Dec 2022 | No Comment

Creating new synergy for satellite data

Synspective and Topcon Positioning Asia (TPA), have recently announced a partnership to deliver satellite data solution services. Synspective, a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite data and solutions startup, and Topcon, a company for surveying and construction, will collaborate to yield new opportunities and innovate in the satellite data space in Japan and globally.

GHGSat partnership with KSAT

GHGSat is partnering with Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) to provide satellite operations and control of their constellation of greenhouse gas monitoring spacecraft. KSAT will operate the current 5 commercial satellites in orbit.

KSAT will provide services to GHGSat from the new Tromsø Satellite Operations Centre (TSOC, which is a highly advanced operations centre designed to meet the specific needs for resilient and secure solutions, while being adaptable to manage multiple missions featuring different platforms and Mission Control Systems. The service is fully integrated with the Ground Station Network, ensuring seamless scheduling, tasking and ground station operation. KSAT has worked with GHGSat since 2019 with their emissions data from their first satellite for the Earth Observation services.

GalaxEye raises $3.5 million in seed funding

Satellite maker GalaxEye announced a seed-stage funding of $3.5 million led by deep-tech venture capital firm Speciale Invest. The Bengaluru-based company in India will focus on hiring new employees and expediting the launch of a new multisensor earth observation satellite.

GalaxEye was founded in 2020 by 5 alumni of IIT Madras who previously worked at Avishkar Hyperloop. It became the only Asian Finalist at the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition 2019.

Planet geospatial data available through Amazon SageMaker

Planet Labs PBC announced that it is making geospatial data available through Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed machine learning (ML) service from Amazon Web Services (AWS). Now, Planet data can be directly embedded into Amazon SageMaker, allowing data scientists and ML engineers to acquire and analyze global, daily satellite data. With this data, customers can train, test, and deploy ML models all within Amazon SageMaker.

Planet operates the largest constellation of earth observation satellites in the world, with the capacity to provide daily mediumand high-resolution imagery of Earth’s landmass every day.

Golden Bauhinia satellite no. 1 05/06 successfully launched

Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group Limited announced on 9 December 2022, two satellites under Golden Bauhinia No. 1 05/06 have been launched from the sea launch platform in the Yellow Sea area, China, using the Jielong — 3 (Y1) carrier rocket which marked its first sea hot launch.

Launching a carrier rocket from the sea is a groundbreaking solution, and has the advantages of efficiency, high flexibility, and excellent launch economy, with options for the launch point and drop zone.

When launching a low-inclination satellite from land, the launch vehicle routes need to cross a wide range of economically developed and densely populated areas, and there is an increasing number of safety issues. By using a sea launch platform, the growing demand for satellite launching can be met. Both of Golden Bauhinia No. 1 05 and 06 are optical remote sensing satellites equipped with an optical camera and satellite platforms that have achieved technological breakthroughs including miniaturization, high-speed data transmission, and zero-momentum control.

Philippines, UAE ink space cooperation

The Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed early this month an agreement for space cooperation

According to the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA), the collaboration is with the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) on space research and development; space data mobilization for disaster management, emergencies, food security, and agriculture, among

China launches new remote sensing satellite

China sent a new remote sensing satellite into space from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China’s Shanxi Province on December 9, 2022. The satellite, Gaofen-5 01A, was launched aboard a Long March-2D rocket and entered its planned orbit successfully. It is a hyperspectral satellite that will be used for remote sensing and applications in diverse fields, such as pollution reduction, environmental monitoring, natural resource surveys, and climate change studies.

ISRO successfully launches IndiaBhutan developed PSLV-C54 rocket

The satellite jointly developed by India and Bhutan was launched along with eight other nanosatellites on an Indian rocket on November 26, 2022, paving the way for the Himalayan country to use high-resolution imagery for the management of its natural resources.

India’s Earth Observation Satellite-06 (EOS-06), a third-generation satellite in the Oceansat series, was among the satellites launched. This was the 56th flight of PSLV, which marks the final mission for the year for PSLV-C54 rocket.

India has assisted in building up the capacity of Bhutanese engineers through hands-on training at the UR Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, the external affairs ministry said. These engineers were trained in satellite building and testing, as well as the processing and analysing satellite data. This culminated in the joint development of the customised satellite for Bhutan, the ministry said.The India-Bhutan SAT will provide highresolution images to Bhutan for the management of the country’s natural resources.

ISRO successfully launch India’s maiden private Vikram-suborbital rocket

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) made history by launching successfully India’s maiden private Vikram-suborbital (VKS) rocket.

Vikram-S is a single stage fuel rocket meant to test most systems and processes in Skyroot Aerospace’s project ahead of the launch of Vikram-1 next year. The rocket goes to the max altitude of 81.5 kilometres and splashes into the sea and the overall duration of launch is about 300 seconds only.

Skyroot was the first StartUp to sign a MoU with ISRO for launching its rockets. Apart from being the nation’s first private launch, it is also the maiden mission of Skyroot Aerospace, named “Prarambh”.

Protecting Leicestershire Highways from Falling Trees

A unique tree mapping tool is being used by Leicestershire County Council as part of its programme to help keep its highways safe throughout the county. The Council has turned to Bluesky International, for insight and data into the county’s trees that sit alongside these key routes. The National Tree Map (NTM) is a unique dataset that includes height, location, and canopy cover data for trees 3 metres and taller in England, Scotland, Wales, and the Republic of Ireland.

ISRO launches Earth Observation Satellite-6 (EOS-6)

The third generation Indian satellite for monitoring the oceans, formally named as Earth Observation Satellite-6 (EOS-6) was launched on November 26, 2022 by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in partnership with Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) among others, from its First Launch Pad (FLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota.

The ocean observing mission is a follow up to OceanSat-1 or IRS-P4 and OceanSat-2 launched in 1999 and 2009, respectively. The satellite was launched aboard the proven launch vehicle PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) on its 56th flight (24th flight of the PSLV-XL version). Designed as PSLV-C54, it also accommodated other small satellites along with Oceansat-3.

The Oceansat-3 was placed in the polar orbit at the height of about 740 kilometers above sea level. While at ~1100 kilograms, it is only slightly heavier than Oceansat-1, for the first time in this series it houses three ocean observing sensors viz Ocean Color Monitor (OCM-3), Sea Surface Temperature Monitor (SSTM), and KuBand scatterometer (SCAT-3). There is also an ARGOS payload. All these sensors have their own importance for India’s blue economy aspirations.

The advance 13 channel OCM with 360 m spatial resolution and 1400 km swath will observe the day side of the earth every day and will provide crucial data on distribution of ocean algae which is the base of the food chain within marine ecosystem. The OCM-3 with high signalto-noise ratio is expected to provide improved accuracy in daily monitoring of phytoplankton having wide range of operational and research applications including fishery resource management, ocean carbon uptake, harmful algal bloom alerts, and climate studies.

The SSTM will provide ocean surface temperature, which is a critical ocean parameter to provide various forecasts ranging from fish aggregation to cyclone genesis and movement. Temperature is a key parameter required to monitor health of the coral reefs, and if needed, to provide coral bleaching alerts. The Ku-Band Pencil beam scatterometer onboard EOS-6 will provide high resolution wind vector (speed and direction) at the ocean surface, something which any seafarer would like to know of, whether its fishermen or shipping company. The data of temperature and wind is also very important for assimilation into ocean and weather models to improve their forecast accuracies. ARGOS is a communication payload jointly developed with France and it is used for low-power (energy-efficient) communications including marine robotic floats (Argo floats), fish-tags, drifters, and distress alert devices useful for conducting effective search and rescue operations.

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