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Sunday, 21 October 2012

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First privately-owned satellite in SAARC region to be launched:

Supreme Group pioneers Sri Lanka’s space industry

Sri Lanka will join the exclusive club of satellite owning countries on November 22 with the launch of the Supreme SAT-1. Being the latest member to the 45 countries that have their own satellites, it will be the third satellite owning country in the SAARC region. With this Sri Lanka will mark the beginning of a new era in space technology. Supreme SAT (Pvt) Ltd. will be the first company to own a satellite in the SAARC region and the 15th in the world.

The satellite, Supreme SAT- 1 will be initially jointly-owned by China Satellite Corporation Communications Co. Ltd and Supreme SAT (Pvt) Ltd.

The contract for the launch was signed on October 16, in Colombo by China Great Wall Industry Corporation, China Satellite Communication Co. Ltd. and Supreme SAT (Pvt) Ltd . Supreme SAT will own a majority share of the KU Transponders of the satellite. This is a joint venture with China’s state-owned, China Satellite Communications Co. Ltd.

Having a design life of 15 years, Supreme SAT-1 will be used to DTH TV (Direct To Home) television, where the broadcast signals are transmitted from satellites orbiting the earth direct to the viewer's house. Each satellite is located above the earth in the geosynchronous orbit.

According to company officials, several countries have expressed their willingness to enter into an agreement to receive satellite services. Supreme SAT (Pvt) Ltd aims at being the fastest growing Satellite company in the region. The company has now been short-listed as one of the six companies for the Afghanistan Satellite program. Supreme SAT is also negotiating viable satellite contracts with several neighbouring countries in the region including Bangladesh, Myanmar and India.

SupremSAT-1 will be followed by another co-branded satellite. A fully- owned Sri Lankan satellite will be launched by December 2015. A venture of $ 60 m will be undertaken to set up a fully-equipped earth station for the satellite will be located in Kandy. This will also be later converted to a Space Academy. The setting up of the earth station will pave the way for Sri Lanka to be a satellite owning country and enter a new phase of business. The company is now actively promoting DTH TV with other countries in the region. While the Maldive Islands have expressed a keen interest to enter into a joint venture with Sri Lanka.

The academy will provide on-the- job training to Sri Lankans who will have the opportunity to interact with branded satellites of SupremeSAT / Chinasatcom. This will help local personnel to handle Supreme SAT-1 when Sri Lankan ownership is established in 2016.

 

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