Inverted position of the RazakSat with panels folded to the side. Note the camera at one end
RazakSAT is equipped with a medium-sized aperture camera (MAC), a pushbroom camera with 5 linear detectors (1 panchromatic, 4 multi-spectral) to capture high resolution images of the Earth along the near equatorial orbit. The 2.5mm Medium Sized Aperture Camera on the satellite has a ground sampling distance of 2.5m (black and white or panchromatic) and 5m (colour or multi-spectral) and at the nominal altitude of 685 km, MAC has a swath width of 20 km. The size resolution is said to be similar in clarity as looking at a container truck from space. Thus RazakSAT is expected to provide high resolution images of Malaysia that can be applied to land management, resource development and conservation, forestry, fish migration and security. It is the last application that really interest me as now Malaysia can secure its own geospatial information security without relying on third parties. And although it has been reported that for less than RM2,000, you can now have a satellite image of your neighbourhood or a place of interest, Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency director general Darus Ahmad has said that a committee comprising government agencies such as the military and police would vet requests for “sensitive” images. Nonetheless just imagine for yourself the military applications RazakSAT can provide for the defence sector of our country. The availability of the Malaysian home grown high resolution satellite, the RazakSAT stands not only to benefit the country in terms of better management and utilisation of resources but also is something to watch over us.