AsianScientist (Nov. 22, 2016) – On November 18, 2016, the Asian Micro-satellite Consortium (AMC) came into effect, marking a major step forward in establishing an unprecedented regional regime. The consortium, which comprises 16 space agencies and universities from nine Asian nations, will develop microsatellite technologies and use collected data for applications such as predicting natural disasters.
The advantages of microsatellites are multifold: They can be built in a few years, much faster than the ten or more years required for some larger satellites; they are easier to handle and they are cheaper to build, costing about one-hundredth the price of large satellites.
The 16 participating institutions are space agencies, governmental institutes and universities from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The AMC is expected to make it much easier to share and standardize satellite bus and sensing technologies, observational data, and data application methodologies.
In the future, the consortium is expected to share and utilize data collected by about 50 microsatellites that the participating nations are planning to launch. These microsatellites will allow the AMC to monitor any given location on the Earth around the clock, therefore making it possible to grasp a variety of situations, including major disasters if one should occur.
The standardization of advanced optical sensors and other devices is essential in order to effectively make use of satellite-gathered data. Using drones mounted with such sensors for ground observation in international joint undertakings will drastically increase the volume of data gathered and the precision of ground verification.
Data verified on the ground would also help researchers make far more accurate satellite-data-based estimates. The resultant effects could be enormous in such areas as disaster preparedness/mitigation, global environment change, promotion of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and mining, and countermeasures against air and marine pollution.
Yukihiro Takahashi, the professor at Hokkaido University who led the formation of the AMC said, “I believe that the consortium will trigger the advanced space utilization with microsatellites not only in Asia but also all over the world including Africa and South America.”
List of participating institutions
- Bangladesh Space Research & Remote Sensing Organization (SPARRSO)
- Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN)
- Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT)
- Malaysia’s Multimedia University
- National University of Mongolia (NUM)
- New Mongol Institute of Technology (NMIT)
- German-Mongolian Institute for Resources and Technology (GMIT)
- Myanmar Maritime University
- Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University (MAEU)
- University of Yangon (UY)
- Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD)
- King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL)
- Vietnam National Satellite Center (VAST-VNSC)
- University of Science and Technology of Hanoi (VAST-USTH)
- Tohoku University
- Hokkaido University
Source: Hokkaido University.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.
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