SEOUL, July 4 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea is all set to provide the world with high-resolution commercial satellite imagery from its new satellite, a government ministry said Monday.
The Korea Multipurpose Satellite-3A (KOMSAT-3A), also known as the Arirang-3A, was put into orbit in March last year as part of South Korea’s efforts to emerge as a global power in the space sector.
Built indigenously by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in charge of the nation’s space program, the earth observation satellite offers clear images with a resolution of 0.5 meter or less.
After more than a year of successful test operation, South Korea plans to begin the commercial service of data collected by the satellite on Tuesday, said the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
The KARI will directly offer imagery for “non-profit, public and academic” purposes, while commercial-use image data will be available through the SI Imaging Services (SIIS) distribution network.
It would make South Korea the world’s second nation to enter the 0.5-meter-resolution satellite imagery market after the United States, the ministry said.
The global satellite image market was valued at US$1.6 billion in 2014 and forecast to grow to $3.6 billion in 2014.
The full-fledged use of the Arirang-3A’s imagery is expected to help South Korea save budgets for imports of relevant data and also serve as a chance for publicizing its advanced technology in the field, added the ministry.