KMUTNB to launch its first satellite KNACKSAT into orbit in 2018

KMUTNB to launch its first satellite KNACKSAT into orbit in 2018

Professor Dr. Suchart Siengchin, President of KMUTNB, presided over a press conference held on the Main Campus of KMUTNB to announce a plan to launch its own first satellite KNACKSAT into orbit. The press conference was held by the Executive of KMUTNB and the research team. The research team is headed by Prof. Dr. Suwat Kulthanapreeda. Other members of the research team include Dr. Pongsatorn Saisutjarit, Asst. Prof. Dr. Suramate Chalermwisutkul and students of KMUTNB involved in the design and construction of KNACKSAT. The launch of KNACKSAT is scheduled to take place later this year.

KNACKSAT (standing for King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok Academic Challenge of Knowledge SATellite) is a cube-shaped satellite measuring 10x10x10 cm3 with a total mass of approximately 1 kg. The miniature cube-shaped satellite uses amateur radio frequencies for its data transmission between the ground and the satellite station. KNACKSAT is funded through a research funding program called Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund for the Public Interest, managed by Office of The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). KNACKSAT is the first Thai satellite designed and built domestically by a team of Thai researchers and Thai students of a Thai university. The success of the KNACKSAT project serves as a good example of how much potential Thailand has for the area of satellite engineering as well as the design and development of other space technologies, and also proves that Thailand is now well-prepared and ready for the ever-growing space industry, which can potentially open up new opportunities for Thailand in the foreseeable future.

After the team had successfully built KNACKSAT, the satellite was tested extensively to make sure it can withstand and reliably operate as designed under the extreme conditions specified in the international regulations for launching satellites before it can be safely launched into orbit.

Benefits of the KNACKSAT project include, but are not limited to the following:

  • to enhance Thai lecturers, researchers and students’ knowledge and experience in the area of satellite design and construction
  • to serve as the foundations for the design and construction of larger satellites, which can benefit the economy and the national security of Thailand
  • to encourage children’s interest in science and technology in Thailand

KMUTNB is set to launch KNACKSAT into space and deploy it into orbit on Spaceflight’s rideshare mission dubbed “SSO-A” aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket later this year.

Once in orbit, KNACKSAT can be used to capture imagery of the Earth’s surface from outer space with a resolution of 1-2 km per pixel, and conduct experiments to test the functioning of systems and devices designed to operate in outer space.

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Writer : Ekkapot Charoenwanit
Publisher : Dhirawat Muanglen