Indonesian Space Program to Launch Local-Made Satellite
The National Institute of Aeronautics and Space is set to launch its very first locally-produced satellite, Lapan A2, the main mission of which is to monitor the country’s maritime areas.
The institute, known as Lapan, says the satellite will be launched next year in the Indian city of Sriharikota.
Lapan A2 is Lapan’s second satellite after Lapan-Tubsat. But Lapan-Tubsat, which was also launched in India in 2007, was built in collaboration with a German institution.
“Lapan A2 is Indonesia’s achievement in developing space technology,” Lapan said in a statement on Wednesday. “This success followed Indonesia’s first satellite, Lapan-Tubsat … which is still operating well. We initially thought that it would only last for two years.
“Lapan-Tubsat was purely the product of Lapan’s researchers and engineers, although the construction work was done in collaboration with Technische Universitat Berlin in Germany.
“The success in producing Lapan-Tubsat motivated Lapan to develop the next satellite, Lapan A2. This time, it was fully built in Lapan’s Satellite Technology Center in Rancabungur, Bogor, West Java.”
The Lapan A2 satellite is similar to Lapan-Tubsat, but Lapan A2 has a better sensor and it will become the first satellite to observe the Earth using equatorial orbit.
The satellite, which weighs 78 kilograms, will orbit at a height of 650 kilometers and will cross Indonesia’s territory diagonally up to 14 times a day, with each crossing taking around 20 minutes. When orbiting, Lapan A2’s Automatic Identification System sensor will have a detection radius of more than 100 kilometers and the capability to receive signals from up to 2,000 ships.
Lapan A2 has the ability to monitor the traffic in Indonesia’s waters. The satellite was designed to carry out three main missions: observing the Earth, ships and amateur radio communications.
Lapan’s success in completing the construction of the satellite was honored with the signing of an epigraph by Mulyanto, the secretary of the Research and Technology Ministry, at the closing of the Ritech Expo 2012 at the Bandung Institute of Technology on Saturday. Viriya Paramita