According to the press release by Sunday Mail, the coordinator of the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA), Mr Painos Gweme, confirmed that ZIMBABWE’S first earth-observation satellite, ZimSat-1 is operational and has commenced performing the downlink and uplink functions after a successful orbital stabilisation.
ZimSat-1, an earth-observation and data-transmission satellite equipped with a four-band multispectral optical imager with spectral bands ranging from 550 nm to 790 nm, monitored downlinks and uplinks images of Zimbabwean regions from the Mazowe Earth satellite station, located in the Mashonaland central province of Zimbabwe.
According to Mr Painos, these images hold immense value for various activities, including mineral exploration, environmental monitoring, crop health assessment, mapping human settlements, monitoring disease outbreaks, and generating accurate weather forecasts. “The satellite is mounted with a multi-spectral camera; therefore, the critical information the satellite transmits are images of specific areas in Zimbabwe. Therefore, the images are beneficial and can be used for various applications, including change detection of an area over time, crop health assessment, and environmental monitoring (veld fire assessments, deforestation and land degradation assessment), Mr Painos Gweme commented.
“Our engineers are issuing commands to downlink packets, and in every pass, the station receives 120 packets of data. These packets, a small segment of a larger message in computer networking, are then decoded using special software and converted into an image of a specific area.” In addition, the satellite passes through Zimbabwe two to three times a day, depending on the angle of the pass,” concluded Mr Painos.
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