Brac University Trustee Board Chairman Sir Fazle Hasan Abed has inaugurated the country’s first-ever satellite ground station built by the university’s students to communicate with its nano-satellite Brac Onnesha.
When inaugurating the ground station on the university campus on Thursday, Abed said the responsibility of carrying out frontier research fell on all of the country, according to a Brac University press release.
“The nation is still dependent on utilising benefits of research conducted in foreign countries, some of which invested some 2-3% of their GDP in this sector. But I am not sure whether Bangladesh has invested even 0.1%,” he said, adding that Bangladesh would greatly benefit if the government spent at least 1% of its GDP on research.
Underlining the need for collaboration among universities, the government and industries, Brac University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Syed Saad Andaleeb said if this could be realised, then “the sky is the limit.”
The inauguration was followed by a short video presentation and demonstration on antenna control and receiving data/beacon by a team of Brac students involved in the ground station. Later, a replica of Brac Onnesha was presented to Sir Abed.
Three Brac University students who developed the satellite – Abdulla Hil Kafi, Raihana Shams Antara and Maisun Ibn Monowar – joined the programme from Japan through a video conference, the press release added.
Brac Onnesha, a cube measuring 10cm along its edge and weighing around one kilogramme, will be deployed from International Space Station once it is taken there on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket that is scheduled to be launched from Florida on 2 June.
The ground station is capable of receiving audio signals and topographical data gathered by the satellite. The university’s researchers will then analyse and interpret them, observe space environment and help serve academic and research goals.