Nov 2015 | No Comment

PCI Geomatics expands its exclusive agreement with China’s Beijing Space Eye Innovation

PCI Geomatics has extended and expanded its exclusive distribution agreement with Beijing Space Eye Innovation Technology Co., Ltd. (BSEI) of China for an additional five years. The agreement acknowledges BSEI as PCI’s exclusive reseller partner in China for both PCI’s Geomatica desktop software and PCI’s award winning GeoImaging Accelerator (GXL) technology.

Iran to launch homegrown remotesensing satellite next year

Iran plans to send its first domesticallymade remote-sensing satellite “Tolou 1 (Rise 1)” into orbit in the first half of the next Iranian calendar year, which will begin on March 20, 2016, the head of Iran’s National Space Center announced.

Iran successfully launched into orbit its first indigenous data-processing satellite, Omid (Hope), back on February 2, 2009.

RS satellite launch by China

China launched four satellites for commercial remote-sensing services. The “ Jilin-1” satellites, launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China’s Gansu province, include one optical remote-sensing satellite, two satellites for video imaging and another for imaging technique testing, Xinhua cited.

Setback for ISRO, Antrix to pay $672 million damages to Devas

In a jolt to ISRO’s commercial arm, Antrix, an international tribunal has asked it to pay damages worth $672 million (Rs 4,432 crore) to city-based firm Devas Multimedia for “unlawfully” terminating a deal four years ago on grounds of national security.

The International Chamber of Commerce’s(ICC) arbitration body International Court of Arbitration has ruled in our favour in the Antrix- Devas arbitration case and Antrix is liable to pay damages totalling $672 million to it, Devas said.

“Devas Multimedia and its shareholders, including highly-regarded international investors, are pleased that the ICC Tribunal unanimously ruled in its favor and found that Antrix is liable for unlawfully terminating the Devas- Antrix Agreement in February 2011,” Devas said in the statement.

The Tribunal awarded damages and preaward interest totalling USD 672 million to Devas with post-award interest accruing at 18 per cent per annum on that sum until the award is fully paid, it added.

The Tribunal comprising Michael Pryles, VV Veeder QC, and Justice AS Anand gave the order in an unanimous decision. It noted that Antrix had no legal justification for terminating the agreement and that Dr KR Radhakrishnan, who at the time of annulment, was Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman of ISRO, Antrix and the Space Commission, could have prevented the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS) from approving the annulment.

The CCS had annulled the deal based on the recommendation of the Space Commission on the ground that it was not in the security interests of the country. Under the deal signed in 2005, Antrix was to provide 70 MHz of the scarce S-Band wavelength to Devas for its digital multimedia services by leasing 90 per cent of the transponders in ISRO’s GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A satellites. Devas, in turn, was to pay Antrix a total of $300 million over 12 years.

Indonesia launches indigenous satellite

Indonesia launched its indigenous satellite codenamed Lapan A2, using rockets and launching pad in Satish Dhawan Space Center, India, highly expected as a milestone for Indonesia to master satellite technology, an Indonesian senior official said. “The Lapan A2 was originally made by engineers and facilities of Lapan,” Head of Indonesia’s National Institute of Aeronautics and Space agency (Lapan) Thomas Djamaluddin said on the sidelines of witnessing live broadcast of the satellite launching in his office here.

In the future, he said that Indonesia is expected to be capable of producing rockets to support the satellite launching by itself. “So we can launch the satellite independently. We want to develop a satellite technology autonomously,” Thomas added.

The satellite that weighs 78 kilograms, occupies an orbit lane around the earth’s equator at an altitude of 650 kilometers from the earth’s surface. The satellite would crisscross Indonesian territory 14 times per day with orbit period of 100 minutes, Thomas said.

According to Thomas, the satellite would be used to monitor the traffic of vessel, support the efforts to secure maritime security, exploration of fishery natural resources in the country. Xinhua News Agency

Formosat-5 slated for February 2016 launch

Taiwan’s Formosat-5, an ultrahigh- resolution Earth observation satellite operated by the Hsinchu City-headquartered National Space Organization, is scheduled for launch in February 2016, according to the NSPO.

With over 70 percent of the satellite having been developed domestically, Formosat-5 contains a locally made optical remote sensing payload, a Cassegrain telescopetype remote sensing instrument and the world’s first complementary metal-oxidesemiconductor linear image sensor.

NSPO Director-General Chang Guey-shin said Oct. 15 that the satellite has passed space environment and function tests and is set to take over duties from Formosat-2, which has been in orbit since 2004.

According to Chang, Formosat-5 will be used for a diverse array of purposes in addition to academic research, following in the footsteps of its predecessors, which have proved instrumental in assisting disaster relief efforts while studying the impacts of climate change and global warming.

Kazakhstan mulls over joint space research projects with Belarus Society

Kazakhstan does not rule out the possibility of implementing joint space research programs with Belarus, Chairman of the Aerospace Committee of the Ministry for Investments and Development of Kazakhstan Erkin Shaymagambetov told media on 22 October, BelTA informs. “Joint projects is about timing. It is possible that we will launch a joint space research program of Kazakhstan and Belarus. I think it can happen,” the head of the committee said. It is likely to take place in 2016,” said Erkin Shaymagambetov. In his words, it is a framework document that will stipulate the main cooperation areas, including earth sensing, navigation, joint space research, personnel training. According to the head of the committee, the signing of the document will help intensify space cooperation between Belarus and Kazakhstan.

$1.9m civil penalty against aerial photography company

An October 6th Press Release from the FAA states that SkyPan International, a Chicago based aerial photography company conducted 65 unauthorized operations over a 2+ year period resulting in a $1.9M penalty. This is by far the most severe penalty the FAA has proposed, the previous leader being $18,700 against Xizmo Media which was issued in September.

NGA To Weigh Smallsat Options Under New Commercial Strategy

The U.S. National Geospatial- Intelligence Agency (NGA) could request funding as early as next year to begin experimenting with the different imagery products becoming available from a new generation of commercial satellite operators and data analytics firms.

According to a strategy document to be publicly released Oct. 26, the NGA envisions eventually entering into a variety of contracting schemes with the newcomers, many funded by Silicon Valley venture capital. Some of these companies have already begun launching imaging constellations of unprecedented size.

The initiative would not affect the NGA’s current EnhancedView service contract with longtime supplier DigitalGlobe of Westminster, Colorado. But it suggests that DigitalGlobe, which over the past decade has swallowed up its peer-competitors, soon will have company as a provider to the mapmaking and imagery analysis agency, which buys commercial data on behalf of the military and intelligence community.

At nearly every public speaking engagement over the past year, NGA Director Robert Cardillo has discussed the “darkening of the skies” with small satellites and the possibilities this opens for an agency with ever-expanding imagery requirements.

Russia to launch 2nd remote sensing satellite for Egypt: Energia

Egypt and Russia will sign a contract in late 2015 to establish a new Egyptian satellite for remote sensing, Vladimir Solntsev, head of Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, told Ria Novosti.

The satellite is planned to be launched in three years, Solntsev said. Egypt’s first Earth remote sensing satellite EgyptSat-1, made in Ukraine, was launched in 2007, but Egypt prematurely lost contact with it in 2010. The country’s second satellite, produced by Energia, was launched in April 2014.

Ozone Hole Approaches Record Size

Researchers from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Earth Observation Center (EOC) used Earth-observation satellites to determine that the ozone hole over Antarctica currently extends more than 26 million square kilometers—an area larger than the North American continent. It’s approximately 2.5 million square kilometers larger than at the same time in 2014, and just less than the record in 2006, when it was 27 million square kilometers.

Intense ozone depletion over Antarctica recurs annually, because the concentration of chlorofl uorocarbons (CFCs) becomes enriched while low temperatures prevail during the southern hemisphere winter. Now in the southern hemisphere spring, additional sunlight causes these substances to exert their ozone-depleting effect. In recent years, the ozone hole appeared to have stabilised, suggesting a gradual recovery of the ozone layer. This year, however, the ozone hole formed one month later and now is almost as large as it was nine years ago.

Turkmenistan, Japan say joint UAV production perspective

The cooperation between Turkmenistan and Japan in building unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is prospective, said the message from Turkmen government The project on building the UAVs can be implemented for creating 2D and 3D digital maps, defining the location of natural resources and for agricultural use. In this regard, training highly qualified local staff at the largest research centers in Japan, as well as exchange of experience in the sphere of nanotechnology and creation of highly profitable industries gains special importance.

“The rich positive experience of partnership in the sphere of science and education, alongside with the existing vast intellectual potential brings the cooperation between the two countries in this sphere to a new level,” said the message.

Earlier, Ashgabat hosted an international scientific conference on innovative technologies in using renewable energy sources. The event focused on Turkmen-Japanese cooperation is developing innovative technology for getting silicon with high quality properties.

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