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Airbus and Namibia to set up virtual space data centre

The Namib desert seen from space. Airbus photo.Airbus and the Namibia University of Science & Technology (NUST) have agreed to collaborate in establishing a Virtual Space Data Centre in Windhoek to assist the country in monitoring and growing key elements of its economy.

The Namibian Virtual Space Data Centre will receive satellite imagery from Airbus’s earth observation satellite constellation comprising the SPOT 6, SPOT 7, Pléiades 1A and 1B optical satellites and the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X synthetic radar satellites, Airbus said on 21 February.

“The Centre will find wide applications in Namibia in the fields of aviation, maritime and land transportation, urbanisation, mapping and surveying, human health, disaster management, food security and sustainable agriculture, environmental monitoring and natural resources management, and so on. This data will be made available to government ministries and various entities,” said NUST Vice Chancellor, Tjama Tjivikua.

The Namibian Government has delegated NUST to host the country’s Institute for Space Technology and mandated it to implement the Virtual Space Data Centre as part of its strategic plan for developing the country’s aerospace, geo-information, earth observation and spatial science capabilities.

“Namibia is a key market for Airbus in Sub-Sahara Africa and we see this initial project as the starting point for a broader relationship with our partners at the NUST and the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, which will include other aerospace themes,” explained Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Airbus Defence and Space for Africa, Middle East, France and UK.