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Thailand and Airbus Successfully launch THEOS-2 Satellite

THEOS-2 Thailand Earth observation satellite. Credit: Airbus

Ibadan, 9 October 2023 – The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency of Thailand (GISTDA) and Airbus have launched the THEOS-2 Earth observation satellite 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 a partner for its next-generation national geo-information system in 2018.

THEOS-2 follows the Airbus-built THEOS-1 satellite launched in 2008, which continues to deliver imagery well beyond its 10-year operational lifetime. In the frame of the THEOS-2 program, GISTDA’s geo-information system benefits from satellite imagery from the Airbus constellation of optical and radar Earth observation satellites such as Pléiades and TerraSAR-X.

The contract between both organizations also includes a second Earth observation satellite – THEOS-2 SmallSAT – from Airbus’ subsidiary Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL). More importantly, it includes a comprehensive capacity-building program involving Thai engineers in developing applications, ground segments and the SmallSAT spacecraft. Furthermore, the THEOS-2 SmallSAT is based on SSTL’s CARBONITE series of Earth observation spacecraft, and Airbus has delivered it to Thailand.

In furtherance of the capacity-building program from SSTL, the Airbus Subsidiary also proposes a training program for GISTDA to enable Thai engineers to design, manufacture, integrate and test similar small satellites in Thailand in the future.

Additionally, images from the THEOS-2 program will be vital for GISTDA’s future Thai Earth observation system. It will provide support for various aspects, including social and security management, city and economic corridor management, natural resource and ecosystem management, water management, disaster management and agricultural management, among others.

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