Hanoi, Vietnam: Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) signed contractual pre-agreements with the Belgium-based SPACEBEL, a software engineering company operating in the space and earth monitoring applications sectors, for the supply of an earth observation mini-satellite, VNREDSat-1b (Vietnam Natural Resources, Environment & Disaster Monitoring satellite). The satellite is scheduled to be launched in 2017.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Nguyen Thi Doan, Vice President of Vietnam; and Belgian Crown Prince Philippe in Hanoi, Vietnam. In addition, they signed Belgian Government’s letter on the provision of an additional EUR3 million to the EUR63 million credit meant for the VNREDSat-1B project.
After several years of negotiations, the SPACEBEL consortium was selected in July 2011 on the basis of their technical proposal and thanks to the continuous support of the Belgian Government, both at Federal and regional levels.
With the VNREDSat-1b, Vietnam will be able to monitor independently its territory and environment. Weighing 130 kg, the small spacecraft will play an important role, amongst others, in the field of natural resources management (agriculture, forests), will ensure a better follow-up of climate changes, detect pollution in the seas, help to minimise the impact of natural disasters, etc.
To realise this project representing a total value of over EUR 60 million, SPACEBEL relies upon the expertise of a panel of Belgian partners: QinetiQ Space, AMOS, Deltatec, the Space Centre of Liège and VITO, who will be responsible respectively for the satellite platform, hyperspectral instrument, integration and testing, and data processing.
Prime contractor and architect of the system, SPACEBEL will also develop the on-board software as well as the entire ground segment. A training programme on satellite technology and remote sensing space applications to be set up in co-operation with the University of Liège completes the SPACEBEL offer.