This week saw a significant announcement in the field of satellite communications by the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It’s the launch of what is called The Joint Committee on Space Cooperation.
The aim of the committee, not too surprisingly, is to enhance cooperation and enable the space agencies of the member countries to work together more closely. The specific fields in which the five countries aim to cooperate are remote sensing, satellite observation and data sharing.
The Joint Committee on Space Cooperation will enable the space agencies of the participating countries to work together when it comes to environmental protection, disaster prevention and mitigation, and tackling climate change through efficient data sharing and utilisation.
According to PTI and Chinese press reports Zhang Kejian, the head of the China National Space Administration, said at the committee's first virtual meeting on Wednesday that it will guide cooperation on the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation to better serve economic and social development among the member countries.
The BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation was the focus of an agreement in August last year. This calls for the building of a virtual constellation of remote sensing satellites.
The constellation is to be made up of six existing satellites: Gaofen-6 and Ziyuan III 02, both developed by China, CBERS-4, jointly developed by Brazil and China, Kanopus-V type, developed by Russia, and Resourcesat-2 and 2A, both developed by India.
At the first meeting space agencies from the member countries reviewed and adopted documents on the joint committee's terms of reference, the technical specifications for data exchange, and the implementation procedures for joint observation.