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Thailand: Low-Orbit Satellite Trials in Key Sectors

Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, led the opening ceremony of a groundbreaking project seminar focusing on the trial and testing of low-orbit satellite terminals. This initiative aims to revolutionise various sectors, including search and rescue missions, distance education, and telemedicine.

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The project signifies a crucial milestone in Thailand’s application of space technology with low-orbit satellites. It aligns with the national administration’s directives to boost competitiveness and enhance citizens’ quality of life. It marks the initiation of collaboration between the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), the Faculty of Engineering at Prince of Songkla University, and the space technology company in the United States.

The main objective of the project is to conduct experimental trials using Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites in Thailand for various critical missions:

Search and Rescue Missions: the space technology company’s satellite terminals will be strategically installed on ships along the Andaman route from Ao Nang Port to Similan Islands. This setup will simulate rescuing lost tourists who have fallen overboard, demonstrating the efficacy of satellite technology in enhancing maritime safety and rescue operations.

Educational Missions: In remote classrooms in provinces like Phayao or Chiang Rai, the space technology company’s satellite terminals will be installed to facilitate online meetings. These terminals will enable high-quality video streaming, providing a seamless learning experience for students in remote areas, thereby bridging the digital divide in education.

Telemedicine Missions: The space technology company’s satellite terminals will be deployed in public service facilities in remote regions to support the Thai Red Cross Society in connecting the registration system. This will enable the efficient provision of vaccination services to the public, particularly in underserved areas. Tele-consultation for ship’s health officials will also facilitate timely medical assistance for maritime communities.

These innovative trials showcase the transformative potential of digital technology, particularly satellite communication, in addressing societal challenges and advancing key sectors such as education, healthcare, and emergency response. The collaboration between GISTDA, Prince of Songkla University, and the space technology company underscores the importance of international partnerships in driving technological innovation and fostering sustainable development.

Utilising low-orbit satellite terminals for search and rescue missions significantly advances maritime safety and emergency response capabilities. By installing the space technology company’s satellite terminals on ships along the Andaman route, authorities can effectively simulate rescuing lost tourists who have fallen overboard. Establishing reliable communication and tracking systems in remote maritime locations can greatly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of search and rescue operations, ultimately saving lives and ensuring the safety of individuals at sea.

Furthermore, implementing the space technology company’s satellite terminals in remote classrooms highlights the potential of digital technology in revolutionising education delivery. In provinces like Phayao or Chiang Rai, where access to quality education is limited, these terminals can provide a lifeline for students and educators. These terminals’ high-quality video streaming capabilities enable seamless online meetings and interactive learning experiences, bridging the gap between urban and rural education facilities.

In telemedicine, deploying the space technology company’s satellite terminals in public service facilities in remote areas is a game-changer. These terminals can support the Thai Red Cross Society in connecting the registration system, enabling the efficient provision of vaccination services to the public. Tele-consultation for ship’s health officials can also ensure timely medical assistance for maritime communities, improving healthcare access and outcomes in underserved regions.

The collaborative efforts between GISTDA, Prince of Songkla University, and SpaceX underscore the importance of international cooperation in driving technological innovation. By leveraging the expertise and resources of these organisations, Thailand is at the forefront of utilising space technology for the benefit of its citizens. The successful implementation of these trials has the potential to transform various sectors, from emergency response and education to healthcare, paving the way for a more connected and resilient society.


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