South Africa: In a bid to contribute to the African Resource and Environmental Management Satellite Constellation (ARMC), South Africa is planning to develop a 250kg-400kg earth observation (EO) satellite, revealed the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
“This would entail a satellite development programme of four and [a] half years, building on the experience of the subsystems developed for the Sumbandilasat mission,” stated the DST. “The full programme costs for such a satellite would be ZAR (South African rand) 450 million.”
“Government, through the DST and its agency, the South African National Space Agency (Sansa), will take the lead in managing South Africa’s interest in the ARMC,” affirmed the DST. The proposed new satellite would operate from a low earth orbit and would have a planned lifespan of seven years.
The ARMC project was launched, on paper, in 2009 with the signing of an MoU between Algeria, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. It is hoped that the ARMC will be composed of at least three low earth orbit imaging satellites.
“Apart from the development of a world-class satellite, the other main benefit of the ARMC will be the supply of high resolution image data regularly enough for African remote sensing scientists to extract more temporal facts about environmental changes on the African continent and thereby lay the basis for indigenous African environmental, climate change and disaster monitoring and management systems,” explained the DST. “The satellite is expected to serve the environmental decision making needs of the South African government.”
Source: Engineering News