Belarus: Belarus may launch a new remote sensing satellite for earth observation by 2017, announced Alexander Tuzikov, Director General of the United Informatics Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.
He further said that the working lifespan of the first satellite that has been successfully put into orbit this year is five years. Therefore, by 2017 Belarus will need another remote sensing satellite.
The concept of a new national space programme for Belarus is in the development phase. The document is expected to draw attention to the development and a possible launch of the new remote sensing satellite.
The Director General remarked that the main parameters of the future satellite have not been determined yet. “As far as the possibility of using more powerful optics is concerned, it will depend on current needs. If more powerful optics is approved, a heavier platform will be required and hence in the end we will get a more expensive satellite,” explained Alexander Tuzikov. “Belarus may not need such a large satellite in the end”. There are plans to take the development of the remote sensing system into various areas that include not only the outer space component but also an aviation one that may be developed thanks to the technologies to create unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Belarusian satellite that has been launched this year is now undergoing flight tests. Boris Chernukha, Deputy Director for Science of the Belarusian enterprise Geoinformation Systems of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, said that the data the satellite will send will be used for purposes of the agriculture among other things. The space images will be processed using parameters, which are important for such tasks, the harvest will be forecast and farming lands will be accounted for.