Bangkok, August 6, 2007: Thailand’s first satellite for surveying natural resources, THEOS (Thailand Earth Observation Systems), is scheduled to be launched into the orbit in November. The satellite data from THEOS is expected to aid the state officials deal with natural disasters, suppress drug trafficking and predict crop estimates.
Charnchai Peanvijarnpong, deputy director of Geo-Informatics and the Space Technology Development Agency (Gistda), said agreements had already been signed with several state agencies to use the satellite’s services. These include the Royal Irrigation Department, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) and the Defence Ministry.
Mr Charnchai said the ONCB would use the information from the satellite to detect opium fields and the Defence Ministry could use the information to produce higher quality maps far cheaper than using information from aerial mapping surveys. ”Thanks to its remote sensing capacity, we will be able to provide accurate information on natural resources in the country and other places in the world. This information can be applied for preventive measures against natural disasters such as floods and drought in the country, also the satellite data can help us in forecasting the productivity of commercial crops in Thailand and in neighbouring countries” he added.
Costing 200 million USD, the THEOS project was initiated in 2004, in cooperation with French company Eads Astrium. It was originally due to launch in October from Yasni, Russia, but was postponed due to delays in other launches.