As part of Space co-operation between India and the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), India has started work on establishing a ground station, payload data reception, processing and dissemination facility in Vietnam.
It is intended to provide a reliable operational space-based system for remote sensing over the Asean — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — region.
From providing remote sensing data and training to working with countries on small satellites, among other things, ISRO has had a long partnership with Asean and this is another step towards furthering India’s space diplomacy.
The TOI had first reported India’s intent to establish a ground station in Vietnam in 2015, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had discussed the matter at the India-Asean meeting at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. And, earlier this year, India told the UN security council that its vision of the Indo – Pacific as a free, open and inclusive region is premised upon ASEAN centrality and the common pursuit of prosperity.
The proposed facility, which will be built on a four-hectare land at My Phouc-3 industrial park, Binh Doung province, Vietnam will have an 11m antenna which will be installed by Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (Istrac).
Documents reviewed by TOI show that the land for the project has already been acquired by the Vietnamese government while Istrac has floated an Expression of Interest (EoI) from bidders for the construction of the facility last week.
The selected companies will be “taking up the work on a design and build mode which includes planning the work by taking the prior approvals from Vietnam authorities and designing, constructing and commissioning the work as per the approved plan at the acquired land as a composite work including civil, PH, electrical and other allied works.”
The estimated cost of the project is 86 billion Vietnamese dollars and work is expected to be completed in 18 months of being commissioned. The facility will include an antenna support structure spread across 75-sqm, a facility building spread across 1,235-sqm, among other things.
The facility, once operational, will also be useful for India, which has been working on enhancing its tracking network. Isro already has a network of ground stations within the country and outside: Bengaluru, Lucknow, Mauritius, Sriharikota, Port Blair, Thiruvananthapuram, Brunei, Biak (Indonesia).
Among other projects, the said facility in Vietnam might also help India’s Gaganyan mission as Isro is looking to have its own coverage for at least 90% of the flight path and depend as little on other tracking stations as possible for the human flight mission.
Source : Times of India