The Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Ltd has embarked upon a project to send a second satellite to space after the success of the first one known as Bangabandhu-I in partnership with Thales Alenia Space.
Unlike the Bangabandhu-I, the second satellite is designed for observation including environmental monitoring, meteorology and cartography. It can be used to clearly monitor the vast maritime territories of Bangladesh and surrounding countries.
While such satellites have aerial surveillance applications in a military context, they can be used to monitor effects of man-made ecological disasters from poorly planned infrastructure projects in neighbouring countries such as damns, powerplants and river diversion that may pose threats to Bangladesh in the long term.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recommended the type of satellite following exhaustive feasibility studies. It is to be noted the cost for the second satellite will be lower than that of the first one because Bangladesh already has the ground station and other infrastructure in place.
Bangladesh will also not need to lease any orbital slot because the satellite is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite with far less operational altitude.
The Bangladesh government owned satellite management firm is working with Arianespace of France to jointly develop and launch the second satellite in to space before the tenure of the present government expires. The French company has launched more than 850 satellites since 1979 using several versions of its launch vehicles.
Currently it offers the Ariane 5 heavy launcher (780 t), the Soyuz medium launcher (308 t) and the Vega light launcher with 137 t liftoff mass.
Bangladesh became the 57th country in the world to maintain a presence in space.
The country is rapidly developing its technological prowess as it moves forward with its ‘Digital Bangladesh’ plan.