Azerbaijan to establish satellite constellation

Azerbaijan Materials 15 November 2012 12:58 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 15 / Trend H.Valiyev /

Azerbaijan will follow the way of establishing a satellite constellation, the head of the Scientific and Technical Information Department of the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau Alexander Loginov told Trend on Tuesday.

"Satellites working in a different range are needed for remote sensing. Those are for instance, spacecraft, equipped with all-weather radars, having the opportunity to observe the Earth's surface through the clouds in winter and at night. There are satellites operating in the optical and infrared diapasons now operated by Ukraine," Loginov said.

Satellites operating in the infrared diapason can monitor the state of the soil's surface layer (moisture, germination and yield, forests, water resources and quick response to fires, can be used in urban planning and road construction).

According to Loginov, there is a traditional problem with the satellites. For example, there are spacecrafts that enable monitoring with a resolution of eight metres and there are satellites with a resolution of one metre and spy satellites with a resolution of 0.5 metres.

"Satellites with high-resolution can observe only a narrow perimeter and cannot fixate what is happening on the right or left. The simultaneous use of, for instance, a satellite with a mathematical processing of pictures which is able to observe the entire country of Azerbaijan in one circuit and a high resolution satellite which will record the place that is an object of concern, is a reasonable approach in this case. This means it would be possible to find out exactly what has happened there. So I think that Azerbaijan will follow the way of establishing a satellite constellation, " Loginov said.

Azerbaijan's first telecommunications satellite Azerspace-1, the launch of which is expected in early 2013, is geostationary and will be located at an altitude of 36,000 kilometres providing Azerbaijan with many channels.

"Unlike geostationary satellites, low altitude satellites are flying at 400 kilometres. Remote sensing satellites of the type Azerbaijan is planning to launch, will fly over Azerbaijan only once out of 40 circuits. The rest of the time it will fly over other countries. Accordingly, it will allow Azerbaijan as the owner of the satellite, to receive external orders for shooting of a given area which will be cost-effective, "Loginov said.

In the coming days, the outcome of the previously announced tender for Azerkosmos for the construction and launch of low orbit satellites will be revealed. The satellite will be used for remote sensing of the earth, mapping and geological studies. Its launch is expected in 2014.