Two teams of University of Malta graduates and students showcased their latest advanced electronic technolo­gical developments at the Malta Robotics Olympiad last weekend.

One team, made up of five engineering graduates and students – Andre Micallef, Roberto Drago, Karl Galea, David Scicluna, Alec Fenech – and their mentor, Dr Marc Anthony Azzopardi, demonstrated their high-speed imaging technology called Multi Camera High Frame Rate Synchronisation (Memento).

Astrea’s Pocket Qube satellite. Photo: Darren CachiaAstrea’s Pocket Qube satellite. Photo: Darren Cachia

Another team of students and aca­demics – the Astrio­­nics Research Group (Astrea) demon­stra­ted its work to deve­lop and launch Malta’s first satellite – a 250g Pocket Qube – that will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 550km for many years after its planned launch towards the end of 2018.

Memento secured close to €200,000 of funding covering a three-year period of intense development, from the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) through Fusion, the Research and Innovation Technology Development Programme of 2015.

It aims to produce prototypes approaching a marketable product that can be serially produced efficiently. This will enable the team to spin off the activity into an independent company.

Astrea is currently growing with the support of the University’s Research Fund, the Research Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT) and several contributors from the local industry, but there are plans to also commercialise aspects of the Pocket Qube satellite in view of the booming Cube Sat market. Moreover, subsystem development for space applications creates countless opportunities for international collaborations.

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