Jakarta. President Joko Widodo on Thursday inaugurated the homegrown Lapan A2 satellite, set to be the first put into orbit specifically to monitor Indonesia’s waters.
The satellite is also the first to be developed and built entirely in the country, by the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan).
“The satellite will be very beneficial [for Indonesia] as we will be able to see clearly from above the ships going in and out of the country,” Joko said at the Lapan satellite center in Bogor, south of Jakarta, on Thursday.
“It will be able to monitor anything – our farmland, weather and maritime [sic].”
Joko added the satellite would be crucial in the government’s wider policy to develop its maritime economy and capabilities.
The satellite will be used to monitor ship traffic, marine security, fisheries stocks and coastal resources.
Lapan chief Thomas Djamaluddin said the 78-kilogram satellite would orbit above the equator, 650 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. No launch date or provider has been given yet.
Lapan’s last satellite, the A1 or Lapan-TUBSat, a remote-sensing satellite for natural resources observation and weather forecasting, was built in collaboration with the Technical University of Berlin and launched in 2007 from the Indian space center’s Sriharikota site in the Bay of Bengal.