials said antenna of the ground station on its premises, in Lalitpur, will start tracking the satellite automatically from tonight onwards.

Earlier, the antenna was manually configured to track NepaliSat-1.

Programme head of the ground station Roshan Pandey said, “We have installed the latest technology and so far everything is good.” Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, will need at least one more week to process the data and make public pictures and information sent by the  satellite. Pandey added the ground station can also receive big data, if the country sends other large satellites into the space in the future.

There was delay in setting up the ground station and the construction of the ground station was extended for multiple times. NAST had claimed that it would complete the construction of the ground station and operate it months ahead of launching of the satellite. After NepaliSat-1 was launched on April 18, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology had again said that the ground station would be operational within a couple of weeks.

The country had to rely on neighbouring countries Bhutan and Japan to receive data sent by the satellite after it reached earth’s orbit from the International Space Station on June 18.

Two Nepali scientists Aabhas Maskey and Hariram Shrestha, who are studying at Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan had developed the satellite, in collaboration with Nepal Academy of Science and Technology . NAST, the country’s apex body for promoting science and technology, said it will establish National Space Centre within a year.

“We have submitted a report to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and it was received with enthusiasm. We are hopeful that the space centre will be built within few years,” programme head of the ground station Pandey said.

 


A version of this article appears in print on September 13, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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