In the matter of the space industry, it seems to be an inapplicable topic for ordinary people. Nevertheless, when tweaking the question into the satellite broadcasting gives people the opportunity to watch the World Cup live broadcasts and cheer on their favorite teams via television. Here is the indicator that demonstrates how people are part of the space industry unknowingly.
The development of the space industry reinforces the strength of domestic technology. In former times, the government sector of each country played a critical role in driving the improvement of the space industry, such as NASA, ESA, JAXA, ISRO, etc. These are all country’s space organizations established by the government of a particular country.
In a globalized world, private sectors are of utmost significance in driving the improvement of the space industry. A familiar example could be Elon Musk’s SpaceX company which offers a space transport service with spectacular features such as reusable launch rocket design or the Starlink satellite internet service.
For a number of decades, Thailand has had GISTDA which works as the main government sector to take responsibility for applying advanced space technology to fully enhance the country’s development. However, GISTDA has shifted its role as a facilitator to facilitate several private space companies in Thailand with the intention to expand their growth and increase the value of Thailand’s space economy.
Assembly Integration and Testing Center (AIT) is one of the country's aerospace industry infrastructures which is located in the Space Inspirium at Sriracha District, Chonburi. With its modernized design to support the development of production, as well as build, assemble and test satellites, particularly a small satellite (10-500 kg weight) under the THEOS-2 project, which is successfully established.
Furthermore, AIT also opens its door to welcome private and educational sectors in the space-related industry in Thailand and the ASEAN region to explore various test equipment within the center while expecting this opportunity will inspire creative and innovative perspectives for the future of space development. The center consists of several testing equipments such as Cleanroom (storage room, loading room, and integration area), Thermal Cycling, Mass Property Measurement, Vibration Test, Thermal Vacuum Chamber, and so on.
In the present day, some equipment has already been installed at the AIT center, such as the Vibration Test or the vibration tester of satellite components, and recently provided Vibration Testing of the Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) to mu Space Corp, a Thai company specializing in the construction of aircraft and satellite components. This collaboration represents the commencement of public-private partnerships to impel Thai space technology.
Because of the know-how transferred directly from England’s experts regarding the concept of building and testing satellites enhance the credibility of the GISTDA engineering team from the view of external sectors, such as the presentation skills on technical information, the test preparation, or the final result deliverables. Additionally, it gives room for discussion between engineers and turns this center into a knowledge incubator to advocate space technology and advancements in Thailand.
The readiness of human resources, equipment, and testing system is a must before anything else. The center emphasizes raising the level of experimentation to meet international standards at all levels. The objective is to implement a standardized testing system and cover all critical dimensions as part of the damage prevention that may arise and affect satellites from the use of external parties.
Unquestionably, all these activities will widen the window of opportunity while adding the value to Thai industrial and service sectors, driving Thailand's space economy, and promoting personnel development in order to transfer the knowledge and push forward the space industry to a higher level.
Over and above, Assembly Integration and Testing Center helps promote Thailand to become a nation at the forefront of space affairs in the ASEAN region. Due to the number of test equipment available in all dimensions necessary for testing a satellite before the actual launch. Since the center is located in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), exclusive tax privileges exist for investors either importing or exporting. This allowance is another vital factor that will attract more agencies in the aerospace-related industry within the ASEAN region to come and participate in other services.
From the Thai people’s point of view, Assembly Integration and Testing Center will fulfill the space ecosystem commencing with building and developing satellites until executing data from the use of satellites. Indeed, the existence of the AIT center allows the creativity of the younger generation and the positive movement of technology-driven from the private sector. Ultimately, the synergy will lead to space advancement, sophisticated innovation, and economic improvement. In the end, this is another invaluable mission from GISTDA in bringing space transformation to boost Thai society.
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