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The two satellites, LOTUSat-1 and LOTUSat-2, are the first employing the high-resolution technology to capture images in various weather conditions.
LOTUSat-1 and LOTUSat-2 are part of a US$600 million project to establish the Viet Nam National Satellite Center (VNSC) in Ha Noi, which will be the country’s biggest science and technology project.
Each of the satellites is designed to weigh 600 kilograms and to have an orbital lifetime of five years. They can capture images of objects on earth as small as one meter in size.
VNSC director Dr. Pham Anh Tuan said the satellites will be tasked with monitoring and giving out early warnings on weather hazards, as well as keeping track of fish migration at sea to aid Vietnam’s fishing industry.
The Vietnamese government has paid more attention to natural disaster management in recent years in the face of climate change. Accurate data from LOTUSat-1 and LOTUSat-2 will help develop an effective weather forecasting tool and provide maps to guide disaster response.
Once launched, the satellites are expected to help save as much as $150 million a year in disaster-caused damage on the country’s crops, according to experts at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).