Thailand’s first Earth observation satellite to be launched in October

Thailand’s first Earth observation satellite to be launched in October

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Thailand, 27 January 2007 – Thailand’s first Earth observation satellite, called THEOS, is being readied for launching into orbit in October this year, Science and Technology Minister Yongyuth Yuthavong said on 26 January.

The THEOS project represents a co-operation of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the contracted French company EADS Astrium. The project has entered its final stage and is expected to be completed in August or September, and be launched into orbit in October as scheduled, the minister said.

EADS Astrium was contracted to build and deliver THEOS by the Thai Ministry of Science and Technology’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) in Bangkok in 2004.

The THEOS testing programme is expected to begin in February, while installation of its satellite signal receiving systems at ground terminals began early this month. The Thai engineers working for the project have been trained in France, Mr. Yongyuth said.

The minister said the satellite will provide the kingdom with worldwide geo-referenced image products and image-processing capabilities for applications in cartography, land use, agricultural monitoring, forestry management, coastal zone monitoring and flood risk management.

THEOS is intended to help Thailand in implement its agriculture policy with better production follow-up and improved natural disaster management, especially relating to forest fires, flood response, as well as earthquakes, he said.

– About THEOS (Thai Earth Observation System)
The THEOS payload features both high resolution in panchromatic mode (2m) and wide field of view in multi-spectral mode and has been tailored to Thailand’s specific needs with a worldwide imaging capability. It will be launched on a sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of around 820km.

THEOS will be fully owned and operated by GISTDA and will provide Thailand with worldwide geo-referenced image products and image processing capabilities for applications in cartography, land use, agricultural monitoring, forestry management, coastal zone monitoring and flood risk management. THEOS will provide access to any part of Thailand in less than 2 days.

The EADS Astrium’s THEOS contract with the Thai Ministry of Science and Technology’s Space Agency (GISTDA) includes the production and launch of one optical observation satellite, as well as the development of the ground segment necessary to operate and control the satellite directly from Thailand. This is accompanied by state of the art facilities for image archiving and processing. The THEOS satellite is based on EADS Astrium’s new generation of high performance AstroSat optical Earth observation satellites and benefits from the company’s extensive experience in this field which started with the SPOT and METOP satellites.