On September 4th 2013, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) and EADS Astrium Company – France, the general contractor, held a ceremony to hand over control of VNREDSat-1 to Vietnam for official operation and exploitation.
The ceremony was held after three months of stable operation since Vietnam’s first earth-observation satellite VNREDSat-1 was successfully launched into orbit on May 7th 2013.
The event drew the participation of Prof. Nguyen Thien Nhan, Politburo member and Deputy Prime Minister; Prof. Chau Van Minh, member of the Party Central Committee, secretary of VAST Party Committee and VAST president; Jean Noel Poirier, French Ambassador to Vietnam; Michel Drobniak, economic and commercial counsellor, and head French economic representative in Vietnam; Jean Dauphin, head of the Earth observation and science division at Astrium France; Brigitte Tédaldi, director of VNREDSat-1 project; and representatives from ministries, committees and relevant agencies.
Opening the ceremony, Dr. Bui Trong Tuyen, head of the small satellite project management board, reviewed important landmarks during the implementation of VNREDSat-1 project.
VNREDSat-1 project was built based on research and assessment of domestic practical demand, technology and new development trends in the field of earth-observation small satellites. The project was coordinated by VAST and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to make the best of available technical infrastructure, including the system of receiving, archiving and processing images from remote sensing satellites of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to create a complete supervising system, which is independent from the ground receiving stations and remote sensing image data distributing and processing centre in Vietnam. With VNREDSat-1 satellite, Vietnam is completely active in time and position in taking photos about regions on the earth.
So far, VNREDSat-1 has been stable in its orbit. Functions and technical parameters of the satellite meet proposed requirements. The system operation is daily monitored by Vietnamese engineers from the Centre for Control and Exploitation of Small Satellite under the Vietnam Space Technology Institute - VAST and the Satellite Image Receiving Station under the National Remote Sensing Centre – the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
As of September 1st 2013, VNREDSat-1 satellite had captured, transmitted, received and processed 9,271 images, of which 909 featured Vietnamese territory, mainly serving the goals of adjusting and accessing the system’s effectiveness. In addition, images captured by VNREDSat-1 also timely met special requirements of national security and defence.
The project’s success has helped Vietnam to become the fifth ASEAN nation to own a remote sensing satellite. Experimenting over three years of efforts (starting at the end of 2009), with VAST as a project owner and EADS Astrium company as the major contractor, with the help and support of relevant agencies of Vietnam and France, so far, the two side can affirm that VNREDSat-1 system has met adequate technical requirements, exceeded progress, and met the conditions for handover from EADS Astrium to VAST for control and exploitation.
Representatives from VAST and EADS Astrium company signed to receive the handover of VNREDSat-1 system for official control and exploitation
On behalf of the Vietnamese government, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan appreciated the active efforts by VAST, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and relevant agencies, as well as French partners, including EADS Astrium, Arianespace and TPZ, in the implementation of the VNREDSat-1 project. He said he believed that after the ceremony, the control and exploitation will be effective, contributing to providing a large number of high resolution and high quality optical images for ministries, committees and agencies to well meet the demand in the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan delivered a speech at the ceremony
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said that in 2006, the government approved a strategy on space technology research and application until 2020. Vietnam has gradually invested to establish technical infrastructure for the application of satellite technology, such as building the National Remote Sensing Centre, the Vietnam Space Technology Centre; and launching Vinasat 1 and 2 communication and earth-observation satellites. The VNREDSat-1 satellite project is an important landmark in this development itinerary, affirming initial success of Vietnam’s science and technology in receiving and mastering earth-observation small satellite technology. The Deputy Prime Minister expressed his hope that VAST will promote obtained achievements, learn from experience, and make further efforts to achieve greater results, contributing to the successful implementation of objectives proposed in the strategy.
Addressing the ceremony, VAST president Chau Van Minh said that the handover of the whole system from the French partners affirmed the capacity of Vietnam in space technology, mastering the management, control and starting the effective and full exploitation of remote sensing satellite system. The success of the VNREDSat-1 satellite project is not only significant in science and technology, but also will have great socio-economic and political significance, consolidate national security and defence; contributing to building the image of Vietnam in the international arena in the space field. This also aimed to achieve important objectives of the strategy on space technology research and application until 2020, and initially establish Vietnam’s own earth-observation satellite system.
On behalf of VAST, Prof. Minh thanked the Party and government for their care and instruction, the government of the French Republic for supporting ODA for VNREDSat-1 project, French contractors (EADS Astrium company, Arianespace company and TPZ company), and ministries and agencies for coordination with the academy over the implementation of the project. He said after VNREDSat-1’s success, he hoped that VAST would continue receiving the cooperation and support of all units in the important projects of the academy in the future.
Several photos at the ceremony:
Dr. Bui Trong Tuyen, head of Management of Small Satellite Project,
reviewed important landmarks during the implementation of VNREDSat-1 project
Mr. Jean Noel Poirier, French Ambassador in Vietnam made a speech at the ceremony
Prof. Duong Ngoc Hai, VAST vice president, presented VAST insignia to Ms. Brigitte Tédaldi, director of VNREDSat-1 project
Translated by Tuyet Nhung