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Africa Now Has Access to Full-Time, High-Quality Remote Sensing Data

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EIRNS—At the African Satellite Remote Sensing Conference held last week in Pretoria, South Africa, leading South Africa-based space company, Space Commercial Services Aerospace Group (SCG AG), announced the creation of a service to make timely remote sensing data available that covers all of Africa, on a daily basis. The African Satellite Constellation has access to 10 remote sensing satellites that each collect data and images over parts of Africa, at varying intervals. The data from all of the satellites—from China, the U.S. Canada, Europe, and Kazakhstan—will be available to be combined for high-resolution images, at least once a day, which can be critical in the case of natural or manmade disasters, marine security, and other fast-moving events. Three cameras aboard the International Space Station are also part of the Constellation.

The company collects data at ground stations, and offers support for countries to build new mobile ground stations. It collects and then processes the data into images, which are available comercially and can be used for a variety of applications.

"Satellite technology is set to become an indispensable component of smart governance and economic development in Africa to ensure growth and prosperity for all the peoples of the continent," said Dr. Sias Mostert, the head of SCG AG. He described the range of services that can be provided through the Constellation, including crop assessments, forestry management, fire warnings, infrastructure monitoring, and maritime security.

"The time is right for Africa to become part of the worldwide outer space industry, bolstered by amazing technological feats, such as rovers on Mars, close-up satellite fly-bys of Mercury and Pluto, a craft landing on an asteroid, NASA’s aim to send humans to Mars...." Within a decade every African, in even the remotest part of the continent, will be able to access the Internet on a mobile device directly through satellites," he said.