Under the patronage and the attendance of His Excellency Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah and General Director of the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences, the Center organized the “2018 Summer Students Research Seminar.” The seminar aimed to highlight the research accomplishments of the Center’s research groups and assistants in the various laboratories during the Summer 2018 period. Another goal of the seminar is to highlight the University of Sharjah’s summer students research work and to present the future research plans at the Center’s Laboratories. Prof. Madjid Merabti, Dean of the College of Sciences, attended the seminar along with Prof. Attaelmanan Jaafar, Head of the Department of Applied Physics and Astronomy; Dr. Ilias Fernini, Deputy General Director for SCASS’ Research Laboratories and Observatory; Mr. Khalid Al Raboy, Acting Deputy General Director for SCASS’ Financial and Administrative Affairs; as well as a number of faculty members from the College, students, and researchers from SCASS.

The SCASS research assistants and students from the Center’s CubeSat Laboratory, Space Weather and Ionosphere Laboratory, Meteorite Center, UAE Meteor Monitoring Network team, Machine Learning team, Drone team, Space Debris team, and Decametric Radio Telescope team presented their research accomplishments and progress during the summer period as well as their future research plans and projects.

Research assistant Tarifa Al Kaabi from the CubeSat Laboratory gave an overview of CubeSats, and their uses for missions such as Earth observation and imaging, and conducting science experiments from space using CubeSats. She also highlighted the Laboratory’s work and its upcoming intensive CubeSat Workshop in cooperation with Istanbul Technical University, which spans over six weeks starting November 4th, 2018. The cooperation with the Turkish aims to develop 3 CubeSats: a CubeSat with an X-Ray detector, a GNSS CubeSat, and one equipped with a camera for GIS and Remote Sensing observation. The Laboratory, she added, is also working on receiving the STK certification, which is a physics-based software package that allows researchers and students to perform complex analysis for space and aerospace applications.

For his part, research assistant Ridwan Fernini gave an overview of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), and its many applications such as in aviation for aircrafts navigation, rail transportation to track locomotives, and in seafloor mapping, amongst others. He gave an introduction in the team’s “GNSS Experiment,” which is a CubeSat that will act as an additional satellite in a GNSS constellation on a smaller scale, which makes it more practical. This project aims to contribute to the initial steps towards UAE’s future goal of developing its own fully functioning regional GNSS constellation.

From the Ionosphere Laboratory, research assistant Noura Abbas shared the results of SCASS’ and the University’s participation in the International Astronautical Congress 2018 (IAC) as delegates, as well as the outcome of the delegation’s visit to the working group in “Ionosphere Effects and Correction” at the Institute of Communication and Navigation in the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The delegation participated in a number of scientific talks at the IAC and gave an overview of the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences’ laboratories, current and future research work. They also explored several areas of possible cooperation that range from knowledge and student exchange to working on joint research projects in ionosphere modeling and measurement campaigns.

Ms. Noora also shared the progress and initial results of the Laboratory’s current research project: “Comparative Planetology of Martian Ionosphere.”

Research assistant Salma Subhi from the Meteorite Center gave an overview of the different types of meteorites such as Martian, Lunar, and Iron Meteorites; shared the Center’s “Thermal Test Research on the Different Meteorites Types Versus Terrestrial Rocks”; and discussed the different primary tests and analytical techniques for identifying meteorites at the Center such as the XRF and XRD tests.

For her part, research assistant Aisha Al Owais from the Meteorite Center shared the results of her Japan internship with the Misasa International Student Internship Program (MISIP) as a representative of the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences. The internship took place in the Institute for Planetary Materials at Okayama University. She gave an overview of the project she presented during the internship titled: “Geochemical Probing: Comprehensive Analysis of Carbonaceous Chondrites.” In this project, the Research Assistants used two kinds of analyses: observational analysis using Scanning Electron Microscope and Electron Probe Micro Analyzer techniques; and a chemical analysis using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICPMS), Laser Ablation ICPMS, Rubidium and Strontium Extraction using Column Chemistry and Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer (TIMS).

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