Vietnam will use VNREDSat-1, its first remote sensing satellite, for a project that monitors the country’s waters and islands for socio-economic development and to ensure security and defense, said the National Remote Sensing Department.
>> Vietnam’s first remote sensing satellite launched after delay The project, entitled “Monitoring offshore key waters and islands with remote sensing technology,” will be implemented in the near future, said Nguyen Xuan Lam, head of the department, which is under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. While speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Lam said the satellite, which was sent to orbit the Earth in May of 2013, has taken 21,687 photographs, including 5,588 photos of Vietnam’s territorial areas, which have been used for a number of projects inside and outside the natural resources and environment sector of Vietnam. In the near future, the satellite will be used for the above-mentioned project, as well as for other projects, the department said. Regarding the price of remote sensing images, the department said that while awaiting the official prices issued by the Finance Ministry, such an image is now priced at VND5-6 million (US$383). VNREDSat-1 provides remote sensing photos that have the same technical features as those supplied by small satellites and that can replace a number of remote sensing images with a high resolution on the world market. At present, Vietnam is among the five countries in South East Asia that possess remote sensing satellites. The other four countries are Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. However, only Vietnam and Thailand introduced their image products on the market of remote sensing images. VNREDSat-1 successfully sent its first photos to the ground receiving station on May 9, 2013, two days after it was launched to the orbit. The satellite, which measures 600 mm x 570 mm x 500 mm and weighs 115 kg, was built at a total cost of €55.8 million from the French Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund and VND65 billion (around $3.2 million) from the Vietnamese Government.