The National Research Foundation was established as an independant government agency, through the National Research Foundation Act [Act No.23 of 1998].
The NRF receives its mandate from the National Research Foundation Act (Act No 23 of 1998, as amended). According to Section 3 of the Act, the object of the NRF is to contribute to national development by:
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Africa’s leading research facility for accelerator based science. Probing fundamental structure and the origins of matter; Advancing the understanding of condensed matter; Impacting the Societal need through provision for the health and environmental sector
The iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences is the continents' biggest facility for particle and nuclear research.
The SAAO is a national facility of the NRF and the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa.
SAEON is a national platform for detecting, translating and predicting environmental change.
SAIAB provides unique skills and infrastructure support in marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems research, molecular research, collections and bioinformatics.
SARAO is a national facility of the NRF and incorporates radio astronomy instruments and programmes such as MeerKAT and KAT-7 telescopes in the Karoo, (HartRAO) in Gauteng...
South Africa’s innovation revolution must assist in solving our society’s deep and pressing socio-economic challenges. Global competitiveness, shrinking resource availability, and the requirements of a skilled labour force mean that, increasingly, an awareness and understanding of why science and research are critical to our lives is essential for developing an innovation culture.
Within the next five years, the aim is to begin to more fully embed engagement in and with science in the core NRF missions of supporting and promoting new knowledge and growing new knowledge workers. This is led by the formulation of an acceptable NRF position on engaged research which will guide the NRF approach…
NRF | SAASTA is the NRF business division tasked with leading and coordinating the science engagement programme across the NRF and beyond. The NRF is equally committed to ensuring that the science engagement leadership and national coordination role…
The NRF provides leading-edge research infrastructure platforms that ensure that the national research enterprise has the requisite infrastructure to undertake globally competitive discovery science, train the next generation of researchers, support engagement with science by and with the public and promote innovation that positively impacts society, the environment, the economy.
The annual NRF Awards recognize and celebrate South African research excellence. The awards presented to researchers are in two categories, the ratings linked awards and special recognition awards.
The National Research Foundation (NRF) conducts its procurement of goods, services, and works in accordance with its Supply Chain Management Policy in a manner that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive, and cost-effective
The National Research Foundation (NRF) is guided by its Supply Chain Management Policy in its procurement of goods and services. The Policy sets out the prescripts issued by National Treasury with the exact note referenced in the footnotes. The Supply Chain Management policy adheres to the National Treasury’s prescribed supply chain system framework.
The NRF’s Supply Chain Management Policy and the conduct of supply chain management at the NRF seeks to give effect to section 217 of the South African Constitution which requires that all procurement of goods and services must be done in a manner that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.
The National Research Foundation bid awards and contracts. Below is the latest award.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that the orbital period of the asteroid Dimorphos around its parent asteroid Didymos has successfully been altered after it impacted with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft at 1:14am SAST on 27 September 2022, an event closely followed by astronomers at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO).
NASA confirmed DART successfully changed the orbit of Didymos’ moon Dimorphos, decreasing its orbital period around Didymos from 11hrs 55mins to 11hrs 23mins, a 32-minute change.
This was the world’s first test of the kinetic impact technique, which aims to use a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid for planetary defence against potentially hazardous asteroids that could be on an impacting trajectory with Earth. Neither Dimorphos nor Didymos poses any hazard to Earth before or after DART’s controlled collision with Dimorphos.
Due to South Africa’s location and time-zone, Sutherland in the Northern Cape was one of the few sites in the world that was able to observe the impact in real-time. Two Cape Town-based astronomers Dr Nicolas Erasmus (SAAO) and Dr Amanda Sickafoose (Planetary Science Institute) successfully observed the impact on Dimorphos using the Mookodi instrument on the SAAO’s 1-metre Lesedi telescope.
According to Dr Erasmus, conditions were perfect for the observation:
”Initially we only expected to see a slight increase in brightness of the “spot” in our telescope images representing the Didymos-Dimporphos system so we were very excited when after only a few seconds post impact we started seeing this beautiful ejecta plume appearing in our images. Sutherland also brought its A-game on the night of the impact in terms of observing conditions with near perfect observing weather on a very dark night.”
Several other telescopes in Sutherland, including the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS-STH) and the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) also took observations. The LCO telescope network (including the ones in Sutherland) were key players in determining the new period after the impact. This is because the calculations require continuous long-base monitoring (with consistent data and data reduction) something the LCO network can do through their global network across several time zones.
Leading up to the impact, Dr Erasmus and Dr Sickafoose took exposures in multiple photometric filters with the Mookodi instrument on the Lesedi telescope to determine pre-impact colour of the asteroid and its moon. During the impact, they switched to very high cadence (approximately 1 second) photometry in a single filter, which is a particular niche speciality of the observatory and some of its instruments. The animation in Figure 1 is from that set of observations and spans roughly 40 minutes. Each frame is a median stack of thirty 1-second exposures. After impact, they recommenced multi-filter photometry to investigate post-impact colour of the system and the resultant ejecta from the impact.
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