SANSA Space Operations and Earth Observation Directorates
Maximising the benefits of space science and technology
The Space Operations and Earth Observation Directorates of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) at Hartebeesthoek – formerly the CSIR Satellite Applications Centre (SAC) – are key components in the implementation of South Africa’s National Space Strategy. SANSA aims to leverage the benefits of space science and technology for socio-economic development, environmental conservation and natural resource management.
Still situated at Hartebeesthoek, some 70 km west of Pretoria in the Magaliesberg mountain range, the SANSA Space Operations and Earth Observation Directorates remain ideally positioned to provide tracking, telemetry and command (TT&C) services for geo-synchronous and polar orbiting spacecraft to the manufacturers, operators and users of satellites and launch vehicles, as well as for satellite data acquisition. SANSA EO delivers Earth observation data relayed from satellites to a range of stakeholders.
Role in local and regional space programmes
SANSA's consolidation of South Africa's primary space entities has brought together a significant range of competencies in satellite applications, satellite engineering and research in space science and technology to play an important role in the country's future space initiatives. SANSA remains committed to delivering quality services to the international space sector, also in the growing Earth observation data management arena.
Distribution of imagery
- SANSA complies with the Spatial Data Information Act and the distribution of imagery under a variety of licenses, including commercial, multi-user government and free data licenses.
- SANSA supports the space initiatives of South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology and is the main operations facility for the locally-commissioned and -built Earth observation satellite, SumbandilaSat.
The vast range of satellite navigation applications, such as in natural resources (mining and agriculture), environmental and disaster management, surveys mapping, Earth sciences, transportation and education, will be explored specifically for the benefit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
SANSA Space Operations at Hartebeesthoek is also involved in satellite navigation through ESESA (www.esesa.org), a European Union Framework Programme 7 project that will be completed in 2011. The project investigated the requirements for extending the EGNOS system to Southern Africa, primarily for use in the aviation sector but also for application in many other sectors. This project will be followed by one aimed at building South Africa's capacity in the use and operation of navigation signals. In parallel, SANSA is working with the EC on the technical requirements to extend EGNOS to South Africa, as related to the planning for the EGNOS system in Europe.