The Airbus-built THEOS-2 Earth observation satellite has been successfully launched on a Vega rocket from Kourou, Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana. The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency of Thailand (GISTDA) selected Airbus as partner for its next-generation national geo-information system in 2018.
Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus, said: “This successful launch of THEOS-2, with its 50cm imagery, confirms Thailand’s position in the small circle of nations with sovereign access to high resolution geostrategic information. We will continue to support GISTDA’s ambitions to establish an all-encompassing geo-information system for the benefit of the Kingdom of Thailand.”
THEOS-2 follows the Airbus-built THEOS-1 satellite launched in 2008, which still continues to deliver imagery well beyond its 10-year operational lifetime. In the frame of THEOS-2 programme, GISTDA’s geo-information system benefits from satellite imagery collected by the Airbus constellation of optical and radar Earth observation satellites such as Pléiades and TerraSAR-X.
The contract also includes a second Earth observation satellite – THEOS-2 SmallSAT – from Airbus’ subsidiary SSTL, combined with a comprehensive capacity building programme involving Thai engineers in the development of applications, ground segment and the SmallSAT spacecraft itself. THEOS-2 SmallSAT is based on SSTL’s CARBONITE series of Earth observation spacecraft and has been delivered to Thailand.
SSTL also proposes a training programme for GISTDA to enable Thai engineers to design, manufacture, integrate and test similar small satellites in Thailand in the future. The images from THEOS-2 programme will be key for GISTDA’s future Thai Earth observation system which will be used for supporting various aspects, including but not limited to, social and security management, city and economic corridor management, natural resource and ecosystem management, water management, disaster management and agricultural management.