HomeSpaceAirbus Rockets Thailand to Sovereign Geostrategic Intelligence with THEOS-2

Airbus Rockets Thailand to Sovereign Geostrategic Intelligence with THEOS-2


The THEOS-2 Earth observation satellite, which Airbus developed, was successfully launched on a Vega rocket from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, located in French Guiana. In 2018, the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency of Thailand (GISTDA) decided to collaborate with Airbus to develop Thailand’s next-generation national geo-information system.

According to Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus, the successful launch of THEOS-2 with its 50cm photography reaffirms Thailand’s status in the tiny circle of states with sovereign access to high-resolution geostrategic intelligence. THEOS-2 was designed to provide imagery at a resolution of 50cm. He goes on to say that the organisation will continue to back GISTDA’s efforts to set up an all-encompassing geo-information system for the benefit of the Kingdom of Thailand.

THEOS-2 is the successor to the THEOS-1 satellite, developed by Airbus and launched in 2008. THEOS-1 has operated for more than ten years but continues producing imagery. In the context of the THEOS-2 programme, the geo-information system of GISTDA benefits from satellite imagery acquired by the Airbus constellation of optical and radar Earth observation satellites such as Pléiades and TerraSAR-X. These satellites are part of the Earth observation mission.

A thorough capacity-building project will involve Thai engineers in developing applications, ground segments, and the SmallSAT spacecraft itself as part of this deal. The contract also includes a second Earth observation satellite, known as THEOS-2 SmallSAT, provided by the subsidiary of Airbus known as SSTL. Thailand has received the Earth observation spacecraft known as THEOS-2 SmallSAT, based on the CARBONITE series of spacecraft developed by SSTL.

Additionally, SSTL proposes a training programme for GISTDA so that Thai engineers can soon design, build, integrate, and test comparable small satellites in Thailand.

Images obtained through the THEOS-2 programme will play a crucial role in the future Thai Earth observation system that GISTDA will develop. This system will support various aspects, including but not limited to social and security management, management of cities and economic corridors, management of natural resources and ecosystems, management of water resources, management of disasters, and management of agricultural resources.

Frontier India News Network
Frontier India News Network
Frontier India News Network is the in-house news collection and distribution agency.


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