Japan to build satellite for Vietnam’s climate observation
A blueprint of the ASNARO-2 radar satellite to be built by Japan in 2017. Photo by space.skyrocket
Two Japanese companies are slated to deliver the final product in 2018.
The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology has finalized a deal to purchase a radar satellite from Japan for climate and natural disasters observation, which would become useful when cloudy weather affects optical satellites.
The Mainichi Shimbun said the compact 550-kilogram satellite is an advanced, radar-based model and will be Japan’s first exported earth observation satellite.
NEC Corp. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. will produce and launch the first model for testing in 2017 with funding from the Japanese government.
The companies will then build a second, complete one in 2018 for delivery, according to the news report.
The Advanced Satellite with New System Architecture for Observation-2 (ASNARO-2), including its ground equipment, is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars and will be purchased with the Japanese government’s Official Development Assistance budget.
Unlike optical satellites equipped with cameras, the ASNARO-2 is capable of surface observations at night and in cloudy weather, which suits Vietnamese government’s purpose of using the equipment in times of disasters, particularly to obtain data on damage and the condition of crops.