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Space diplomacy: India to set up ground stations for 5 neighbours

MBI Munshi

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The Times of India – January 3, 2019

As part of New Delhi’s space diplomacy, a tool the foreign ministry has been trying to wield as part of its neighbourhood-first policy to counter China’s influence in the region, India will set up five large ground stations and more than 500 small terminals in five neighbouring countries – Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Apart from boosting regional cooperation, the move to set up tracking and receiving centres will also help put in place strategic Indian assets on their soil. These stations and terminals will help put in place applications ranging from television broadcasting to telephony and internet, disaster management and tele-medicine. Isro meanwhile can use these ground stations to communicate with its own satellites.

Sources said the first of the five ground stations, coming up in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, will be ready for commissioning on January 9, and may be inaugurated as early as January 15. “We have an Indian firm, Alpha Design Technologies, implementing the project, which will also see 100 VSATs (Very Small Aperture Terminals) connected to the ground station, taking for the first time TV broadcasting to many remote areas in Bhutan,” the source said. The station in Thimphu is seen as India’s counter to the satellite tracking infrastructure created by China in Tibet.

A similar project in Afghanistan is set to come up later.

The infrastructure is being created as an extension of the South Asia Satellite launched on May 5, 2017. “The MEA and Isro are very serious about this mission, and Isro is committed to provide all support,” said Isro chairman Sivan K. “We will even send out our people to help the countries utilise our satellite service. We hosted representatives from all these countries on December 12 in New Delhi to chart out future plans.”

Last year, Isro had installed and commissioned a few terminals in each of these countries which, through Isro’s station in New Delhi, demonstrated how useful such infrastructure was for television broadcasting, video conferencing and data messaging. “Based on this success, these countries have requested the Indian government to give them full-fledged ground stations (with 7.5m antennas) and connect them to hundreds of 1.2 meter-antenna terminals so that they can have their own captive network. The first such network is coming up in Bhutan,” an official said.

Ten days ago, a 10-member Bangladesh delegation visited India to finalise the project that will have at least 100 terminals spread across that country and one large ground station, most likely in Dhaka.

Col (retd) HS Shankar, CMD of Alpha Design, said: “Thanks to Isro, which recognises our track record, we will be part of the implementation of the project in all five countries for whom the South Asia satellite was launched. We’ve begun work everywhere, but Bhutan is a priority.”

The South Asia Satellite – launched on May 5, 2017 – cost India an estimated Rs 450 crore (including launch cost and other variables) while the satellite itself cost about Rs 235 crore.

Demand for small terminals

Apart from the five large terminals, there’s demand for 100 VSATs — two-way terminals that allow telephony and internet—in each of the five countries, while Bhutan wants an additional 35 terminals with only receiving capability.

“Unlike VSATs, these are called ROTs (receive only terminals), and work like set-top boxes in our homes, which only receive information,” Krishna Gopal, vice-president (SATCOM) at Alpha explained.

Maldives, on the other hand, has expressed interest in establishing disaster management centres in 100 of the 200 inhabited islands in the country. “After Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives projects kick off, and are completed in three months, they’ll take up Nepal and Sri Lanka,” said the source..

Afghanistan, which is keen on getting 100 terminals and a ground station, will have to wait since the project is on a backburner due to security concerns.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com...ons-for-5-neighbours/articleshow/67357464.cms
 

IndoCarib

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ISRO going great guns ! Govt has already earmarked funds for manned space mission. This move is a mutual benefit for all parties. Bring it on China !
 

faithfulguy

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ISRO going great guns ! Govt has already earmarked funds for manned space mission. This move is a mutual benefit for all parties. Bring it on China !
Indians are way ahead of China is space exploration. India already claim that it’s ahead of US, there is no comparison.
 

Skies

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Ten years ago people would mock India for spending in space technology instead of poverty reduction.

But now those who mocked know they were wrong.

India did the right thing. Going to capture a big share of space market.
 

Kaniska

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The Times of India – January 3, 2019

As part of New Delhi’s space diplomacy, a tool the foreign ministry has been trying to wield as part of its neighbourhood-first policy to counter China’s influence in the region, India will set up five large ground stations and more than 500 small terminals in five neighbouring countries – Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Apart from boosting regional cooperation, the move to set up tracking and receiving centres will also help put in place strategic Indian assets on their soil. These stations and terminals will help put in place applications ranging from television broadcasting to telephony and internet, disaster management and tele-medicine. Isro meanwhile can use these ground stations to communicate with its own satellites.

Sources said the first of the five ground stations, coming up in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, will be ready for commissioning on January 9, and may be inaugurated as early as January 15. “We have an Indian firm, Alpha Design Technologies, implementing the project, which will also see 100 VSATs (Very Small Aperture Terminals) connected to the ground station, taking for the first time TV broadcasting to many remote areas in Bhutan,” the source said. The station in Thimphu is seen as India’s counter to the satellite tracking infrastructure created by China in Tibet.

A similar project in Afghanistan is set to come up later.

The infrastructure is being created as an extension of the South Asia Satellite launched on May 5, 2017. “The MEA and Isro are very serious about this mission, and Isro is committed to provide all support,” said Isro chairman Sivan K. “We will even send out our people to help the countries utilise our satellite service. We hosted representatives from all these countries on December 12 in New Delhi to chart out future plans.”

Last year, Isro had installed and commissioned a few terminals in each of these countries which, through Isro’s station in New Delhi, demonstrated how useful such infrastructure was for television broadcasting, video conferencing and data messaging. “Based on this success, these countries have requested the Indian government to give them full-fledged ground stations (with 7.5m antennas) and connect them to hundreds of 1.2 meter-antenna terminals so that they can have their own captive network. The first such network is coming up in Bhutan,” an official said.

Ten days ago, a 10-member Bangladesh delegation visited India to finalise the project that will have at least 100 terminals spread across that country and one large ground station, most likely in Dhaka.

Col (retd) HS Shankar, CMD of Alpha Design, said: “Thanks to Isro, which recognises our track record, we will be part of the implementation of the project in all five countries for whom the South Asia satellite was launched. We’ve begun work everywhere, but Bhutan is a priority.”

The South Asia Satellite – launched on May 5, 2017 – cost India an estimated Rs 450 crore (including launch cost and other variables) while the satellite itself cost about Rs 235 crore.

Demand for small terminals

Apart from the five large terminals, there’s demand for 100 VSATs — two-way terminals that allow telephony and internet—in each of the five countries, while Bhutan wants an additional 35 terminals with only receiving capability.

“Unlike VSATs, these are called ROTs (receive only terminals), and work like set-top boxes in our homes, which only receive information,” Krishna Gopal, vice-president (SATCOM) at Alpha explained.

Maldives, on the other hand, has expressed interest in establishing disaster management centres in 100 of the 200 inhabited islands in the country. “After Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives projects kick off, and are completed in three months, they’ll take up Nepal and Sri Lanka,” said the source..

Afghanistan, which is keen on getting 100 terminals and a ground station, will have to wait since the project is on a backburner due to security concerns.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com...ons-for-5-neighbours/articleshow/67357464.cms

I am not really a big fan of Times of India...Unwanted fancy news are published for appeasing some foolish audineces..
It is a fact that India may offer to set up a space station or something like that for neighours...But why everything that has been done by us should be against either China or Pakistan or someone else...Why can not we simply publish a news based on its merit...

And do we think, our neigh ours are living in a fools paradise? If they will get a better deal, they will opt for the better options...So no one is doing any favor to any country....
 

Tshering22

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Ten years ago people would mock India for spending in space technology instead of poverty reduction.

But now those who mocked know they were wrong.

India did the right thing. Going to capture a big share of space market.
Dada, more importantly, this would help your government to also be able to help fishing communities from cyclones and floods, while identifying potential natural disaster areas and taking pre-emptive steps in evacuating citizens from low-lying areas.

Think how much faster your communication between police, military and rescue agencies would happen.

We would also recommend you to join GAGAN initiative which would greatly benefit your air, water and ground transport sector.
 

MBI Munshi

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I am not really a big fan of Times of India...Unwanted fancy news are published for appeasing some foolish audineces..
It is a fact that India may offer to set up a space station or something like that for neighours...But why everything that has been done by us should be against either China or Pakistan or someone else...Why can not we simply publish a news based on its merit...

And do we think, our neigh ours are living in a fools paradise? If they will get a better deal, they will opt for the better options...So no one is doing any favor to any country....
I assume that the article thinks it is against Pakistan and China because it is a military satellite
 

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