Airbus and Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) have recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) that allows them to work together on several areas of interest in the space sector.
Potential areas of collaboration between Airbus Defence and Space and MOST include the exchange of information on issues related to Earth observation, organising and participating in scientific and technological events, and research into satellite technology.
“Airbus and Vietnam are already partners via the VNREDSat-1 satellite and with this recently signed LOI, we are able to support the development of Vietnam’s space industry further. This agreement will allow us to continue working together on topics related to Earth observation and satellite technology, helping to strengthen our close relationship,” said Nicolas Chamussy, Head of Space Systems, Airbus.
In 2010, Airbus was awarded a contract to develop, manufacture and launch Vietnam’s first Earth observation satellite. VNREDSat-1 was successfully launched in May 2013 to better monitor and study the effects of climate change, predict and take measures to prevent natural disasters, and optimize the management of its natural resources.
As part of the VNREDSat-1 programme, Airbus and the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) established a bilateral cooperation that included academic and on-the-job training programmes for Vietnamese engineers, as well as technology transfer. The company is also supporting the development of two new degree programmes at the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi (USTH).
Details of Thailand’s THEOS-2
In June 2018, Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISDTA) selected the company as its partner for its next-generation geo-information system THEOS-2. The agreement with the Thai government comprises an integrated geo-information system, a ground segment, a comprehensive capacity building programme and two Earth observation satellites.
An optical satellite system delivering 0.5m ground resolution imagery, THEOS-2 is based on Airbus’ AstroBus-S satellite. Scheduled to be launched in 2020, it will secure the service continuity of THEOS-1 – also built by Airbus – launched in 2008. In addition, a complementary small satellite system will be assembled and tested in-country by Thai engineers to deliver technology transfer, and will involve local suppliers.