BRICS Space Agencies To Cooperate on Satellite Data-Sharing To Address Common Problems on Earth
20 August 2021
EIRNS—Three weeks before the heads of state of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) are scheduled to meet virtually on Sept. 9, the leaders of those nations’ space agencies met virtually on Aug. 18 to sign a cooperation agreement to build the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation. Attending were Dr. K. Sivan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO); Zhang Kejian, administrator, China National Space Administration (CNSA); Dr. Val Munsami, Chief Executive Officer, South African National Space Agency (SANSA); Carlos Augusto Teixeira De Moura, President, Brazilian Space Agency (AEB); and Dr. Dmitry Rogozin, Director General, State Space Corporation Roscosmos signed the agreement.
Geospatial World industry news site on Aug. 20 quoted a CNSA statement explaining that the agreement will allow “cooperation among BRICS space agencies to build a ‘virtual constellation of remote sensing satellites’” as a data sharing mechanism consisting of satellites already placed in orbit by the BRICS space agencies. These include the CBERS-4 (built jointly by Brazil and China), Russia’s Kanopus-V type, India’s Resourcesat-2 and 2A, and China’s GF-6 and ZY-3/02. Ground stations located in Cuiaba, Brazil, the Moscow region, India’s Shadnagar—Hyderabad region, China’s Sanya and South Africa’s Hartebeesthoek will receive data from those satellites.
According to Sanjay Bhattacharya, Secretary of India’s Ministry of External Affairs,
“the agreement will help accelerate cooperation among the BRICS countries in the peaceful use of outer Space with use of data and applications across an array of sectors such as research on global climate change, agriculture and food security, disaster management and water resource management, amongst others,” Geospatial World quoted him as saying. [crr]