Abu Dhabi: One of the most decorated universities in the region, the Khalifa University of Science and Technology was honored for its project at #T-TeC 2021 organized at the Italian Expo 2020 Pavilion.
#T-TeC 2021 is an Open Innovation space contest promoted by Italian aerospace firms, Leonardo and Telespazio.
Khalifa University won the award for its innovative project which used Bessel beams to wirelessly transfer energy to recharge remotely piloted aircraft (UAV) on remote celestial bodies.
This year’s event, the third edition, was the first time the awards were open to young people across the globe, leading to the participation of over 70 students and researchers of STEM disciplines. These students came from 22 universities and research centres spread across nine countries.
While presenting their innovative solutions, participants challenged each other on four different macro-themes namely, Space Exploration, In Orbit Servicing, GeoInformation Applications & Platforms, Space Situational Awareness and Space Traffic Management, all of which are considered of utmost importance for the present and future of the space sector.
These projects were assessed by a committee made up of Leonardo and Telespazio representatives, members of the European (ESA), Italian (ASI) and Emirati (UAESA) Space Agencies, and industry experts coming from seven countries, who not only reviewed the concepts on their innovative quality, but also their sustainability.
Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna (Italy) bagged the top price at the awards for the “multi-purpose modular satellite services” project (categorized under the macro-theme: “In Orbit Servicing”), dedicated to the development of a small modular satellite able to extend the lifetime of the space assets in orbit while also mitigating the problem of orbiting debris.
The awards second prize was given to a team made up of students coming from the Argentinian universities Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Universidad de Palermo, Universidad Buenos Aires, and Universidad Argentina de la Empresa, from the Universidad Don Bosco of El Salvador and from ETH Zurich (Switzerland).
The third prize was bagged by a team of the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique – France) and the University of Siena (Italy).
Four special mentions, one for each macro-theme, also went to the worthiest projects, which were above all chosen based on the value of their possible impact in terms of sustainability.
Mr. Sultan Al Zaidi, Principle Engineer – Space Projects Section at UAE Space Agency commented about the event.
Sharing his view on the international appeal of the awards, Mr. Luigi Pasquali, Space Activities Coordinator of Leonardo and Telespazio CEO, remarked that, “Never before like this year has #T-TeC had an international nature, with participants coming from universities of nine countries of the world. The fact that many teams are the result of international collaborations between universities of different countries is also particularly significant as it stands as proof that innovation – just like Space – has a strong spirit of cooperation. It is precisely due to this peculiarity that we decided to announce the winners here at the Italy Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai. This international event par excellence is the perfect setting to underscore Leonardo’s commitment to promoting innovation and cooperation.”