The National Space Conference had a dynamic programme centred on the theme of “Space for Inclusive Growth.”

The programme was organised in accordance with the daily themes and sub-themes that are intended to address numerous topics in space, science, policy, technology, and innovation.


DETAILED PROGRAMME

Download a 2023 detailed programme.

DAY 1

Theme: Space and Society

08:00 – 08:45
Registration and morning coffee


09:00 – 11:00
OPENING SESSION
Sharing space benefits (society, economy, environment security and sustainability)

Opening Performance

Welcome Remarks
Dr Rakeshnie Ramoutar
Deputy Director-General, Technology Innovation, DSI

Opening Statements

Lieutenant General Wiseman Simo Mbambo
Chief of the Airforce, SAAF

Dr Mmboneni Muofhe
Deputy Director General (DDG), DSI

Dr Kaven Naidoo
Group Executive, BE&I, NEOSS, CSIR

Mr Humbulani Mudau
Chief Executive Officer, SANSA


11:00 – 11:30
Opening of the Exhibition and Rocket Launch capability demonstration and unveiling
Dr Phil Mjwara
Director General, DSI


11:30 – 13:15
TECHNICAL SESSION 1
Sharing recent developments in the use of Integrated Applications and Research for societal benefit

Moderator
Dr Moses Cho
Chief Scientist and Research Group Leader, Precision Agriculture Research Group, CSIR

Quantifying changes in the extent of South African estuarine habitats to inform targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)
Dr Heidi van Deventer
Principal Researcher, CSIR

Synergetic Use of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data for Wheat Crop Height Monitoring Using Machine Learning
Dr Cilence Munghemezulu
Researcher, ARC

Unlocking Earth Observation imagery to provide insight, Business
Mr Micheal Breetzke
Development Manager, Swiftgeospatial

Wildfire emissions assessed using remotely sensed data: A review
Dr Lerato Shikwambana
Senior Scientist, SANSA EO

Music and Bands. Optimising Sentinel-2 Feature Space for Improved Crop Biophysical and Biochemical Variables Retrieval Using the Novel Spectral Traid Feature Selection Algorithm
Dr Mahlatse Kganyago
Geo-informatics Lecturer/Researcher, UJ

Remote Sensing in Assessing Engineering Risk – Using satellite data to detect ground settlement and swelling for planned railway infrastructure extension
Ms Ndilisa Didiza
CoP Co-Chair, NEOSS


13:30 – 14:00
Lunch break and exhibition


14:00 – 15:00
SHOWCASING SESSION 1
Sharing recent developments in building space capabilities

Moderator
Ms Fikiswa Majola
Deputy Director, DSI

Mission Options for an Indigenously-Developed Small Satellite Launch Vehicle
Prof Jean Pitot
Associate Professor, ASrec, UKZN

Development and Deployment of Low Earth Orbit Nanosatellites for Maritime Applications
Mr Sinamandla Maqina
Mission Engineer, CPUT

Geomagnetic jerks observed in geomagnetic observatory data over Southern Africa between 2018 and 2022
Mr Sanele Lionel Khanyile
SANSA

BACAR – an affordable test platform
Mr Christo Kriek
Portfolio Manager, BACAR

Develop of national space capabilities
Mr Tebogo Mokgalagadi
Acting Executive: Space Engineering, SANSA


15:00 – 16:00
YOUTH SESSION
EO monitoring demonstration activity


16:00 – 18:00
WELCOME RECEPTION
Networking session
Major General Lancelot Mathebula
SAAF

DAY 2

Theme: Space and Industry

08:00 – 08:45
Registration and morning coffee


09:00 – 11:00
SPECIAL LECTURE 1
Space entrepreneurship and innovation

Bryan Dean
CEO, DragonFly


PLENARY 1
Sharing industry’s space infrastructure and operations

Moderator
Ms Jessie Ndaba, CoP Co-Chair, NEOSS

Participants

Mr Eugene Avenant
Chief Engineer, Space Operations, SANSA

Prof Sias Mostert
Chairman, SCS Aerospace Group, Space Commercial Services (Pty) Ltd

Mr James Barrington-Brown
Chief Executive Officer, NewSpace Systems

Mr Alex Fortescue
Manager, Africa, Maxar

Mr Kannas Wiid
EOS SAT-1 Spacecraft System Engineer, Dragonfly Aerospace

Dr Rob Van Zyl
Managing Director, AAC – Space Africa


11:00 – 11:30
Networking break and exhibition


11:30 – 13:30
TECHNICAL SESSION 2
Sharing achievements and use cases for space innovation and services

Moderator
Dr Tinisha Chetty
CoP NEOSS CoP Co-Chair

Mapping waterbodies and wetlands in Digital Earth Africa platform: tools and applications
Ms Mpho Sadiki
Earth Observation Data Scientist, DEA

Using the Agrisense Constellation as a tool for building sustainable space programmes
Ms Tucia Busakwe
Space Scientist, SCS

Standards for space
Rheinhardt Sieberhagen
R&D Metrologist, NMISA

Weed Detection Using Biomass
Ms Yoliswa Mkhize
Graduate Intern, CSIR

Impact of Earth Observation in Rural Communities
Mr Tswelelo Piet
Abiri Technologies

Mapping the presence of woody invasive alien plants in the Luvuvhu Catchment of South Africa using multispectral Sentinel-2 satellite imagery
PhD Student, Stellenbosch University

Detecting woody invasive alien plants using Sentinel-2 imagery in the uMzimvubu Catchment, Eastern Cape
Ms Thandeka Skosana
Stellenbosch University


13:30 – 14:00
Lunch break and exhibition


14:00 – 15:00
SHOWCASING SESSION 2
Sharing status of frameworks, programmes and initiatives for coordination regulation, and planning

Moderator
Adv Lulu Makapela
Manager, NEOSS

National Coordination Mechanisms
Mr Ernest Acheampong
Group on Earth Observations (GEO)

National Spatial Information Framework
Ms Maroale Mimi Martha Chauke
Director, DALLRD

Space Industry Framework and Action Plan
Ms Nomfuneko Majaja
Chief Director, DTIC

Status of NEO Frontiers and development SAEOS Portal
Ms Asanda Ntisana-Sangoni
Acting Managing Director, EO, SANSA

TrigNet: Status of South Africa’s GNSS Base Station Network
Mr Patrick Vorster
Professional Land Surveyor, National Geospatial Information, Branch: NGMS, DALRRD

Military Aerospace Authority
Major General De Villiers
Air Traffic controller, SAAF

DAY 3

Theme: Space and the Future

08:00 – 08:45
Registration and morning coffee


09:00 – 11:00
SPECIAL LECTURE  2
Space and Sustainability

Ms Pontsho Maruping
Managing Director, SARAO


PLENARY 2
Sharing current space education and outreach activities, methods, and techniques

Moderator
Ms Sinesipho Ngamile
Space Education Officer, SANSA

Reducing high unemployment through entrepreneurial mindset development in African youth
Mr Daniel Matsapola
SANSA

Using EO and IoT tools to Build and Support Smart Communities
Mr David Thabo Tabane
Founder, Arose Technologies

Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC)
Mr Muteb Benedict
National Point of Contact, SGAC

Aviation, Aeronautical and Space Sciences Focus School
Col Alan James
STEM Developments

Driving Diversity and Inclusion through Technical Challenges Across Africa
Mr Zviko Mudimu
DEA


11:00 – 11:30
Networking break and exhibition


11:30 – 13:30
TECHNICAL SESSION 3
The advancement of space to harness future technologies (AI, 4iR, SAR, Machine learning)

Moderator
Dr Naeem Agiee
Environmental Science Senior Researcher, Sappi Southern Africa

MicroSTAR – a bistatic radar solution to commoditise SAR
Mr Willie Nel
Chief Radar Engineer, CSIR

The business case for Global Visioning Systems – FleetSAR Satellite Constellation
Ms Thongwane Namane
SCS

Oscillation-based built-in self-testing: a promising approach for RF systems in orbit
Prof Tinus Stander
UP

Integrating active learning and machine learning regression methods for hybrid retrieval of grass biophysical variables in a protected mountainous region using Sentinel-2 data
Dr Philemon Tsele
Senior Lecturer, UP

Improving the Efficiency of LoRa IoT Devices with AEM Systems and AI Techniques
Ms Yolanda Nxumalo
YaAzi

Development of MHTS Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver and upgrade to VDES & Blue force Tracking AIS
Kgabo Mathapo
CTO, Motseni-Hi-TechSpace


13:30 – 14:00
Lunch break and exhibition


14:00 – 15:00
CLOSING SESSION
Highlights and Closing Remarks

National Space Conference Highlights
Adv Lulu Makapela
Manager, NEOSS

Closing Remarks
Mr Itumeleng Makoloi
Acting Chief Director, Space Science and Technology (SS&T), DSI