8th anniversary of Vietnam's first earth observation satellite (VNREDSat-1) launch celebrated

May 7, 2021 marked 8 years since VNREDSat-1 satellite was launched into orbit. Over the past eight years, the VNREDSat-1 satellite system has fulfilled its role as Vietnam's first earth observation satellite system. Up to now, the VNREDSat-1 satellite has operated for more than 3 years compared to the design, has traveled more than 42,000 times around the earth, and collected more than 130,000 images (including more than 81,000 scenes of the territorial waters of Vietnam), contributing to active and proactive monitoring for environmental resource management, scientific research, training, and support for socio-economic sustainable development tasks, as well as national defense and security assurance.

Assigned by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology to manage and operate the satellite, the Center for Control and Operation of Small Satellites under the Institute of Space Technology has always worked hard to ensure the safe, smooth and effective operation of the satellite.

The VNREDSat-1 satellite operating exceeding its design life by 3 years is evidence of the effective work of the Center for Control and Operation of Small Satellites. To achieve this remarkable result, the engineers from the Center for Control and Operation of Small Satellites, Institute of Space Technology, and the engineers of the National Remote Sensing Department (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment) did not stop perfecting, improving and mastering the VNREDSat-1 system completely, from control, operation and task setting to troubleshooting or other specific operations.

Specifically, engineers from the Institute of Space Technology have 30 times performed the calculation and correction of the VNREDSat-1 satellite's orbit to avoid collisions with space trash; calibrate satellite imaging equipment; and upgrade software. Besides, because of the relatively long operating time, the equipment of the ground station system as well as on the satellite has had the phenomenon of failure or performance degradation compared to the design, leading to the continuous change to the safe mode status of the satellite from January 2021 to April 2021, due to technical problems.

This is a big challenge in the context that there is almost no technical support from French experts, who are the designer of the VNREDsat-1 satellite system. With their own efforts, Vietnamese engineers have successfully overcome and returned the satellite to its normal operating state since April 30, 2021, continuing to provide regular and timely snapshots for customers.

With the experience gained during operation, the engineers of the Center for Control and Operation of Small Satellites assessed that the system could continue to operate in the next few years. In particular, according to the analysis of French experts and the consultation of regular customers, after 8 years of operation, the images obtained by VNREDSat-1 satellite are still of good quality and effective for use for socio-economic development applications, ensuring national defense - security. This is also an encouragement for the engineers at the Center for Control and Operation of Small Satellites, Institute of Space Technology, to continue their efforts to ensure the safe operation of the VNREDSat-1 system.

Photo of Nha Trang City Center taken at 10:24' on May 24, 2013

Photo of Nha Trang City Center taken at 10:20' on May 2, 2021

The successful exploitation and operation of the VNREDSat-1 system over the past eight years has provided a valuable source of satellite image data for Vietnam, contributing to the successful implementation of scientific tasks, socio-economic development and national defense and security, and actively integrating with countries in the region and the world. Besides, the maturity of the engineers operating the VNREDSat-1 system will be a premise for the development of high-quality human resources to acquire technology, receive and exploit satellite systems in the future.

Translated by Phuong Huyen
Link to Vietnamese version

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