NTU partners Israel's top university to boost satellite and space research

February 11th, 2013
Two renowned universities, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Technion), Israel, have teamed up to collaborate in satellite and space research.

The collaboration will allow NTU to expand its satellite research programme with Technion, one of the world's top science and technology research universities and often dubbed "Israel's MIT". The university is known for producing the majority of leaders in Israel's high-tech companies.

It also comes at a time where both universities have embarked on separate plans to build nano-satellites over the next five years. NTU has a 10-year road map to build four nano-satellites under its VELOX programme, while Technion's three nano-satellites are slated for launch by 2015 under its Space Autonomous Mission for Swarming and Geolocation with Nanosatellites (SAMSON) mission.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed yesterday, 10 February 2013, by NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson, and Technion IIT President, Professor Peretz Lavie at the Technion campus in Haifa, Israel.

"This collaboration brings together two established technological universities with similar goals in space and satellite research," says Professor Andersson. "The agreement will strengthen NTU's satellite programme, cementing its position as Singapore's number one university in satellite research."

"Technion is delighted to explore yet another collaboration with NTU, one of the leading technological universities in the world," says Professor Peretz Lavie. "Combining the knowledge and talents of our institutes will ensure the high quality and excellence of the scientific and technological leaders in Singapore and Israel."

Under the MoU, Associate Professor Low Kay Soon, Director of NTU's Satellite Research Centre (SaRC) and Professor Ehud Behar, Director of Technion's Asher Space Research Institute (ASRI) have identified potential areas of research. These include the study of thruster designs for satellite orbital control, satellite formation flying and remote sensing cameras. The research outputs are expected to be incorporated into the on-going nano-satellite programmes of each university.

A faculty and student exchange programme for undergraduates and postgraduates from both institutions is also in the works.

Both universities have established programmes in space research. NTU launched Singapore's first locally-built micro-satellite, X-SAT, in 2011 and Technion launched its Gurwin-II TechSat microsatellite in 1998. NTU has completed two pico-satellites named VELOX-P and VELOX-PII in July 2012, which is part of its 10-year road map under the VELOX programme. It is also the only university in Singapore with an undergraduate satellite programme.

NTU also has existing research collaborations with Technion, one notably being a joint PhD degree programme in Materials Science and Bioengineering. NTU is also a key partner in the Technion programme on Regenerative Medicine Initiative in Cardiac Restoration Therapy which aims to address the clinical need for cardiac restoration therapy using a tissue-engineering based approach.

Provided by Nanyang Technological University

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