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National satellite constellation in final stage, scheduled to be launched by year’s end


Jakarta, IO – The national satellite constellation for earth observation called NEO-1 developed by the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) is targeted for completion this year. In contrast to a single satellite, a satellite constellation consists of two or more similar satellites orbiting in groups to provide wider coverage.

M. Arif Saifudin, associate senior engineer at BRIN’s Satellite Technology Research Center, said that currently the NEO-1 research has entered the final phase of Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT), so the hope is could be launched by the end of the year, per, Mon (6/5).

“The launch is scheduled between the end of 2024 or early 2025. The satellite will be launched at an altitude of around 500 kilometers from the earth’s surface in a Sun Synchronous Polar orbit,” he said.

NEO-1 is a fourth-generation satellite or known as A4. This satellite will be more sophisticated because its payload specifications are better than previous generation satellites such as LAPAN-A2 and LAPAN-A3.

Arif explained that NEO-1 had passed a series of tests, such as subsystem or component level including functional testing, performance testing, and some environmental testing.

This satellite is equipped with a high-resolution multispectral camera which was not previously available on LAPAN-A3, with a resolution of 5 meters with a swath width of 33 kilometers. In addition, it is equipped with an infrared camera belonging to Hokkaido University, Japan. The image data can be used to observe hotspots, volcanic activity, measure surface temperatures, and weather-related research.

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Another mission that will be carried out by NEO-1 is maritime monitoring by carrying a Space Based Automatic Identification System (AIS) Receiver payload. In the future, researchers will be able to observe maritime traffic globally, both for general and specific monitoring related to the security and safety of maritime transportation.

“Another payload carried by NEO-1 is a Magnetometer. Its mission is to measure the earth’s magnetic field with better data reception capabilities. This data can be used by researchers for scientific missions such as monitoring symptoms or early signs of earthquakes by observing changes in the magnetic field before an earthquake occurs. This data can also be applied to geomagnetic activity,” said Arif. (bp)


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