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NIBONG TEBAL (May 19): Angkasa-X Holdings Corp hopes an ecosystem for space technology will be established here once its RM30 million Earth Station Farm and state-of-the-art Space Technology Centre are completed by the end of this year.

Executive chairman/chief executive officer Dr Sean Seah said the Earth Station Farm would function as the receiving ground for the satellites it plans to launch next year, whereas the Space Technology Centre would be used for research and development (R&D) for solution technology, as well as assembly, integration and testing of low-earth-orbit satellites.

“The satellite that we build and launch is the upstream component, whereas the downstream component is the ground station and application development,” he told a press conference after the project's ground- breaking ceremony here on Thursday (May 19).

He said possible applications using satellite data include control air quality control, ship-tracking, flood and disaster management.

Seah said Angkasa-X is also looking to collaborate with “space-worthy” Penang-based companies to supply components to be used in its satellites.

“We aim to launch two constellation of satellites. The first is for remote sensing that we target to launch in two to four years. We are also launching our communication satellites from 2024 to the next 10 years,” he added.

The two facilities would be built within the grounds of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) engineering campus, where the university has set aside 0.81 hectares.

USM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan said the centre would also provide basic facilities for students and professionals to gain “hands-on” experience in satellite R&D.

"The cooperation between these two parties would also allow the development of the ‘first-of-its-kind’ professional engineering courses in Asia, to be offered to USM postgraduate candidates to build their technical capability, skills and experience.

“This professional course will be conducted with the cooperation of a private partner that would provide the training materials," he added.