From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Remote sensing constellation
Mains level : Space cooperation amongst BRICS nations
The space agencies of BRICS nations have been negotiating a Framework Agreement to formalize the cooperation on building a ‘virtual constellation of remote sensing satellites’.
About the constellation
- The purpose of the proposed virtual constellation is to get access to satellite remote sensing data, which could be used by the individual BRICS nations for various applications including natural resources management and disaster management.
- There are two phases proposed for the Constellation: phase one, comprising a virtual constellation of existing satellites; and phase two, a new satellite constellation.
- It will create a system for the sharing of remote sensing data, meaning the data from each of the member countries’ existing Earth observation satellites will be made available to all the other members.
Why need such constellation?
- The BRICS represents 43 percent of the world’s population, 30 percent of gross domestic product and 17 percent of global trade and they have been trying to enhance co-operation in different fields, including space.
- Currently, only Brazil, Russia, India and China have remote-sensing satellites in the sun-synchronous orbit, and they will provide data to South Africa, which does not have a satellite of its own.