February 28, 2024

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New Indonesian Satellites to Bridge the Digital Divide

In the year 2024, Indonesia is set to embark on a stride in its technological advancement with the launch of two satellites, namely the Nusantara-5 satellite, also known as SATRIA-2, and the NEO-1 satellite. These satellite ventures mark a profound commitment by Indonesia towards bolstering digital transformation initiatives, fostering advancements in earth observation capabilities, fortifying maritime surveillance efforts, and delving into the intricacies of measuring the earth’s magnetic field.

Image credits: brin.go.id

The Nusantara-5 satellite, SATRIA-2, is poised to play a crucial role in revolutionising connectivity across the archipelago by providing enhanced broadband internet services, thereby bridging the digital divide and empowering communities with access to vital online resources and information.

Moreover, its capabilities extend beyond communication infrastructure, as it promises to contribute significantly to disaster management, agricultural monitoring, and environmental conservation efforts through its advanced earth observation functionalities.

Meanwhile, the NEO-1 satellite represents Indonesia’s commitment to strengthening its national security and surveillance capabilities, particularly in its maritime domain. Equipped with cutting-edge sensors and imaging technologies, NEO-1 will serve as a vigilant guardian, monitoring and safeguarding Indonesia’s vast territorial waters against various threats, including illegal fishing activities, environmental degradation, and maritime security risks.

This was conveyed by the Head of the Space Research Centre, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Emanuel Sungging Mumpuni, when delivering the Indonesian Government’s general statement at the 61st Scientific and Technical Subcommittee (STSC) Session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), in Vienna.

“Indonesia fully endorses this subcommittee as a means to enhance cooperation and foster mutual understanding regarding the peaceful exploration and utilisation of outer space.”

In addition to outlining Indonesia’s commitment to global collaboration in space science, Sungging provided insights into the nation’s space activities during the preceding year of 2023. Notably, he highlighted the successful launch of the Nusantara-3 satellite, also known as SATRIA-1, aimed at catalysing the advancement of digital transformation initiatives within Indonesia.

The launch of SATRIA-1 aimed to foster and sustain the digital economy, educational activities, and healthcare services. The digital economy has become a driving force for economic growth with the presence of e-commerce platforms that enable local businesses to reach a broader market.

Mahfud MD, a former Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia, stated that digital technology has significantly transformed educational activities as well, enabling remote learning and access to various educational resources. Moreover, digital technology has benefited from healthcare services, allowing remote medical consultations, real-time patient monitoring, and more effective health data management. “The presence of digital technology has bridged the needs of Indonesian society,” he explained.

Furthermore, Mahfud MD also mentioned that digital technology disrupts a policy more efficiently and effectively by improving digitally-based public services. One of the government’s efforts to enhance public services is the launch of the SATRIA-1 Multifunctional Satellite.

In this opportunity, Sungging underscored the importance of enhanced international cooperation by detailing strategic agreements, such as the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA) and the recalibrated implementation strategies with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), indicative of Indonesia’s proactive engagement on the global space stage.

On a separate occasion, Sungging elucidated Indonesia’s endeavours in space research and development. He was presenting a comprehensive overview titled “Indonesia’s Astronomical Observatory: A Novel Global Platform for Space Research Enhancing Peaceful Applications and Space Situational Awareness.”

This presentation sheds light on the progress achieved at the Timau Astronomical Observatory, situated in East Nusa Tenggara, highlighting its pivotal role in advancing scientific understanding and promoting peaceful applications of space technology.

Additionally, Sungging delivered a presentation regarding “Indonesian Contribution to Regional Space Weather Research and Observation,” showcasing Indonesia’s active involvement in regional initiatives aimed at understanding and mitigating the effects of space weather phenomena for enhancing Indonesia’s agriculture.


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