The APSCO Applied High Resolution Satellite Project (APRS) was initiated and put forward during the Second Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting of APSCO in October 2008, which aimed to incorporate existing space resources and capability from APSCO Member States and achieve mutual benefits in space technology development and remote sensing data applications.
During the First Council Meeting of APSCO, the APRS Project was one of the six projects which were approved. While prior to the project implementation, the feasibility study and investigation of key elements were also required by the Council, and this action was confirmed during the Second Meeting of the Council. The feasibility study was accomplished in 2010 with the efforts and contributions of itsMemberStatesand interested countries. It was decided to implement two optical remote sensing satellites in staggered approach. And it was determined by the Council to procure the first satellite system from the international market. The second one would be implemented after the accumulation of experiences, maturity of technology and enough financial support is obtained.
Following are the major events related to this project:
1 The First Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting on Feasibility Study of APRS Project
The First Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting on Feasibility Study of APRS Project was held inBeijing,Chinafrom 6 to 12 April 2010. 15 experts from theMemberStatesand interesting countries attended this meeting.
There were six technical sessions in the meeting as follows:
(i) User requirements confirmation
(ii) Objective andMissiondefinition
(iii) System and architecture definition
(iv) Project Implementation Plan
(v) Cost and Benefit Analysis
(vi) Financial Implication and tasks allocation
The First Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting defined the overall project objective as follows: Design and implementation of the project should maximally use the satellite capability equipped with high resolution sensors to meet as much as possible the application needs. These were mainly urban planning, cartography, and detailed land survey along with:
a. Agriculture and forest monitoring
b. Disaster monitoring and assessment
c. Mineral exploration
Besides, the project should also focus on following aspects:
a. Ground segment interoperability among Member States
b. Auxiliary and experimental payloads from Member States
c. Cost-effective solution
Besides, the system configuration, implementation plan, cost and benefit analysis, and financial implications and tasks allocations were discussed broadly. It was agreed among participating experts that all study documents would be further updated based on outputs from the First Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting, and would be circulated by the participants for feedback and should be finalized in the Second Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting.
2 The Second Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting on Feasibility Study of APRS Project
The Second Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting on Feasibility Study of APRS Project was held inBeijing,Chinafrom 7 to 25 June 2010. 25 Experts from theMemberStatesand interested countries attended this meeting.
In order to make the Second Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting efficient and effective, a preparatory meeting was called. Agenda, meeting contents and organizational arrangement were discussed broadly among all participants and confirmed in the preparatory meeting. As well, the chairperson was clearly determined for each session as the consensus reached by all participating experts.
During the meeting, preliminary technical requirements along with the trade-offs against the system and subsystems were proposed and discussed thoroughly. It was recognized by all participants that in the Second Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting of APRS Project the technical deliberation was done to reach consensus on the assigned issues. System and architecture definition was generally consolidated though some points were left open relating to the detailed design phase. Besides, programmatic issues, tasks, implementation plan, cost and benefit analysis based on scenarios defined in the meeting were broadly discussed and agreement was reached to certain extent. Cost analysis was emphasized to be revalidated by the experts of Member States, and feedback should be provided to APSCO Secretariat.
3 The First Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting of APRS Project - Phase A
As the follow-up to the decision of the Third Council Meeting, the First Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting of APRS Project Phase-A was held at APSCO Headquarter inBeijing,Chinafrom 4 to 8 April 2011. The experts from seven Member States of APSCO and interested country participated in the meeting, namely Bangladesh, China, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Thailand, Peru and Ukraine, all together 20 delegates.
The meeting mainly focused on the discussion on several key elements of the projects including: System Requirement Definition, Know-how and Technology Transfer Requirements, Procurement Philosophy, APSCO Project Exploitation Principle and Budget Estimation.
With the efforts of the experts fromMemberStatesand Interested Countries, the First Ad-Hoc Committee Meeting of APRS Project Phase- A was successful, and the meeting objective was achieved. All technical requirements were consolidated which was used as the baseline for the forthcoming Request for Information (RFI) stage. Besides, some significant notes on agreement were taken as follows:
(i) It was agreed that the payloads configuration requirements towards the 2 meter resolution satellite was shown as follows:
- Primary Payloads: Panchromatic (Pan)/Multi-spectral Imager (MSI) +Wide Field Imager (WFI)
- Optional Payload: Hyper-spectral Spectral Imager (HSI)
- Priority on the primary payloads operation: 1) Pan 2) WFI 3) MSI
(ii) It was agreed that the Back-up Ground Control Station was required as the full redundancy to the main Ground Control Station and with the same configuration to the main. It will function to work only when the Main Ground Control Station allows.
(iii) It was agreed that the facilities of the Main/Backup Ground Control Station and one Receiving Station in the scope of the project belongs to APSCO assets wherever they were located. The hosting site should be independent to the satellite system procurement contract. Also, Participating Countries might arrange their own receiving station (s) to receive data from the satellite, but these facilities were not included in the project. Besides, participating experts accepted in principle that the Hosting Countries would contribute the satisfied sites with supporting infrastructures to APSCO as above mentioned Customer Furnished Items. Also the entities should guarantee APSCO the free use of the infrastructure and security for 20 years and supporting related issues. APSCO should cover the regular operational cost. This issue should be further decided in the administrative meeting.
(iv) It was well understood and agreed that the Know How and Technology Transfer (KH/TT) items should be quoted additionally to the main offer. Also, it was agreed that countries would share the cost of corresponding part of KH/TT when they confirmed the above interests at management level.
(v) It was agreed on the percentage of each key component of the project. And it should be noted that the absolute figure of project budget was not finalized. And the specific discussion on that topic by administrative heads should be carried out when quotation results of RFI is successfully achieved.
All experts agreed that the pending issues would be further decided and solved in the Administrative Heads Meeting and APSCO Council.