February 21, 2024

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Indonesia-India Space Collaboration Unveiled

Developing space sector innovation is Indonesia’s primary focus, diligently realised through various strategic partnerships. The successful launch of SATRIA, achieving connectivity milestones by delivering internet speeds of up to 150Gbps, marks a significant achievement for Indonesia in space exploration.

Image credits: brin.go.id

Furthermore, to sustain the progress and advancements in space technology, Indonesia continues its collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This collaboration, initiated in 1995, has evolved into a crucial milestone, enriching knowledge and exploring the latest innovations in the space sector, as highlighted by Mila Kencana, the Head of the Legal and Cooperation Bureau at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN).

BRIN plays a central role in fostering this collaboration. Mila Kencana explained that the cooperation began with India’s initiative to establish the Tracking, Telemetry & Command (TT&C) ground station in Biak, Papua, supporting the efficient launch of the Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). The Indonesian government welcomed India’s desire to collaborate, marking the beginning of a productive collaborative relationship in the space sector.

Over time, the collaboration between Indonesia and India has continued to evolve. The pinnacle was reached in 2018 when both governments signed the Framework Agreement on Space Exploration and Utilisation for Peaceful Purposes. This agreement reflects a shared commitment to space exploration and utilisation for peaceful purposes, encompassing not only the development of space technology but also scientific research, knowledge exchange, and the utilisation of space-related outcomes for the benefit of both nations.

This collaboration strengthens Indonesia’s position in the global space arena and creates new opportunities for economic growth, technological capacity enhancement, and sustainable scientific collaboration between the two countries. With a strong determination and a solid foundation of collaboration, Indonesia and India continue to explore the potential of space for peaceful purposes and mutual progress.

Mila expressed optimism about this collaboration, emphasising that with BRIN’s consolidation, ample human resources, and substantial infrastructure, Indonesia should be able to take over responsibilities as planned since 1995. Mila mentioned that the Transfer Agreement and IA Further Use are currently in the internal approval stage by the Indian government through ISRO and are envisioned to be signed soon. She believed that Indonesia can prepare human resources capable of acquiring knowledge transfer from experts predominantly from India.

Mila explained that numerous benefits will be gained from this collaboration, including transferring ownership of the Biak ground station from ISRO to BRIN. This is considered fundamental and crucial, signifying the continuity of cooperation and Indonesia’s capability.

Additionally, ISRO will provide satellite launch services using its vehicles. “There are two BRIN-made satellites that are not charged, and, of course, equally important is the enhancement of research and researcher, engineer, or technician capabilities,” added Mila.

Salim Mustofa, Director of Strengthening and Infrastructure Partnership at the Research and Innovation Agency, mentions that the progress of this collaboration has reached the signing stage and is planned to be executed soon.

“Biak is considered strategic for India to facilitate and launch their rocket activities and track launched satellites,” Salim explained. “It is expected that through Biak, satellite data reception activities can cover 20% of the ASEAN region; this is already included in ISRO and India’s grand design for the future,” Salim further elaborated.

Salim emphasised that space development is a crucial step for a country. “The importance of utilising space data for various sectors, including agriculture, the environment, and disaster mitigation. By collectively exploring the potential of space data, Indonesia and ISRO can present innovative solutions to local and global challenges,” he concludes.

Salim expressed optimism that the collaboration between Indonesia and ISRO will continue and develop into a closer and sustainable partnership. He emphasises that this collaboration goes beyond satellite launches or space infrastructure, encompassing knowledge exchange, human resource capacity development, and shared innovation. With a mutual understanding of each country’s needs and potential, this collaboration can have broader and more profound impacts on the space sector and related technological developments.


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