• Sea and space

    Sea and space

    A fleet of satellites is being developed in South Africa to keep an eye on the country’s maritime domain.

    Engineering News reports that space infrastructure company SCS Space is developing the ZAR5.4 billion FleetSAR system in partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Development Bank of Southern Africa, international investors and the South African satellite engineering supply chain.

    The maritime domain system will deploy 12 satellites in phase one, enabling the monitoring of South Africa’s maritime domain at least once a week and up to every four to six hours in some cases. Currently the South African National Space Agency imports data providing a maritime monitoring service once a week.

    ‘One satellite is very good for mapping,’ says SCS Space CEO Sias Mostert. ’But if you want to engage with human and natural processes on Earth, you need more regular coverage.’

    The purpose-built satellites will weigh 600 kg with C-band synthetic aperture radar payloads.

    The prefeasibility study is complete and the next milestone is a bankable feasibility study, which the IDC will help to fund, says Mostert.

    17 November 2023
    Image: Unsplash