Nano-satellites in the offing | Sunday Observer

Nano-satellites in the offing

Sri Lanka has begun its journey into the space frontier with the commencement of a program to develop nano-satellites by the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT), the national agency mandated for space technologies.

Sri Lanka is currently developing two nano-satellites for geo sensing purposes, the first of which is expected to be launched in 2019, Member of the Board of Governors at Arthur C Clark Institute, Prof. Chandana Jayaratne told the Sunday Observer.

Director General and CEO of ACCIMT, Sanath Panawennage said the t projects include a one-unit Cube-sat in technical collaboration with Japan and a three-unit nano-satellite in technical collaboration with Russia.

“We plan to launch them into orbit in mid-2019 and late 2020 respectively,” he said.

Prof. Jayaratne said that the projects are funded under a special government fund.

The project was initiated and is lead by Panawennage who said that the successful development of a satellite by a country’s own engineers serves as an effective indicator of the country’s engineering abilities.

“In the meantime, given global trends, a big boom in the small and nano-satellite industry is inevitable during the next few years.

Therefore, we want to position Sri Lanka to gain maximum techno-economic benefits through this program,” said Panawennage. Highlighting the importance of such projects, Prof. Jayaratne said satellite information is essential to take early decisions in critical situations, such as drought monitoring and harvest prediction.