Mar 2017 | No Comment

BRICS nations to share data from remote sensing satellites

The five-nation group of BRICS will share spatial data on natural resources from their remote-sensing satellites for utilising space assets optimally.

“Space agencies of BRICS have agresed to share and exchange data, including images of natural resources from our remotesensing satellites for mutual benefit,” said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Director M. Annadurai recently.

Five major emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and later South Africa — came together to form BRICS, which represents 43 per cent of the world population, 30 per cent of the world GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and 17 per cent of the world trade. Though only four of them — Brazil, Russia, India and China — have remote-sensing satellites in the sun-synchronous orbit, they will give data to South Africa (SA) as it does not have a satellite of its own.

Top space officials of BRICS, including Annadurai, met at the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Scientific and Technical Subcommittee’s 54th session at Vienna in Austria from January 30 to February 10.

PSLV-C37 successfully launches 104 satellites in a single flight

In its thirty ninth flight (PSLV-C37), ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites today morning (February 15, 2017) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the thirty eighth consecutively successful mission of PSLV. The total weight of all the 104 satellites carried on-board PSLV-C37 was 1378 kg.

The total number of Indian satellites launched by PSLV now stands at 46.

After separation, the two solar arrays of Cartosat-2 series satellite were deployed automatically and ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore took over the control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration following which it will begin to provide remote sensing services using its panchromatic (black and white) and multispectral (colour) cameras.

Of the 103 co-passenger satellites carried by PSLV-C37, two – ISRO Nano Satellite-1 (INS-1) weighing 8.4 kg and INS-2 weighing 9.7 kg – are technology demonstration satellites from India. The remaining 101 co-passenger satellites carried were international customer satellites from USA (96), The Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1), Israel (1), Kazakhstan (1) and UAE (1).

DLR commissions Airbus for MERLIN

Airbus Defence and Space has signed a contract with Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to develop and build all components of the German contribution to the German- French Earth observation mission MERLIN. Starting in 2021, MERLIN (MEthane Remote sensing LIdar missioN) will deploy a LIDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) instrument to monitor the methane content in Earth’s atmosphere from an altitude of around 500 kilometres, and additionally make possible the first-ever global map of concentrations of this critical greenhouse gas.

MDA to acquire DigitalGlobe

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates has announced that it will acquire commercial remote sensing company DigitalGlobe for $2.4 billion, the biggest deal to date in the ongoing consolidation in the Earth imaging market. The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which they expect to close in the second half of this year. DigitalGlobe will retain its name and Colorado headquarters. It will operate as a subsidiary of SSL MDA Holdings, a U.S.-based operating company that MDA, based in Canada, established in 2016.

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