On 13 October 2009 the CSIR Satellite Applications Centre received a video stream from South Africa's very own, recently launched satellite, SumbandilaSAT or ZA002. This milestone followed the launch of the satellite on 17 September 2009 and its successful transfer into orbit around the Earth. SumbandilaSAT is a project of the Department of Science and Technology.
Pieter Kotzé of the centre's tracking, telemetry and command group, explains the significance, "This shows that we are able to receive the live video relayed through the S-band transmitter. The same live video will later allow us to point the satellite, and hence the high resolution imager, to where we want, using a joystick interface."
"This is also the same satellite antenna system, which will be used to transmit the high resolution image data down to earth. It is proof that the antenna system works on the satellite."
The CSIR received the video stream in parallel with Stellenbosch-based Sunspace, the company responsible for building the satellite.
The video stream can be viewed on the Sumbandila mission blog and on YouTube.