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On the move towards a Space Programme in Mauritius 

MIR-SAT1 Project presented during TICAD8 Workshop on CubeSat

In August 2022, the MRIC was invited to present the MIR-SAT1 project for Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD)8 Workshop on CubeSat in Tunis, Tunisia. The aim of the workshop was to showcase how Japan has contributed in the Space Field across the African Continent. Mauritius benefited from Japan expertise mainly Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) through the KiboCUBE Programme. The MRIC presented our first experience in design build and operation of a nanosatellite in space. This workshop also allowed exchanges between other African Countries and Mauritius in view of developing future collaboration in space and satellite technologies.

Signature of Contract Agreement between MRIC and Surrey Space Centre for NEREUS project 

A one-day workshop focusing on the theme "Combatting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in the Mauritius Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture", was held on Monday 16th January 2023 at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port-Louis. The workshop was organised by the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC) and the Surrey Space Center, University of Surrey, in the context of the project ‘NEREUS - A Space-based Maritime Surveillance System for Fisheries Monitoring and Anomaly Detection’ being undertaken jointly with the support of the United Nations Development Programme’s Ocean Innovation Challenge.  


The Minister of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Darsanand Balgobin, the Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo, Dr. Raffaella Guida, Principal Investigator, Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, UK and other personalities were present during the launching ceremony. On this occasion, a Contract Agreement was signed between the MRIC and the Surrey Space Center. 


The NEREUS project, aspiring to be a potent tool to contribute in tackling IUU fishing, will use remote sensing imagery and data such as Synthetic Aperture Radar and Automatic Identification System, sourced from a wide network of collaborators and in-kind contributing partners including the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping. These data will be processed using machine learning approaches to derive a near-real time footprint of fishing vessels adopting ‘abnormal’ behaviour in the EEZ of the Republic of Mauritius. 

Ocean Innovation Challenge (OIC) by UNDP in collaboration with Surrey Space Centre (SSC), UK


The MRIC and the SSC from University of Surrey, UK are working together under the Ocean Innovation Challenge (OIC) organised by the UNDP to implement a research project entitled: NEREUS – A Space-Based Maritime Surveillance System for Fisheries Monitoring and Anomaly Detection.

The main objectives of this project are to design, develop and validate a near real-time satellite-based application able to detect Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in the Mauritius Exclusive Economic Zone, with characteristics of automation and high scalability to the rest of the world.

Collaboration with India Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India


The MRIC is assisting the ISRO to track its satellite when the spacecraft is in contact with the MRIC Ground Station(G/S). The Council is utilising the G/S setup for MIR-SAT1 without any change of hardware. The collaboration includes assisting ISRO for Tracking, Command and Ranging (TCR). The MRIC G/S collect the satellite telemetry data (health data) and send directly to ISRO, India. Command data from ISRO, India is sent to the satellite via the MRIC G/S

Signature of Framework Agreement between the MRIC and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), UAE 

A Delegation from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) visited Mauritius from 22nd to 25th of January 2023. The delegation comprised of His Excellency Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director General of the Mohamed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Mr Mohammed Abdulrahim Mohamed Yousuf Alharmi, Senior Director Administrative Affairs Department and Mr Adnan Mohammad Alrais, Senior Director – Mars 2117 Program.  


On Monday 23rd January 2023, bilateral discussions were held among members of the Ministry, members of the MRIC and the delegation from the MBRSC at the Ministry in SICOM Tower. The delegation, along with Honourable Balgobin, also visited the MRIC Ground Station and roof antenna. 


A Framework Agreement between the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was signed in the afternoon in a ceremony held at the Le Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel in Port Louis. The Framework Agreement for cooperation in the field of outer space and space technologies was signed by the Minister of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Darsanand Balgobin, and the Director General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, Mr Salem Humaid Al Marri. 


On Tuesday 24th January 2023, a visit was organised at the Rajcoomar Gujadhur State Secondary School (Girls), Central Flacq for Demonstration of Ground Station Set-up including Simplified Satellite Antenna and Exhibition of Satellite Images captured from LEO satellites.

During their visit, courtesy calls by the delegation were also made to His Excellency Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun, G.C.S.K, the President of the Republic of Mauritius, to Honourable Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Home Affairs and External Communications and Minister for Rodrigues, Outer Islands and Territorial Integrity, to Honourable Alan Ganoo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade and to Honourable Deepak Balgobin, Minister of Information Technology, Communication, and Innovation.

By: Dr V Bissonauth, Mr Z Soreefan, Mr P Hurnath

Supported by: Mr K Narrain, Ms S Bhojoo, Mr Y Gajadur, Mr K Pokhun and Dr R Jeetah-Rampadaruth

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