Jan 2019 | No Comment

ISRO to launch two satellites under IDRSS

As a part of its proposed manned space mission, India will launch the Indian Data Relay Satellite System (IDRSS) to improve data relay and communication links with its remote sensing/earth observation satellites. The first one is expected to be launched in 2019.

The two-satellite IDRSS will maintain a continuous communication link with India’s remote sensing/earth observation satellites and also with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) that would carry three Indian astronauts to space in 2022.

The proposed system will also reduce the dependence on the ground stations in tracking satellites. The other benefit is that the communication and data transfer could be in real time as the remote sensing satellites can relay the data gathered to IDRSS satellites which in turn can transmit them to the ground.

Russia to open RS data gathering center in Antarctica

The holding company Russian Space Systems will open a ground center in the Antarctic for gathering and processing data from remote sensing satellites in February 2019. The information will be transmitted from the analytical center to any point on the globe.

The research ship The Akademik Fyodorov delivered the equipment for the data processing center on November 7. The facility will be controlled either on site from a remote working place at the wintering party’s base and also from Russia via satellite.

The Antarctic center of the government-run corporation Roscosmos has been deployed in accordance with Russia’s federal space program for 2016-2025, which envisages creation of an integral information system of remote sensing of the Earth. The system’s full-scale operation began in 2016. It consists of centers scattered over the whole territory of Russia. The system ensures the centers’ cooperation with the cluster of remote sensing satellites, plans remote sensing, gathers and processes data and provides information to the end users.

PJTSAU inaugurates Remote Sensing and GIS lab

The Remote Sensing and GIS lab established by the Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) will now help students, researchers and faculty members to easily access satellite images of various agriculture projects.

The lab which has come up in collaboration with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) was recently inaugurated by Vice Chancellor Dr V Praveen Rao in the premises of Water Technology center on the campus.

Vietnam to complete legal corridor for remote sensing activities

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) recently proposed a draft decree on remote sensing activities. The decree aims to complete policies on the use of high technology in managing natural resources and the environment.

MONRE is drafting a decree on remote sensing, specifying principles in these activities such as providing remote sensing images for basic and professional survey and mapping, regularly updates of data and information, monitoring natural resources and the environment, search and rescue, disaster prevention, response to climate change and ensuring national defence and security.

The national remote sensing database will be maintained, operated and updated regularly and used to update the national geographical spatial system.

According to the ministry, the policy framework, legal documents, standard system and technical regulations of remote sensing will be formulated by 2025 and legal framework will be completed by 2030.

China launches two RS satellites for Saudi Arabia, ten microsats for private companies

Reently, China carried out its 35th orbital flight of 2018 with the launch of two remote sensing satellites for Saudi Arabia and a host of microsatellites for Chinese commercial space companies.

The two high-resolution Earth observation satellites were developed by King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST) and carry hyperspectral observation systems, with Saudi Arabia and China signing an agreement for their launch in January 2016.

The China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), an arm of the main Chinese space contractor, CASC, created to provide commercial launch services, announced afterwards that ten small satellites from Chinese commercial companies piggybacked on the launch.

Indian Government approves Rs 10,000 cr Gaganyaan project

The Central Government of India recently approved India’s first indigenous human spaceflight programme- Gaganyaan. It has approved funds of Rs 10,000 crore for the ambitious project which would carry three-member crew for minimum seven days in space.

In his Independence Day speech on August 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that India will launch a manned mission to space by 2022 and become the fourth nation to do so after Russia, the United States and China.

The three-stage heavy-lift launch vehicle, GSLV Mk III, will be used to launch Gaganyaan, and national agencies will collaborate with the Indian Space Research Organisation to bring the mission to fruition.

The programme aims to establish a broader framework for collaboration between the national space agency, academia, industry, national agencies, and other scientific organizations. It is also expected to generate employment and train human resources in advanced technologies and inspire young students to take up careers in science and technology, according to the government.

Earth observation satellite (CSO) launched successfully

The first of the CSO (Composante spatiale optique) Earth observation satellites for the French Armed Forces, has been successfully launched on a Soyuz launcher from the Kourou European Spaceport in French Guyana.

CSO will provide very high-resolution geo information intelligence to the French Armed Forces to its partners Germany, Belgium and Sweden. The CSO satellites are equipped with a very agile pointing system and are controlled via a secure ground control operations centre.

As prime contractor for the CSO satellites programme, Airbus has provided the agile platform and avionics, and was also responsible for the integration work, testing and delivery of the satellites to CNES. Thales Alenia Space provided Airbus with the very-high resolution optical instrument. Airbus teams will also continue leading the User Ground Segment operations, as they do currently with operating legacy programmes(Helios, Pleiades, SarLupe, Cosmo-Skymed).

FCC fines Swarm $900,000 for unauthorized smallsat launch

Swarm Technologies will pay $900,000 to settle an investigation by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission into the startup’s launch of four picosatellites on an Indian rocket this January without regulatory approval, the FCC announced Dec. 20.

Swarm defied the FCC by launching the satellites after the agency dismissed its application for an experimental authorization to communicate with the spacecraft. The FCC said Swarm’s satellites, measuring one fourth the size of a standard single-unit cubesat, were too small to be reliably tracked once in orbit.

The $900,000 penalty, though small compared to fines as high as $120 million the FCC imposed this year on spoofed robocall operations, is nonetheless meant to send a signal to those that might intentionally or inadvertently follow Swarm’s footsteps.

Swarm’s renegade actions garnered condemnation across the satellite industry, which feared a regulatory clampdown in the aftermath of Swarm’s decision. The FCC withdrew an authorization it previously granted for another four satellites Swarm intended to launch on a Rocket Lab Electron mission that occurred in April.

Spaceflight, the company that arranged Swarm’s January launch on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle from India, said it will now check to make sure its customers have necessary licenses ahead of time instead of relying on them to do their own self-regulation.

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