Successfully restored VNREDSat-1 satellite system

VNREDSat-1 is Vietnam’s first remote sensing satellite system, an active and proactive monitoring tool for environmental resource management, scientific research, training, supporting socio-economic sustainable development as well as the task of protecting national sovereignty. The operation of the satellite over the past 9 years (since its successful launch on 7/5/2013) is proof of Vietnam’s proactive development in the field of space technology.

VNREDSat-1 system has fulfilled the role of Vietnam’s first earth observation satellite system to successfully provide valuable satellite image data for Vietnamese. However, due to the relative long operation and exploitation time, nearly 4 years more than the design life of the system (average lifespan of satellite systems of the same generation is 5 years), from the end of 2021, the VNREDSat-1 system encountered a serious technical error related to the system hardware that stores operational data and controls the VNREDSat-1 satellite system. This technical error has exceeded the self-healing ability, causing the system to temporarily stop operating and exploiting from 9/11/2021 to 25/3/2022. 

When contacting the satellite manufacturer, experts recommended that the system be reinstalled almost completely after recovering the physical damage of the VNREDSat-1 data storage and control system (SAN system). This can cost about 2 billion VND and take about 3 to 6 months depending on the seriousness of the technical fault, not to mention the time to carry out the necessary administrative procedures to develop the repair contract. However, with their best efforts, in the spirit of cost saving and the desire to put the VNREDSat-1 system into operation and exploitation, the staff at the Center for Control and Operation of Small Satellites, Institute of Space Technology, cooperating with Vietnamese experts in data recovery on large server storage systems, completely restored the system control servers and brought VNREDSat-1 satellite to continue taking pictures from 04/04/2022.

This success marks a mature step, bringing valuable experiences to the engineers operating the VNREDSat-1 system, and at the same time, saving a large amount of money, significantly shortening the unexploited satellite time in orbit. Up to now, the satellite system has continued to capture 280 scenes, including more than 80 scenes of good quality, promptly and directly serving remote sensing data requests to customers.

VNREDsat-1 photo taken in Huế on April 8

VNREDsat-1 photo taken in Bắc Kạn province on April 12

With the experience gained during operation, the engineers of the Small Satellite Operations and Control Center assessed that the system could continue to operate well in the near future. Especially according to the analysis of French experts and the consultation of regular customers, after nearly 9 years of operation, the images obtained by VNREDSat-1 satellite are still of good quality and effective for use for socio-economic development applications, ensuring national defense - security. This is also an encouragement for the engineers at the Center for Control and Operation of Small Satellites - Institute of Space Technology to continue their efforts to ensure the safe operation of the VNREDSat-1 system.

Translated by Phuong Ha
Link to Vietnamese version

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