File image of officials in Sharjah following the launch of the satellite from Florida on January 3 Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences and Technology (SAASST) of the University of Sharjah (UOS) successfully received the first communication signal from its first CubeSat, ‘Sharjah-Sat-1’, on Tuesday at 10.02am, once it had reached its orbit around Earth.

Sharjah-Sat-1 is the first miniaturised satellite launched by SAASST on January 3 as part of a series of CubeSats that the UOS intends to launch in cooperation with several national institutions and organisations in the emirate of Sharjah. It will study the impact of solar radiation on the atmosphere. 

Archive picture of the satellite Image Credit: Supplied

The project engineers at SAASST were prepared to receive the first communication signal from the CubeSat after it reached its orbit around Earth. The signal demonstrates the state of the satellite and its readiness to perform its mission after a successful deployment from the main spacecraft. Sharjah-Sat-1 is now in its low Earth orbit, 550km above the Earth’s surface. The operation of the subsystem started gradually as the small satellite began its 90 minutes orbit around Earth.

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The SAASST engineering team is continuously monitoring the movement of the CubeSat once it passes over the Emirate of Sharjah. More signals are expected to be received and sent to check on the health of all subsystems, especially the iXRD detector and the dual cameras.