Boost for South Africa’s space and satellite industry with the opening of a new business

Swedish Space Technology Company AAC Clyde Space has created a subsidiary in South Africa.

In a statement released yesterday, the company announced it has founded AAC Space Africa, to capitalize on the rapidly growing market for satellites and space services in Africa.

AAC Space Africa will design, build and carry out space missions to the continent from its base in Cape Town in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

The new subsidiary will also be the group’s competence center for advanced radiocommunications.

South Africa is experiencing notable developments in the space and satellite industry.

Last year, ITWeb announced that the small town of Matjiesfontein in the Western Cape will be home to SA’s first deep space ground station.

This is after the Cabinet authorized the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) to partner with the United States-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration to host a ground station in the country.

SANSA was established to promote the use of space and strengthen cooperation in space-related activities, while encouraging research in space science, advancing scientific engineering by developing human capital and supporting industrial development in space technologies.

Ground stations can be located either on the earth’s surface or in its atmosphere. Earth stations communicate with spacecraft by transmitting and receiving radio waves in the very high frequency or very high frequency bands.

The South African satellite connectivity industry is also bracing for a shake-up amid reports that Elon Musk’s SpaceX has opened pre-orders for its Starlink satellite service in South Africa.

However, the satellite industry in South Africa flourished in the absence of Starlink, with organizations like Q-KON leading the way.

African satellite pioneers

AAC Clyde Space notes that its new company will be headed by Dr Robert Van Zyl as Managing Director and Francois Visser as Technical Director.

They bring more than 40 years of experience in small satellites, having pioneered the African CubeSat industry through several missions, including the continent’s first CubeSat launched, he says. Their expertise covers all facets of new space technologies, with particular emphasis on communications.

The team will initially focus on radio communication systems, as well as sales and marketing. According to the firm, the team is expected to grow rapidly over the coming year to meet demand from the African space economy, which is expected to reach $ 10 billion by 2024.

“The need for space services in Africa is growing rapidly as governments, businesses and communities seek effective ways to support development and build critical infrastructure,” said Luis Gomes, CEO of AAC Clyde Space.

“We see great potential for small satellites to provide timely, accurate and targeted data for areas such as weather forecasting, ocean monitoring, agricultural planning and land management.”

Gomes points out that the ability to provide data from space and monitor key issues across the continent will help Africa develop at a much faster rate over the next decade.

“Adding a local presence and specialist knowledge to our existing business offering will put AAC in an excellent position to meet these growing needs. We look forward to playing an active role in the South African space community and the wider market, ”he said.

AAC said it has chosen South Africa as the base for its new subsidiary, AAC Space Africa, as the country has an established space industry, as well as a strong position in communication systems, with highly qualified engineers and data scientists. .

He notes that AAC Space Africa will also be the competence center for advanced radio communication systems for the entire AAC group, becoming the global supplier of advanced radio systems for AAC space missions.

AAC Clyde Space was previously active in the African market through the hubs of its European companies, most recently supporting Mauritius in its efforts to become a space nation and to follow ocean currents with Earth observation technologies.

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