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First Indonesian-built satellite working well

11 January 2007, Indonesia – The first Indonesian-built video surveillance satellite has successfully entered orbit and sent signal that it was working well, a local media report said on January 11. Weighing some 57 kg, the micro-satellite carries a high resolution colour video camera with a swath or coverage of 3.5 kilometers wide and a low resolution color video camera with a swath of 81 kilometers. The cameras have a resolution of five meters and 200 meters, respectively.

The satellite can be used for real-time monitoring of various conditions on Earth such as forest fires, volcanic activity and flooding. It will pass over Indonesia four times a day.

The satellite was launched on January 10 from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)’s Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C7 rocket.

The satellite is designed to have a lifetime of two to three years, but National Space and Aviation Agency (Lapan) hoped it would continue working for up to six years. The Lapan-Tubsat satellite was designed and assembled in Germany by Lapan (https://www.lapan.go.id) engineers working with experts from Technical University Berlin.

“We are currently in the first phase of satellite making. We have to learn from those who already have the technology,” Lapan Deputy Chairman for Technology Agus Nuryanto Agus was quoted as saying. “Hopefully in the second phase, 2009 or 2010, we can launch a satellite in which our experts and engineers have had a bigger role in designing and assembling.”

The Lapan-Tubsat satellite — orbiting about 630 kilometers above the Earth — carries telemetry and telecommand transmission systems, as well as Altitude Control System (ATC) allowing it to receive various commands from ground stations. The satellite cost about 10 billion rupiah (USD 1.1 million).