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Stay updated with the news

Thu, 07 Dec 2017
N2 roadworks project reaches practical completion

From today, 5 December 2017, motorists have been able to enjoy travelling on the new lanes of the N2 between Borcherds Quarry Rd and the R300.

The Department of Transport and Public Works has now completed this R200 million freeway upgrade, which included the addition of a third lane in both directions.

Ride quality, safety and visibility are better. The carrying capacity of the road has improved with an extra lane on each side. This will benefit high-capacity buses and taxis, in particular, because the right-hand lane is a dedicated bus lane during peak periods.

Since the project began in January 2016, many people have benefited directly from the short-term employment and skills training opportunities that the project has delivered. Contract expenditure to date is R19,5-million for targeted enterprises, with about 22 300 person-days of work having been created for people residing in the City of Cape Town municipal area.

The Department is aware that the project created frustration for motorists while construction was under way. We would like to thank each of the 82 000 motorists that travel on this section of the N2 every day for their patience and understanding.

The second phase of the project – the construction of a bridge and interchange from Eisleben road onto the N2 – is in the planning phase.


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Wed, 29 Nov 2017
Your future commute could be by taxi drone

A Chinese start-up has developed a flying car that it plans to roll out as soon as next year.

EHang’s E-184 drone can carry one passenger in its small cockpit, but the firm says it’s working on a model that can carry two. EHang’s CEO, Hu Huazhi, says they’ll be in operation as “taxi drones” in Dubai in 2018 — as long as they get approval from regulators there.

Four battery-powered propellers lift the drone off the ground, and it’s equipped with fully automated navigation, according to Hu. Passengers select a pre-programmed flight path and then strap in for the ride. The E-184 has a cruising speed of up to 100km/h and can stay in the air for 25 minutes, the company says.

It’s currently being tested at EHang’s headquarters, a disused theme park on the outskirts of Guangzhou, southern China, a city that’s at the vanguard of the country’s push to move away from cheap, low-end manufacturing and toward cutting-edge technology.

“We will start mass production of our passenger drones at the beginning of next year,” Hu told Bloomberg TV. “We also plan to install fully automated production lines to enlarge manufacturing capacity in 2018.”

EHang has big ambitions — it wants to develop a network of taxi drones around the world. The company plans to sign deals in Saudi Arabia, Singapore and “several European cites” next year, the CEO said.  — Reported by Tom Mackenzie, (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP


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Fri, 02 Jun 2017
South Africa’s latest nanosatellite now in orbit

The Department of Science and Technology(DST) announced on Wednesday that South African nanosatellite nSight1 had been successfully launched from the International Space Station last week, on May 24. nSight1 was designed and built by SCS Space, part of the local SCS Aerospace Group, and is the country’s, and indeed Africa’s, first privately-owned nanosatellite.

“The satellite is an important milestone, demonstrating the outcome of the capability established through the Department of Science and Technology’s ongoing investment in the South African space programme,” highlighted DST deputy director-general: technology innovation Mmoboneni Muofhe. “More than 70% of the satellite is made up of satellite components supplied by enterprises in the South African space industry.” The assembly of nSight1 took six months, and made use of South Africa’s entire space infrastructure. It is the fourth South African satellite launched into space, following Sunsat (launched in 1999), SumbandilaSat (2009) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology nanosatellite ZACube-1 (2013).

nSight1 is carrying three payloads, two of them from South Africa and one from Europe. It forms part of the European Commission’s QB50 project to explore a region of the atmosphere known as the lower thermosphere – hence the European payload, which is intended to analyse the lower thermosphere. QB50 involves 28 nanosatellites from 23 countries.

The second payload is SCS’s own Gecko imager. This extremely compact device provides Red/Green/Blue imagingat high frame rates, with considerable and fast data storage. Its design is optimised for use on two unit (2U) or larger nanosatellites. (NSight1 is a 2U design.)

The third payload comes from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. It is their patented RadiationMitigation VHDL Coding Technique (VHDL stands for VHSIC Hardware Description Language; VHSIC stands for Very High Speed Integrated Circuit).

Mission control for the nanosatellite is the responsibility of SCS Space’s ground operations team. To this end, they are based at a new ground station at the Houwteq facility, near Grabouw in the Western Cape.


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