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Vietnam Selecting Belgium For Second EO Satellite
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Jul 29, 2011

Model of VNREDSAT-1

The government of Vietnam decided to go ahead with a second microsatellite for earth observations, through its VNREDSAT (Vietnam Natural Resources Environment and Disaster monitoring small Satellite) programme.

It selected for VNREDSAT-1B the offer made by Spacebel leading a Belgian consortium of industries specialized in space systems (QinetiQ Space, AMOS, CSL).

The feasibility studies for the final design of the optical payload - for high-resolution and multispectral or hyperspectral images - are in progress until October. After technical and legal negotiations between the Vietnamese customer and Spacebel for Belgium, the contract will be signed in Ho-Chi Minh-ville in March 2012.

VNREDSAT-1B, planned for launch in 2016, will be combined with the first remote sensing microsatellite, to provide Vietnam with a regular and quick monitoring of the environment in South-East Asia. Note that multispectral VNREDSAT-1A, using the French Myriade bus, is in construction at EADS Astrium, Toulouse for a planned launch in 2013-2014.

In the late 90s, the Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo) decided to support the development of an intelligent microsat in the framework of ESA GSTP (General Support Technology Programme). It gives life to PROBA (Project for OnBoard Autonomy) bus whose flexibility and reliability are being demonstrated during a decade.

The PROBA-type spacecraft are designed, developed and integrated in Belgium, with the technical assistance of ESTEC laboratories. QinetiQ Space (Verhaert Space, Kruibeke near Antwerp) is the prime contractor, while Spacebel (with facilities in Liege and Hoeilaert) is the main contractor for the on-board software and ground segment.

PROBA-1 (93 kg), launched on 22 October 2001 by ISRO's PSLV, is still functioning well in 600-km sun-synchronous orbit. Controlled by ESA station in Redu, it is taking "on demand" (through daily commands) high-quality, medium-resolution and hyperspectral pictures of specific areas on our planet.

PROBA-2 (130 kg), a micro-observatory of the Sun's activity and of effects on the Earth, was put into orbit by Russian Rockot on 2 November 2009.

It shows a great success for the scientific community for the understanding of the solar environment. The third PROBA, to be launched in late 2012 or early 2013, is dedicated to the Vegetation programme: PROBA-V (160 kg), with optical payload developed by OIP (Oudenaarde) and AMOS (Liege), wil continuously survey and monitor the global environment for Belgian VITO (Mol).

Spacebel and QinetiQ Space made proposals of remote sensing satellites to countries in Latin America and Africa.

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Turksat turns to GMV for control of its satellites
Madrid, Spain (SPX) Jul 27, 2011
MELCO (Mitsubishi Electronics) has awarded GMV a contract for developing the ground segment for the 4A and 4B satellites of the Turkish satellite operator Turksat. GMV is the leading ground systems supplier for commercial telecommunications satellite operators. This contract broadens its client base, not only in terms of satellite manufacturers but also telecommunications operators, giving ... read more

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