‘With the EO satellite launch, we will have our own data to...

‘With the EO satellite launch, we will have our own data to serve our needs’

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As Vietnam gears up to launch its first earth observation satellite, Dr. Doan Minh Chung shares details with Geospatial World

Dr. Doan Minh Chung, Director,  Space Technology Institute (STI), Vietnam Academy of Science & Technology
Dr. Doan Minh Chung
Director
Space Technology Institute (STI)
Vietnam Academy of Science & Technology

After the launch of its first communication satellite VINASAT-1, Vietnam is gearing up to launch its first earth observation satellite. When is the launch projected?
We plan to launch our first earth observation satellite, named VNREDSat-1, by 2013-2014.

Will the launch be indigenous or is Vietnam partnering with any other country in the process?
We will cooperate with Astrium – EADS, France to launch it.

Kindly elaborate on the role of Space Technology Institute (STI) in the satellite launch?
STI is involved in the Project VNREDSat-1 under Vietnam Academy of Science & Technology (VAST)’s supervision. Our engineers are trained to manufacture, control and investigate the VNREDSat-1.

What is the kind of data that will be provided by the satellite?
The data from the satellite will be two kinds of earth image. One will be the multispectral image with 10 m spatial resolution and other will be panchromatic image with 2.5m resolution.

Can you brief us on the policy framework for satellite data in Vietnam?
Our government emphasises that we generally provide the satellite data free of charge to users in Vietnam. It also encourages contribution from various projects and agencies for the best maintainance of the satellite’s operation.

User needs are evolving very fast. Are you taking that also into consideration as Vietnam launches its satellite?
We recognized this trend very early. We are initiating campaigns to raise awareness about and propagate the use of the VNREASat-1 images. These initiatives include training courses and projects in various areas of applications.

Which are the major areas that stand to benefit from space technology in Vietnam?
All social-economic activities stand to benefit from space technology in Vietnam. These include science research, communication (television, mobile phones, distance education, health care service, navigation, transportation, etc), weather forcasting, natural resource, environment and disaster management, land and ocean administration, international cooperation, etc.

In such a scenario, what would be the advantages of the nation having its own satellite?
When the nation gets its own satellite, firstly we have our own data to serve our needs, then we will also be able to step up our satellite technology.