Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gerhana Matahari Penuh di Yangshanzhen

Sebelum gerhana penuh

22hb Julai 2009, Pulau Yanshanzhen, China

Saya telah menyertai rombongan sains yang diketuai oleh En. Sam Gibbs (Aerospace Edu) dan Dr. Chong Hon Yew (USM). Misi kami ialah untuk menyaksikan gerhana matahari penuh yang terpanjang di dalam abad ini, kejadian yang serupa hanya akan diulangi pada tahun 2132. Pulau Yangshanzhen yang berkedudukan di bahagian selatan kotaraya Shanghai terletak tepat pada garisan laluan gerhana matahari yang akan memberikan kegelapan 'totality' selama 6 minit. Pagi itu cuaca agak mendung tetapi kami tetap memasangkan peralatan kami di atas kawasan bumbung Hotel Yangshan. Gerhana bermula pada pukul 830 pagi tetapi awan tebal tidak memberi sebarang ruang untuk kami melihat matahari. Kami sabar menunggu dan kadangkala ia muncul dari belakang awan untuk kami menyaksikan kehebatannya. Sememangnya ia merupakan kejadian yang amat menakjubkan. Teleskop, kamera dan alat 'video cam' digunakan untuk merakamkan peristiwa yang bersejarah ini. Sebelum terjadinya gerhana penuh kami dapat melihat bayang-bayang bulan menghampiri lokasi kami dari bahagian barat. Dengan tiba-tiba kegelapan melanda kami. Siang menjadi malam. Kejadian ini amat ganjil dan saya berasa terharu mengalami fenomena ini. Keadaan di sekeliling kami gelap-gelita, cuma kelihatan cahaya merah yang pudar di sebelah utara di kawasan bukit-bukau. 6 minit berlalu dengan cukup pantas sebelum siang kembali. Ia merupakan pengalaman yang paling menakjubkan dan saya berharap berpeluang untuk menyaksikannya sekali lagi dengan harapan saya lebih bersedia menghadapinya....

Faiz

Gambar-gambar...

Kawasan bumbung Hotel Yangshan

Jalan utama

Bukit-bukau Yangshan

Video cam saya

Joanne dan Mildred dari UK

Dr. Chong dari USM

Masdiana dari USM

Mazlina dari USM

Dr. Chong memberi taklimat

Gin Seng peserta termuda kami dari Aerospace Edu

Jonathan dari USM

Semua orang tengah sibuk

Gerhana matahari dilihat dengan mata kasar

Ben dari Pulau Pinang

Dapat apa-apa tak?

Menunggu untuk kemuncak gerhana matahari

Bersama Sam

Selepas totality

Sam dan peralatannya...

Solar Eclipse in Yangshanzhen, China

Approaching totality

22nd July 2009, Yanshanzhen Island, China

I was part of a scientific expedition lead by Sam Gibbs (Aerospace Edu) and Dr. Chong Hon Yew (USM). Our mission was to observe the longest total solar eclipse in this century, whereby the next similar one will be in 2132. Yangshanzhen Island, is located to the south of Shanghai and is on the centreline of the eclipse path that would provide us with 6 minutes of totality. That morning we woke up to cloudy weather conditions in the island but we went on and set up our equipment on the rooftop of the Yangshan Hotel. First contact started at 830am but the heavens had shut the sky up for us. We waited patiently and got sneak peeks of the sky as the clouds parted occasionally to tease us. It was a spectacle to catch a glimpse of the sun with the eclipse in motion. Telescopes, cameras and video cams were working in full force and emotions ran high. A few minutes before totality, we could see the moon’s shadow approach us really fast from the western end. Suddenly darkness fell upon us. The day had turned into night. Nature got confused and I was in awe of the phenomenon. I only saw a glimmer of reddish light in the northern horizon but everything else was pitch-black. 6 minutes felt like only a moment and just like that, daylight appeared again. It was a surreal experience and I hope I get another chance to witness it. I’ll be ready next time…

Faiz

Enjoy the pics...

Our site above the Yangshan Hotel

The main street

The Yangshan hilltop

My video cam

Joanne and Mildred all the way from UK

Dr. Chong setting his equipment up

Masdiana from USM

Mazlina USM

Dr. Chong explaining to the locals

Gin Seng our youngest member from Aerospace Edu

Jonathan from USM

Everyone in action

Viewing the sun without filters

Ben from Penang

All in a row

Waiting for totality

With Sam...yeahoo...

After totality

Sam with his setup...bye for now...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

RazakSat Berjaya Dilancarkan Ke Orbit


KUALA LUMPUR, 14 Julai (Bernama) -- RazakSAT, satelit remote sensing kedua Malaysia, berjaya dilancar ke angkasa pada pukul 11.35 pagi waktu Malaysia dari Kwajalein Atoll di Kepulanan Marshall di Lautan Pasifik.

Setelah 20 minit dilancarkan, satelit seberat 180 kilogram itu memasuki Orbit Hampir Khatulistiwa (NEqO) untuk menjadi satelit pencerapan bumi pertama dilancarkan ke NEqO, demikian menurut Kementerian Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi (MOSTI) dalam satu kenyataan di sini Selasa.

Pelancaran di Pulau Omelek itu menggunakan pelancar Falcon 1 Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) berjalan lancar setelah empat jam tertangguh bagi memenuhi beberapa keperluan teknikal.

Menurut MOSTI, sejam setengah selepas pelancaran, hubungan awal dapat dilaksanakan oleh Agensi Angkasa Negara (Angkasa) di Sungei Lang di Banting dengan RazakSAT.

Menteri Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili dan para pegawai dari kementerian dan agensi Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd berada di Guam untuk menyaksikan pelancaran melalui siaran web.

Para pegawai kementerian yang diketuai oleh Timbalan Menteri Fadillah Yusof menyaksikan pelancaran itu di Angkasa di Banting dan mengadakan telepersidangan dengan kumpulan di Guam melalui siaran web.

Kegembiraan dapat dilihat apabila satelit itu, dinamakan sempena Perdana Menteri Malaysia kedua Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, dilancarkan ke angkasa selepas hujan renyai-renyai dan angin kuat di tapak pelancaran.

Dr Ongkili berkata pelancaran berkenaan mencatat sejarah bukan hanya kepada Malaysia tetapi juga kepada dunia. Satelit itu akan mengelilingi orbit NEqO pada altitud nominal 685 kilometer.

"Saya mengucapkan tahniah kepada ATSB kerana membina satelit Malaysia sendiri, RazakSAT 1Malaysia Satelit NEqO Pertama Dunia," kata Dr Ongkili.

RazakSAT membawa kamera resolusi tinggi yang boleh merakam imej dari angkasa untuk pelbagai aplikasi untuk memberi faedah bukan hanya kepada Malaysia, tetapi negara-negara di kawasan khatulistiwa.

Lokasi orbit itu akan membolehkan peningkatan kekerapan pemerhatian imej serta imej-imej boleh digunakan untuk tujuan pemetaan lanskap, ketepatan pertanian, biomas perhutanan, perancangan bahagian marin, mengurangkan bencana, perancangan bandar dan rangkaian jalan.

Dr Ongkili berkata semasa satelit lain beroperasi di orbit polar (Sun Synchronous Orbit), RazakSAT� beroperasi pada NEqO dan akan meliputi 70 peratus daripada lautan, di mana fenomena cuaca seperti La Nina bermula.

"Ini akan membolehkan saintis mengkaji dan memantau pelbagai faktor kritikal yang akan menyumbang dengan ketara kepada sains," katanya.

Beberapa negara di Asia, benua Afrika dan Amerika Latin telah menyatakan minat untuk menggunakan imej yang dirakam oleh RazakSAT, katanya.

Malaysia, kata beliau, juga akan menawarkan data berkenaan untuk bidang pengetahuan bagi faedah masyarakat d seluruh rantau Khatulistiwa.

Remote Sensing Malaysia, agensi dalam kementerian, akan bertanggungjawab menerima data daripada RazakSAT dan membangunkan aplikasinya, kata Dr Ongkili.

RazakSAT merupakan kesinambungan program TiungSAT-1, satelit remote sensing pertama negara yang dilancarkan pada 2000. Bagaimanapun RazakSAT adalah satelit dengan fungsi sepenuhnya dalam pemantauan permukaan bumi dan alam sekitar.

Dr Ongkili yakin pencapaian itu akan meningkatkan dan memberi inspirasi agensi kementerian dan rakyat Malaysia untuk terus berusaha untuk menjadi inovatif dan kreatif, terutamanya dengan negara bakal menyambut Tahun Kreativiti dan Inovasi tahun depan.

"Kita menyasar untuk meletakkan Malaysia dalam dunia sains dan inovasi, bukan hanya dengan meneroka dunia tanpa sempadan tetapi melangkauinya, ke ruang angkasa," katanya.

Beliau juga mengumumkan bahawa SpaceX telah bersetuju untuk melancarkan dua satelit mikro iaitu CubeSAT dan InnoSAT, untuk tujuan pendidikan tahun depan dengan Falcon 9.

CubeSAT dimajukan oleh ATSB manakala InnoSAT oleh tiga universiti tempatan, iaitu Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia dan Universiti Malaysia Perlis.

Dr Ongkili berkata kejayaan RazakSAt adalah hasil sumbangan pemimpin negara iaitu bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Mahathir Mohamad dan Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi serta Perdana Menteri sekarang ini Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, di atas segala usaha, keyakinan dan wawasan dalam mengilhamkan RazakSAT.

Satelit RazakSAT� akan beroperasi melalui segmen daratnya di Malaysia, yang terdiri daripada Stesen Kawalan Misi (MCS) dan Stesen Penerimaan Imej dan Pemprosesan (IRPS).

-- BERNAMA

RazakSAT Successfully Blasts Off Into Space


KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 (Bernama) -- RazakSAT, Malaysia's second remote sensing satellite, blasted off into space at 11.35 am Malaysian time from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean's Marshall Islands.

Twenty minutes into launch, the 180kg satellite entered the Near Equatorial Orbit (NEqO) to become the world's first remote sensing satellite launched into the NEqO, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation said in a statement here Tuesday.

The launch at Omelek Island using Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)'s launcher Falcon 1 went smoothly after a four hour delay due to the need to fulfill some technical requirements.

The ministry said that one-and-a-half hours into the launch, initial contact was established by the National Space Agency at Sungei Lang in Banting with Razaksat.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili and officials from the ministry and agency Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd were in Guam to witness the launch via webcasting.

Simultaneously, the ministry officials led by Deputy Minister Fadillah Yusof watched the launch and held a teleconference with the group in Guam via webcasting at the National Space Agency in Banting, Selangor.

There was an air of jubilance when the satellite, named after Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, blasted into space after a drizzle and strong wind at the launch site.

Dr Ongkili said the launch was historical not only for Malaysia but the world. The satellite will orbit the NEqO at an altitude of nominal 685km.

"I congratulate ATSB for building Malaysia's own RazakSAT 1Malaysia World First NEqO Satellite," Dr Ongkili said.

RazakSAT carries a high resolution camera that can take images from space for different applications to benefit not only Malaysia, but countries along the equatorial region.

The orbital location will enable an increased frequency of image observation, and the images can be applied to precision farming, landscape mapping, forest biomass, marine spatial planning, disaster mitigation, urban and road network planning.

Dr Ongkili said that while other satellites operate on polar orbit (Sun Synchronous Orbit), the RazakSAT� operates at NEqO and will cover 70 percent of the oceans, where weather phenomena such as La Nina originate.

"This will allow scientists to study and monitor various critical factors that will contribute significantly to science," he said.

Several countries in Asia, the African continent and Latin America have expressed interest in utilising the images captured by RazakSAT, he said.

Malaysia, he said, would also be offering the data to contribute to the field of knowledge to benefit societies all over the equatorial region.

Remote Sensing Malaysia, an agency within the ministry, would be responsible for receiving the data from RazakSAT and developing its applications, Dr Ongkili said.

RazakSAT is a continuation of the TiungSAT-1 programme, the country's first remote sensing satellite launched in 2000. However, RazakSAT is a fully functional satellite in monitoring the earth's surface and environment.

Dr Ongkili is confident the achievement would propel and inspire the ministry's agencies and Malaysians at large to continue to strive to be innovative and creative, particularly as the country celebrates the Year of Creativity and Innovation next year.

"We aim to make a mark for Malaysia in the world of science and innovation, not just by exploring the borderless world but to go beyond, into space," he added.

He also announced that SpaceX has agreed to launch the two micro-satellites CubeSAT and InnoSAT, meant for educational purposes, next year on Falcon 9.

CubeSAT was developed by ATSB while InnoSAT by three local universities, namely Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Perlis.

Dr Ongkili attributed the success of RazakSAt to the national leaders - former prime ministers Tun Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as well as current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak - for their unwavering support, confidence and visionary leadership in innovating RazakSAT.

The RazakSAT� satellite will be operated through its ground segment in Malaysia, consisting of a Mission Control Station (MCS) and Image Receiving and Processing Station (IRPS).

-- BERNAMA

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Razaksat Sedia Untuk Dilancar Selasa Ini 14hb Julai 2009


KUALA LUMPUR, 12 Julai (Bernama) -- Inovatif kabanggaan Malaysia, satelit RazakSAT, sudah bersiap sedia untuk dilancarkan mengikut jadual pada hari Selasa ini dari Kwajalein Atoll di Republik Marshall Islands.

Menteri Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili; Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha (Dasar) kementerian Datuk Dr Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad; dan pegawai-pegawai kanan kementerian itu dijangka tiba di Guam hari ini untuk menyaksikan pelancaran bersejarah satelit itu menerusi siaran langsung yang disiarkan oleh laman web, menurut satu kenyataan kementerian itu di sini Ahad.

Menurutnya sebaik tiba Ongkili bersama delegasinya diberi taklimat berhubung persiapan pelancaran itu oleh Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd (ATSB) Datuk Dr Ahmad Sabirin Arshad.

Satelit RazakSAT bersama kenderaan pelancarnya, Falcon 1, yang dikendalikan oleh Space Explortion Technologies Amerika (SpaceX) ketika ini sudah ditempatkan di pad pelancaran di Pulau Omelek, yang merupakan tapak pelancaran.

Satelit penderiaan jauh 180kg itu direka, dibangun, dibina dan diuji secara tempatan, dan ia juga adalah satelit penderiaan jauh pertama yang akan mengorbit khatulistiwa.

Satelit yang mengambil sempena nama Perdana Menteri Malaysia kedua Tun Abdul Razak Hussein itu akan mengorbit Near Equator Orbit (NEqO) pada altitud nominal 685km.

Lokasi orbit akan membolehkan peningkatan kekerapan dalam pemerhatian imej permukaan bumi dan alam sekitar.

RazakSAT akan membawa kamera resolusi tinggi yang akan merakam imej dari angkasa untuk pelbagai aplikasi seperti pertanian tepat, memeta lanskap, pencegahan bencana, rancangan rangkaian jalan dan bandar, yang bukan sahaja memberi manfaat kepada Malaysia, tapi juga kepada lain-lain negara yang terletak di sekitar garisan khatulistiwa.

Imej-imej itu juga boleh digunakan untuk mengkaji pelbagai fenomena meteorologikal.

"Saya berpuas hati dengan persiapan dan langkah-langkah perlu yang diambil oleh ATSB dan SpaceX bagi memastikan pelancaran yang lancar. Kami harap semua rakyat Malaysia akan mendoakan kejayaan pelancaran RazakSAT ini," kata Ongkili.

Semasa lawatan ke Guam, Ongkili dan delegasinya juga akan melawat makmal marin, warisan marin dan pusat oceanografi di University of Guam.

-- BERNAMA

Razaksat prepares for Launch this Tuesday 14th July 2009


KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's innovation pride, the RazakSAT satellite, is all set for a lift off as scheduled on Tuesday (July 14) from Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.


Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili, the ministry's deputy secretary-general (Policy) Datuk Dr Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad and senior officials arrived in Guam today to witness the historical launch, via live webcasting, a statement from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) said Sunday.

It said upon arrival, the minister and his delegates were briefed on the readiness of the launch by Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ahmad Sabirin Arshad.

The minister was also informed that the satellite and launch vehicle, the Falcon 1, which is operated by United States's Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), have now been erected on the launch pad at Omelek Island, the launch site for Falcon 1.

The 180kg remote sensing satellite was designed, developed, built and tested locally and it will also be the first remote sensing satellite to orbit the Equator.

Named after Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, it will orbit the Near Equator Orbit (NEqO) at a nominal altitude of 685km.

The orbital location will allow increased frequency in the image observation of the Earth's surface and environment.

RazakSAT will carry a high resolution camera which can capture images from space for differnt applications such as precision farming, landscape mapping, disaster mitigation, urban and road network planning, which will not only benefit Malaysia but also other countries along the equatorial region.

The images could also be used to study various meteorological phenomena.

According to the statement, prior to this, the launch if the Low Equatorial Orbit (LEO) satellite was delayed due to vibration problems on the launch vehicle.

However it said all issues related to the problem had been rectified with upgrading carried out by SpaceX.

"I am satisfied with the preparations and necessary steps taken by ATSB and SpaceX to ensure a smooth launch. We hope all Malaysians will pray for the successful launch of RazakSAT," Ongkili said.

During the visit to Guam, Ongkili and his delegation are also scheduled to visit a marine laboratory and marine heritage and oceanography centre at the University of Guam.

-- BERNAMA