Thailand to Launch THEOS-2 into Space on October 7th! A Detailed Earth Observation Satellite, the First of Its Kind for the Country

BANGKOK, Sept. 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On September 27, 2023, Ms. Supamas Issarapakdi, the Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI), Dr. Pakorn Apaphant, Director of the Geo- Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), Mr. Rémi Longépé, Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the French Embassy in Thailand, and Mr. Olivier Chartier from Airbus, held a press conference to announce the readiness of the THEOS-2 satellite before its launch into space. The event was titled "THEOS-2: Shaping Thailand’s Future from Space, Our Commitment" and took place at Pearl Bangkok on Phaholyothin Road, Bangkok.

Thailand to Launch THEOS-2 into Space on October 7th! A Detailed Earth Observation Satellite, the First of Its Kind for the Country
Thailand to Launch THEOS-2 into Space on October 7th! A Detailed Earth Observation Satellite, the First of Its Kind for the Country

Thailand’s Earth observation satellite, THEOS-2, is scheduled to launch into space on Saturday, October 7, 2023, at 8:36 AM (Indochina time) from the Guiana Space Center in South America. This satellite is renowned for its high-resolution capabilities and marks the first of its kind for Thailand.

Ms. Supamas Issarapakdi, the Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI), stated that THEOS-2 is an Earth observation satellite, one of two satellites under the Development of Satellite Systems for Development project, operated by the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), a state-owned organization. THEOS-2 is capable of capturing high-resolution color images at a level of detail down to 50 centimeters. It can capture images and transmit data back to the ground station at a rate of no less than 74,000 square kilometers per day.

The data from this satellite will be used to update information across all areas of Thailand, ensuring that the information is current, detailed, and accurate. This data will aid in efficient emergency response and crisis management, including applications in agriculture, water management, disaster management, urban planning, and natural resource management. Furthermore, it will contribute to the development and enhancement of Thailand’s space technology infrastructure, especially in human resources and space industry development, which is crucial for the country’s economic growth.

For THEOS-2 data, GISTDA will open opportunities for both the public sector, private sector, and educational institutions to access the data for further development or commercial services. This initiative aims to promote the development of the country’s economy and drive education, research, and innovation in spatial data and space technology, fostering innovation at all levels, from youth to startups, SMEs, and large private companies. This aligns with GISTDA’s policy of focusing on creating human resources, knowledge, and innovation to develop the country.

Ms. Supamas also emphasized that the launch of THEOS-2 is a historic event for Thailand’s future. It signifies a leap forward in the country’s development using advanced technology. As the representative of the government and the Thai people who will benefit greatly from this momentous milestone, she attaches great importance to the success of launching this highly detailed Earth observation satellite into space. She invited all Thai citizens to support the GISTDA team and Thailand in this endeavor. The launch of THEOS-2 is a significant milestone as it marks Thailand’s first launch of a high-resolution Earth observation satellite.

Once THEOS-2 satellite is launched into space, it will take approximately 5-7 days to adjust itself to its actual orbit. Following that, there will be a testing period of approximately 6 months before it becomes operational. THEOS-2 satellite will play a crucial role in enhancing Thailand’s capabilities in space technology and geospatial information. The Ministry responsible for space affairs will expedite the country’s space economy policy to become a reality.

Dr. Pakorn Apaphant, the Director of GISTDA, emphasized that THEOS-2 satellite will be an essential tool for the government to manage the country, particularly in improving the quality of life for its citizens. Additionally, it will boost Thailand’s competitiveness in space technology and geospatial information.

Using data from THEOS-2 satellite for the development of the country can have various dimensions, including:

  • Mapping: THEOS-2 satellite can capture high-resolution images with pixel sizes as small as 50 centimeters and generate three-dimensional data. This data can be used to produce large-scale maps, even down to a 1:1000 scale.
  • Agriculture and Food Management: THEOS-2 can be employed for analyzing and assessing agricultural areas, classifying crop types, monitoring plant health, and predicting crop yields. These capabilities can lead to increased agricultural production, covering at least 13 major crops in terms of quantity and quality, and efficient forecasting of agricultural outcomes. This contributes to economic stability and improved living standards for farmers.
  • Integrated Water Management: The satellite data can be used to monitor changes in water sources and their types nationwide. It aids in verifying water source data, calculating water source quantities, and detecting densely vegetated areas around water sources. This enhances economic stability for farmers and improves the quality of industrial water management, reducing pollution and environmental impacts on public health.
  • Natural Disaster Management: THEOS-2 data can be used for disaster planning, prevention, early warning, evacuation, and disaster relief. This information is invaluable for post-disaster recovery and providing fair treatment to all affected parties. It increases public safety and quality of life.
  • Urban Planning and Land and Border Management: Satellite data from THEOS-2 can enhance the efficiency of managing critical national infrastructure projects, such as water management and high-speed rail networks. It reduces disparities in accessing public services, including health, education, transportation, and natural resources.
  • Natural Resource and Environmental Management: THEOS-2 data provides insights into issues on a broad scale, contributing to the enhancement of forested areas. This includes strengthening the prevention of forest encroachment and the community forest management based on sustainable natural resource management, covering terrestrial and aquatic environments. It also aids in tracking carbon emissions, ensuring accurate, efficient, and transparent carbon standards.

Dr. Pakorn emphasized that the launch of THEOS-2 satellite is a practical mission for Thailand’s future. This satellite will be employed to address ongoing economic challenges, with the economy being the backbone of the nation. It will play a significant role in fostering sustainable development in various dimensions, both spatially and in terms of improving the economy. GISTDA, as a department under the Ministry responsible for space affairs, is ready to support and promote the use of data from this satellite to address problems in spatial and developmental aspects of Thailand’s future.

Source: Thailand to Launch THEOS-2 into Space on October 7th! A Detailed Earth Observation Satellite, the First of Its Kind for the Country