On November 23, the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) officially opened a multi-mission ground station in Sri Racha, Thailand, at the Space Krenovation Park (SKP), a science park developed by Thailand’s space agency GISTDA in order to develop the nation’s space industry.
The new ground station will join SSC’s existing global network of 18 solely-owned and collaborative ground stations, including in Australia, Japan, and India. The SKP station hosts a 7.3-meter antenna system with capabilities for Telemetry Tracking & Command (TT&C) and data downlink services, supporting S-Band (uplink and downlink) and X-Band (downlink), with the option to add Ka-Band in the future.
According to GISTDA, this is Thailand’s largest space-based business partnership, and, at 80 million THB (approximately US$2.44m), is the biggest foreign investment into the nation’s space industry. SSC and GISTDA have been collaborating since 2015, with GISTDA using Swedish satellites and other SSC products, mainly for the purposes of navigation and positioning.
“The establishment in Sri Racha, Thailand, is an important step for us and our partner to meet the global space development. The number of satellites is increasing rapidly and thanks to this new ground station, we strengthen our total capacity to transfer data between our customers and their satellites”, said Leif Österbo, President of Satellite Management Services, SSC.
Said GISTDA Director Dr Anon Sanitwong na Ayutthaya, “This demonstrates the confidence of the Swedish government and the SSC in Thailand’s space policy and the potential in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) area in the hope that the EEC area will be an important base for expanding advanced technology in the aerospace industry. It will also be a hub for connecting with the regional space industry, such as with China, India, Japan, and South Korea, as well as help push Thailand up the global value chain in space”.
SKP was launched in 2012 and hosts GISTDA’s mission control centre, private and public sector aerospace facilities, as well as a startup incubator. SKP will play a crucial role in supporting and hosting Thailand’s upcoming Earth Observation satellite THEOS-2, and will serve as a base for developing infrastructure and applications related to THEOS-2. Additionally, THEOS-2’s contractor Airbus will provide training for a small satellite to be developed, integrated and tested indigenously; all this will also take place at SKP.