Pakistan to launch satellite next year
Islamabad – Pakistan is set to launch the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) early next year, sources said on Monday.
The PRSS-1 is Pakistan’s first earth observation satellite and will be launched by the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco).
Expected to be launched in March next year, the PRSS-1 will support Pakistan’s development efforts from monitoring geological and environmental events to support national tasks such as monitoring areas of interest to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The PRSS-1 will join the PakSat-1R, a communications satellite that was launched in 2011. The PakSat-1R is running with efficient provision of communication and broadcast services in the country and neighbouring regions.
According to the sources, the PRSS-1 would make Pakistan self-reliant in multi-spectral imaging and would also help save precious foreign exchange.
The PRSS-1 will comprise an electro-optical (EO) system as well as synthetic aperture radar (SAR). The SAR payload will enable the PRSS-1 to take high-resolution photos.
The Suparco had signed a development and launch agreement for the PRSS-1 with China Great Wall Industry Cooperation (CGWIC) in April 2016.
Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal, who had signed the contract, had hoped the contract would facilitate the transfer of space technology to Pakistan.
Iqbal had also alluded that the PRSS-1 would contribute to Pakistan’s national security interests, especially in terms of border security and surveillance. Work towards securing an earth observation satellite began in the late 1990s under the Earth Observation Satellite System (EOSS) programme.
The Suparco had intended to deploy the EOSS which was re-designated to the Remote Sensing Satellite System (RSSS) and then PRSS-1.
The PRSS-1 was envisaged as a domestic programme developed with technical support from credible foreign satellite manufacturers and solutions providers. The PRSS-1 could be of great benefit to Pakistan for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance specifically image intelligence in its ongoing war on terror.