PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network

The Global Social Network

The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), best known as the SUPARCO (Urdu:ا سپا ر كو or پاکستان خلائی و بالا فضائی تحقیقاتی ماموریہ) is an executive agency of the Government of Pakistan, responsible for nation's public and civil space program and aeronautics and aerospace research. It was established in its modern form in 1961 by an executive order of President Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan on the advice of its founding director, Abdus Salam. The agency is part of Pakistan Defence Forces's Strategic Plans Division (SPD) under the current control of Pakistan Army. The SPD is headed by the Army's retired three star general Lieutenant-General Khalid Kadwai. SPD headquarters are located at the Pakistan Air Force controlled Chaklala Cantonment.

The executive figure of the agency is Major-General Ahmed Bilal who is heading the agency as the current chairman of SUPARCO, while he is also serving his tenure as Colonel Commandant of Pakistan Army Corps of Signals Engineering.

Please see attached pdf for a detailed presentation on SUPARCO.

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#Pakistan acquires another #communication satellite. #DTH https://tribune.com.pk/story/1666876/1-pakistan-acquires-another-communication-satellite/

Pakistan marked on Thursday another significant milestone in space technology by securing a geostationary orbital slot along with previous frequency resources ensuring a continuous and expanding foothold in the extraterrestrial world.

The Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) inked a deal with China Great Wall Industry Cooperation (CGWIC) to acquire communication satellite PakSat Multi Satellite(PakSat-MM1).

PakSat MM-1 is believed to prove to be another major asset to initiate and expand various communication services including Direct to Home (DTH).

It will help Beijing and Islamabad to strengthen their bilateral ties not only through the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative and but also by enhancing cooperation and capacity in the field of science and technology.

The signing ceremony was held at the Planning Commission of Pakistan and was attended by the federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Chinese ambassador Yao Jing among other senior officials.

On February 28, the communication satellite PakSat-MM1 arrived at Pakistan’s geostationary orbital location of 38.2 East.

The satellite will be a valuable addition to our geo-stationary fleet, the Suparco spokesperson said.

“The project has paved the way for new communication service which will significantly aid in the socio-economic development of the country” the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, Suparco will collaborate in a business venture with CGWIC on cost and revenue sharing basis via a commercial contract.

Previously, the successful implementation of Pakistan’s first communication Satellite (Paksat-1R) programme laid the foundation for further collaboration between the two countries. 

Pakistan pushes for homegrown satellite development
By: Usman Ansari

https://www.defensenews.com/space/2018/05/03/pakistan-pushes-for-ho...

Pakistan has launched an ambitious satellite program as part of ongoing efforts to wean itself off dependence on foreign-owned assets for civil and military applications.

Pakistan’s domestic space agency, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, or SUPARCO, will receive a budget of just more than $40 million for fiscal 2018-2019.

Of this, some $22 million has been allocated for space centers related to the Pakistan Multi-Mission Satellite in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore, plus the establishment of a research center in Karachi.

To get all the news about space and strategic systems delivered to your inbox every month, be sure to sign up for our Military Space Report newsletter.

However, the final cost of all three aspects of the project is reported in local media as being in the region of $470 million.

No response from SUPARCO was forthcoming when asked by Defense News regarding details about foreign cooperation on this endeavor, although existing information on planned remote sensing satellite programs list an electro-optical sensor-equipped satellite, and a synthetic aperture radar-equipped example.

An existing communications satellite partially co-developed in Pakistan, PAKSAT-1R, was launched by China Great Wall Industry Corporation in 2011.

“It is essential for all countries that they free themselves from dependence on U.S.-location satellite programs,” said Brian Cloughley, author, analyst and former Australian defense attache to Islamabad.

“I have no doubt this has been [in] the cards for some time and that the Chinese are helping.”

Defense News previously reported that Pakistan’s military had access to China’s BeiDou satellite navigation system for military applications, which had special implications for the effectiveness of its sea-based deterrent.

Pakistan also has a long-standing satellite development agreement with Turkey, which has its own recently unveiled observation satellite program.

However, at present it is unknown if anything has resulted from this, or if it will be pushed further down the road.

Cloughley believes it would take a long time to come to fruition, making cooperation with China more likely still.

Also, on cost grounds alone for the new program, Cloughley believes it likely that reliance on China will grow.

“The big question about this development is about where the money is to come from. Pakistan’s economic situation is dire, and commitment to such a program will not meet with [International Monetary Fund] approval. The China connection will probably deepen even further,” he said.

Whether China’s satellite technology will meet Pakistan’s requirements is unknown.

Brian Weeden, director of program planning at Secure World Foundation and an expert in space technologies and satellites, is unaware of the details of any satellites China may be building for Pakistan. However, he “would rate China’s technology in these areas as fairly good.”

“They’re not yet as capable as the most advanced American or European commercial technology, let alone the U.S. or European military satellites, but the Chinese technology is rapidly improving,” he said. 

Pakistan to set up its own Space Centre for Satellite production & development

https://www.techjuice.pk/pakistan-to-set-up-its-own-space-centre-fo...

On 14 May 2018, the Government of Pakistan announced that it will establish the Pakistan Space Centre (PSC) to start the domestic development and manufacturing of satellites. According to a report by Pakistan’s state-owned Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), the PSC will undertake its programs “in accordance with international space standards” in the coming years.

The APP also reports that Pakistan will complete feasibility studies for two new projects:
  • Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite 02 (PRSS-02) with “sub-meter” resolution image capture capability.
  • Second, the Pakistan Navigation Satellite System (PakNav), which will provide Pakistan with “independent satellite navigation for both civilian and strategic purposes”.

The PRSS-1 was initially scheduled for launch (by China) in March 2018, but this has been delayed due to some reasons. However, Pakistan is still committed to launching it in 2018.

The initiative, if it becomes a reality, would be a big step forward to the space development programs in Pakistan.

Recently, Pakistan and China signed an agreement for the development and launch of PakSat Multi-Mission Satelite (PakSat-MM1) as well. PakSat-MM1 will primarily function as a communications satellite with the capability to provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) services. The PakSat-MM1 will primarily serve a commercial role, e.g. provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) services.

Two #Pakistani #Satellites launched into orbit by #China: #Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite-1 (PRSS-1) for day/night surveillance, PakTES-1A satellite, a scientific experiment satellite designed and developed by #Pakistan #space agency #SUPARCO 

http://spacenews.com/two-chinese-launches-in-24-hours-deliver-pakis...


China launched twice July 9, with an early Long March 2C launch of two satellites for Pakistan into low Earth orbit being followed up with a Long March 3A mission to back up China’s Beidou navigation satellite system.

The first launch saw the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite-1 (PRSS-1) lofted from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in a desert region of Gansu province, northwest China, at 03:56 UTC July 9 (11:56 p.m. Eastern July 8).

The optical satellite was put into a 588 by 624 kilometer orbit inclined by 98 degrees by the Long March 2C/SMA configuration which uses an upper stage.

PRSS-1 was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and is based on a CAST-2000 satellite bus. Its imaging system provides panchromatic and multispectral imaging at 1-meter and 4-meter resolution, respectively, with a swarth width of around 60 kilometers.

It will be used for land and resources surveying, monitoring of natural disasters, agriculture research, urban construction and providing remote-sensing information for the establishment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and in the Belt and Road initiative, according to Chinese state media.

PRSS-1 was accompanied by the smaller PakTES-1A satellite, a scientific experiment satellite designed and developed by Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO).

CAST is a subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the main contractor for the Chinese space program, which also provided the launch service. CAST also stated it provided training to Pakistan personnel as part of the satellite package, with SUPARCO to operate PRSS-1 after on-orbit delivery.

China has in recent years adopted a strategy of offering turnkey projects which include satellite manufacture and launch as well as possible financing mechanisms. The country has launched communications and other satellites for countries including Belarus, Laos, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nigeria.

Space Summer School Concluded At Institute Of Space Technology (IST)
Sumaira FH 4 hours ago Mon 30th July 2018 | 03:53 PM

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/space-summer-school-concluded...

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Jul, 2018 ) :Space Summer school (SSS) organized with the participation of over 100 students of 60 schools and colleges of the country concluded here on Monday at Institute of Space Technology (IST).

The two-week activity based learning covered more than 50 interactive sessions in 10 exploration tracks for students in two levels as abecedarian and virtuoso.

It had a canvas of space themed activities, interactive lectures, hands on workshops, space career counselling, Dr. Abdus Salam space contest, space creative writing, space creative arts, space Spellathon, webinars and seminars, said a news release issued here.

Dr. Najam Abbas, Director Student Affairs and Programme Head SSS greeted the participants at the concluding session and appraised the accomplishments of Space Summer School under the initiative of Space Technology Education and Popularization (STEP).

The chief guest of the ceremony, Dr. Khurram Iqbal commended the initiative of Institute of Space Technology for creating cognizance about space technology among the youth and educating students about the benefits of space technology.

Dr. Khurram appreciated the efforts of IST for Space Technology education and popularization.

Space Summer School covered ten themes namely the Earth, Atmosphere, Aviation, Rocketry, Satellite Technology, Space Travel, Space for Life, Space Agencies, Astronomy and Astrophysics and space agencies.

It hosted two special webinars with Dr. Aquib Moin from UAE Space Agency�about UAE Mars Mission�and Dr. Nozair Khawaja from Germany�on Astrobiology.�IST also conducted the Dr. Abdus Salam Space Contest on the last day of space summer school in order to gauge the level of space learning of students.

Awards were given to the winners of Space Spellathon, Space creative writing, Space Arts, water rocket, aero modeling and drag parachute competitions. Space Summer School participants were also provided an opportunity to explore Planetarium, Aircraft Technology, CanSat Satellite development, water rocket & Quad- copter Design and Fabrication along with Astrolabe and Telescopy.

#Pakistan's first #space mission to be launched in 2022. An agreement between Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and a #Chinese company has already been signed. #China #CPEC https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/385381-first-pakistani-space-miss...

Pakistan in July this year launched two of its satellites into the orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China.


The satellites, Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite-1 (PRSS-1) and Pakistan Technology Evaluation Satellite-1A (PakTES-1A), were propelled into space through the Chinese Long March 2C launch vehicle.

The PRSS-1 is to be mainly used in Pakistan for land resources survey, evaluation, dynamic monitoring and management, resource utilisation, environmental disaster monitoring, agricultural survey, and urban construction.

The satellite, which has a designed life of seven years, is equipped with two panchromatic/multispectral cameras, with a resolution up to a meter and a coverage range of 60 km.

Bitter rivals blast off as #Pakistan enters #space race with #India. Both plan #astronauts in space in 2022. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-26/bitter-rivals-bl... via @bpolitics

The rivalry between India and Pakistan seems to be extending into outer space.

“The first Pakistani will be sent to space in 2022,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Thursday, the same year that India is planning its first manned mission. Pakistan’s space agency, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, has “an agreement for this venture” with China’s Manned Space Agency, Chaudhry said.


While Pakistan’s financial capabilities for such a mission are seen as limited, the announcement still reflects the latest swipe between the two countries who have fought three wars since the partition of British India in 1947 and still trade fire across a de facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir.

The countries’ bitter rivalry is costing them $35 billion in annual trade, according to a World Bank report.

India has already conducted missions to Mars and the moon, and plans to spend $1.4 billion to send a crew of three to space by 2022, which would put it on track to become the fourth nation to send humans to space.

Pakistan steps forward in astronomy and space sciences

https://www.dawn.com/news/1434638

Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), which is often criticised by Pakistani scientific community for not being on par with its Indian or Chinese counterparts, sent two satellites in space from a launching facility in China this July.

A surprise as it may be, one of the satellites launched the PakTES-1A, which was indigenously designed and developed by Pakistani engineers. Primarily aimed at remote sensing, the satellite is providing promising results, meeting or even exceeding expectations, a senior official of Suparco says.

Talking about the development phase of the satellite, the official says that it was a tough task to complete it on time because the launch date had already been fixed and a delay of not even a day could be afforded.

“The other satellite, PRSS-1, developed by China and Pakistan in collaboration, was due to launch on July 9, and PakTES-1A had to be co-launched, thus the Pakistani engineers worked day and night to have it ready by then,” he says.

--------------


There are currently astronomy societies in Pakistan’s cities of Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta. These societies were started and are being operated by amateur astronomers — enthusiasts who have little to no professional education in astronomy but are guided by their love for the universe.

Biggest telescope
Founded in 2008, the Karachi Astronomers Society is a society that is known for owning one of the biggest private telescopes in Pakistan. Chaired by a retired combat pilot of Pakistan Air Force Khalid Marwat, the society organises star parties for the public at different public places of the city, and sometimes the group also ventures out to dark skies for having a better view of the skies as compared to the massively light-polluted skies of the city of the lights.

The society has an 18-inch diameter telescope which is a prized possession of the society’s chairman Mr Marwat. Apart from that, Mehdi Hussain, former president of the society and an IT expert by profession, has built an astronomical observatory at his home’s rooftop. Named Kaastrodome (Karachi Astronomical Dome) the observatory is fitted with a 12-inch diameter telescope. The dome was built locally in Karachi and was supervised and funded privately by Mr Hussain and his brother Akbar Hussain, who also shares the same interest.

Karachi also is home to Pakistan’s biggest telescope, a 24-inch diameter telescope that is owned by astronomy enthusiast Naveed Merchant. This telescope is bigger than any other private or public telescope in Pakistan.

Recently, the society gained much attention after a photograph of the Moon by one of its members, Talha Zia, made it to NASA’s website Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD).

Mr Zia’s photograph was the first from Pakistan to make it to the prestigious listing of carefully selected astrophotos from around the world. 150 kilometres to the north of Karachi, the city of Hyderabad has its own astronomy society, the Hyderabad Astronomical Society.

The now-dormant society was founded by a group of students of Isra University including Amjad Nizamani and Zeeshan Ahmed on the eve of World Space Week 2011. This was the first-ever session on astronomy in the city and gained much media attention. The society also collaborated with Suparco to organise observing sessions at the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) in Jamshoro, a city next to Hyderabad for the World Space Week 2012.

Politicians, pundits and headlines have speculated for well over a decade regarding a space race between the United States and China. After a congressional hearing in 2006, Representative Tom DeLay said, “We have a space race going on right now and the American people are totally unaware of all this.” Representative Frank Wolf shared that view, specifically regarding a race to the moon, or back to the moon in the case of the United States. “If China beats us there, we will have lost the space program,” said Wolf. “They are basically, fundamentally in competition with us.”

China space analyst Dean Cheng posited in 2007 that the Chinese were “embarking on a systematic space program the world has not seen since the 1960s and for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States is facing real competition.” TIME ran a headline in 2008 stating, “The New Space Race: China vs US” while others speculated on China taking the competitive lead.

While each statement merits consideration, whatever competition is going on in or regarding space between the United States and China, there are other equally strategic competitive space races going on in Asia as well.

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, signed by 107 countries including the United States, describes space as a global commons, one open to peaceful use by all countries. But space assets have considerable strategic value in both the civil and military spheres, from the detection of nuclear weapons blasts to the multibillion dollar businesses that rely on positioning and navigation data provided by systems like the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), making protection of those assets a national interest potentially worth fighting for. Consequently, space is also increasingly described as a warfighting domain – alongside air, land, sea and cyber – especially by the very “space reliant” United States. Those juxtaposed considerations, the rising number of private, commercial space industries, and the largely dual-use nature of space technology, create an environment ripe for multiple competitions.

When the same dual-use technology is of value to both the civil and military communities, as most space technology is, and it is impossible to tell if military technology is for offensive or defensive purposes, ambiguity reigns. But to the military, capability plus intent equals threat, and with intent unclear, capabilities alone can define threats. Additionally, space prowess conveys considerable prestige that transfers into strategic influence. Consequently, government investments in space both increase regional and even global influence and open potential development opportunities through orbital information technology, and provide considerable military advantages (as first demonstrated during the 1990-91 Gulf War, dubbed the first “space war”) and the need to protect the assets providing those advantages. Therefore it is perhaps not surprising that besides the United States and China, India, Pakistan, Japan, and South Korea are all involved in space races of one kind or another.  

https://thediplomat.com/2018/12/asias-many-space-races/

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