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Turkey ready to produce new satellites for Azerbaijan

(7 October 2016, By Nigar Abbasova at Azerbaijan and Turkey, the two neighboring countries and strategic partners, enjoy opportunities to strengthen their cooperation in the sphere of satellite industry.

Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communications Ahmet Arslan told Trend that Turkey is ready to produce low-orbit (LEO) and gestational (GEO) satellites for Azerbaijan, as soon as the operating time of Azersky and Azerspace-1 spacecrafts expires.

Arslan said that the Center of Testing and Integration of Space-Based Systems (USET) operates under the state-owned Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI). The centre, which is considered as the first satellite test facility of Turkey and one of the world’s outstanding facilities, allows to assemble and test various types of satellites.

“Work on the creation of the first indigenous satellite is currently underway in the centre. In this regard, USET experts can assemble communication satellites and spacecrafts for exploring the Earth for Azerbaijan,” he said.

Turkey’s first indigenous satellite Türksat 6A, manufactured in USET, is slated for completion by 2019. Türksat is one of the world’s top 20 satellite operators and its goal is to become one of the world’s top-10 countries with implementation of 10 satellites by 2023.

Moreover, the minister added that Turkey is also ready to provide Azerbaijan with resources of its Göktürk-2, which is Turkey’s first high-resolution remote sensing earth observation satellite.

He mentioned that it is also possible to exchange resources and expand the coverage of the Turkish satellite geolocation system on the territory of Azerbaijan.

Arslan also suggested cooperation between universities of the two countries on designing of CanSat mini satellites.

Azercosmos, Science Development Fund under the President of Azerbaijan and TÜBITAK UZAY (Space Technologies Research Institute) of Turkey signed a memorandum of mutual understanding on cooperation in the space industry in 2015.

The document envisages exchange experience in the sphere of space technologies, conduction of joint research, use benefits of satellite telecommunication systems, as well as study of the Earth’s surface and the construction of new generation telecommunication systems.

Azerbaijan entered the space club with the launch of its first satellite Azerspace-1 in February 2013. By now, the country has three satellites, a telecommunication and two low orbit satellites, and it plans to launch a second telecommunication satellite in 2017.

Azerspace-1, the first-ever satellite of Azerbaijan, as well as AzerSky high-resolution low-orbit Earth observation satellite are at disposal of Azercosmos, the only satellite operator in the Caucasus.