Japanese firms to build Vietnam’s weather satellite

By Dat Nguyen   October 19, 2019 | 03:18 am PT
Japanese firms to build Vietnam’s weather satellite
Satellite image of storm Podul approaching Vietnam on August 28, 2019. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
Vietnam will partner with Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo and tech firm NEC to build a satellite to forecast weather and survey damage caused by disasters.

NEC will design, manufacture and train Vietnamese staff at a satellite making facility in Japan, then transfer the technology to Vietnam, officials said at the contract signing ceremony Friday.

The earth observation satellite LOTUSat-1, set to be launched in 2023, is estimated to cost $184 million, with the majority of funding coming from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Weighing 600 kilograms, the satellite will be able to detect objects with widths of a meter wide on earth. It will gather information expected to help minimize the impacts of natural disasters such as storms that hit Vietnam every year.

The satellite is part of the Vietnam National Space Center, the country's largest science project approved by the government in 2009.

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