In 2015, CNES and GISTDA signed a letter of intent to foster cooperation on a range of space applications. Then, on 20 June of this year, they co-organized a conference in Bangkok on the theme of space and agriculture, which Thailand has made a priority of its space remote-sensing requirements. The agreement signed today aims to further improve the standardization and calibration of the THEOS satellite’s optical instrument, by sharing its capacity plus calibration techniques from SADE. Developed by CNES, SADE is a database on the optical instruments of various Earth observation satellites.
France and Thailand have long enjoyed very good space relations, on account of the trust built up with the launch of five Thaicom satellites by Ariane. Created in 2000, GISTDA’s mission focuses mainly on operational Earth-observation applications. The development by French industry of the THEOS Earth-observation satellite, as part of an intergovernmental agreement, consolidated France-Thailand cooperation which has been further bolstered by regular meetings of a joint committee composed of CNES and GISTDA executives, Foreign Ministry officials and industry representatives.
After the signing ceremony, Jean-Yves Le Gall talked about COP22 in Marrakech this November, where space will play a major role following the decisions made at COP21 in Paris. The resulting New Delhi Declaration in particular marks a real turning point in the use of space assets to tackle climate change. Addressing his hosts, he expressed his wish to work together more closely with Thailand to combat climate change.
Following the meeting, he added: “I am delighted at the signing of this agreement which will give renewed impetus to space cooperation between France and Thailand—one of the very first countries to have acquired a national Earth Observation satellite. A true trailblazer in space for the Asia-Pacific region, Thailand is now steadily confirming its ambitions in space applications, for which France is very glad to supply its technology.”