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Published on Jul 14, 2015
What does it mean to democratize space? How can Africa take part in the immense opportunities that miniature satellites (CubeSats) represent? With his characteristic dry sense of humour, Prof van Zyl tells the story of TshepisoSAT, Africa’s first nanosatellite - built by his team of students and CPUT staff and launched in November 2013. Overseeing a satellite programme that truly represents Africa serves as a unique platform to further the socio-economic development of Africa. To this end, Prof van Zyl has established the international African CubeSat programme and workshop series to provide an innovation and developmental forum for fledgling CubeSat communities on the continent.
Born in Cape Town, Prof Robert van Zyl studied electronic engineering at the University of Stellenbosch and has gone on to establish a satellite engineering programme at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in 2009. Under his Directorship of the French South African Institute of Technology at CPUT, this programme has developed into a prominent regional centre for satellite technology innovation. The group focuses on CubeSats as technology platform. A team of students and staff developed TshepisoSAT, Africa’s first nanosatellite, which was launched on 21 November 2013. Robert is passionate about leveraging international knowledge networks to contribute to the socio-economic development of Africa. Robert regularly participates in outreach events, as well as speaking at forums throughout Africa. In his spare time he enjoys playing the French Horn.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx