Sep 03, 2010
Russia considers ground facilities in SA to support its satellitesBack
Engineering|Moscow|Pretoria|Africa|PROJECT|Projects|Roscosmos|System|Systems|Africa|America|Russia|South Africa|United States|South Africa’s Satellite Applications Centre|Navigation Satellite Constellation|Satellite Laser Ranging|Satellite Tracking|Systems|Jacob Zuma|Naledi Pandor|Sandile Malinga|GPS|Laser
© Reuse this
The discussions are at an early stage, so it is not clear whether the outcome could be the erection of a new dish or dishes at South Africa’s Satellite Applications Centre (SAC), at Hartebeesthoek, west of Pretoria, or the use of the SAC’s existing facilities. Roscosmos is busy drawing up a draft agreement covering such a facility and hopes to submit it to Sansa later this month.
This was one of the space issues discussed during President Jacob Zuma’s State visit to Russia last month. Another was the possible South African participation in a number of future Russian radio astronomy projects. South Africa has already expressed interest in Russia’s Radioastron space radio tele- scope project (see Engineering News April 16, 2010). It was also agreed that a cooperative framework would be established between Sansa and the renowned Russian Academy of Sciences, and that Russia would provide training for South African space specialists.
Also under discussion is the establishment of a satellite laser ranging (SLR) ground station in South Africa. This would be in support of the Glonass navigation satellite constellation.
The location of a Glonass SLR station in South Africa has not yet been determined.
Glonass will achieve full global coverage by the end of this year – currently it covers all of Russia and most of the world – and Moscow has renewed its invitation to South Africa to join the system. The Russians point out that dual GPS/Glonass receiver sets have been developed and that the simultaneous use of both systems increases the accuracy, as opposed to using only one of the systems. (It seems that, tactfully, the Russians have not pointed out the political advantages of not being dependent on one system run by one country.)
In addition, Sansa and Roscosmos signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) on collaboration regarding earth observation. This MoU was signed during Zuma’s visit to Moscow and announced to the media at the time. Besides other things, it grants Sansa access to Russia’s archive of satellite imagery of Southern Africa, gathered over several decades.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU, Sansa acting CEO Dr Sandile Malinga said that it “will certainly help bolster our extensive archive of satellite imagery collected over the Southern African Development Community region and facilitate the development of human capital in South Africa”. Also present at the signing ceremony was South African Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, who affirmed that “striking international partnerships of this nature bodes well for South Africa’s standing and positioning in the global space arena and, on the regional front, [positions] us as leaders in the strategic area of remote sensing.”
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other News This Week News
Updated 25 minutes ago In her first Budget Vote speech as Deputy Minister of the newly-created Department of Small Business Development (DSBD), Elizabeth Thabethe has assured Parliament that the department will “aggressively” explore opportunities for small, medium-sized and...
Updated 37 minutes ago President Jacob Zuma says South Africa is making progress in the fight against corruption, as evidenced by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) probes he has authorised in the last five years. Between 2009 and 2014, the President signed 36 proclamations with five...
Updated 43 minutes ago South Africa's biggest union took the latest pay offer to its members for approval on Wednesday in a fresh effort to end a three-week strike that has halted output at several car factories. More than 200 000 metal and engineering workers led by the National Union of...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Local aerospace company Denel Aerostructures (DAe), part of the State-owned Denel Group, has won a fourth contract to manufacture parts for the Airbus A400M military air transport and air-to-air refuelling aircraft. The new contract, which was won in an international...
Although CEO Mark McChlery and chief marketing officer Bob Skinstad likened themselves to children in a playground when taking on the task of “reengineering and repositioning” the Seartec brand, the “young, dynamic and enthusiastic guys” were like proud...
An increasing number of buyers, in both the new and used car markets, are opting for finance structures that lower their monthly repayments, says asset financing company WesBank. These include the use of large balloon payments (also known as residuals), as well as...
Tertiary education institutions can use search engine giant Google’s Chromebook to provide secure mobile end-point devices for students on which they can share documents, work collaboratively on documents and access education materials and applications being used...
Local ceiling and partition company Abbeycon has beaten global competition at the Saint-Gobain Gypsum International Trophy competition, which was held last month in Berlin, Germany.