EghtesadOnline: Two Iranian state agencies are working on a project for expansion of satellite communication services in the country, a deputy ICT minister says.
Morteza Barari, who also heads the Iranian Space Agency, also told IRNA, “A joint project has been launched by ISA and the Telecommunications Infrastructure Company of Iran to expand the country’s satellite communication network.”
According to Barari, three communication satellites are to be deployed in the provinces of Tehran, Isfahan and Hamedan in the near future.
“During the recent floods, we successfully employed satellites for establishing stable communications in the affected areas with the help of private operators,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Devastating floods hit several Iranian provinces in March and April, which claimed dozens of lives.
“Following the successful experience, we are set to deploy communication satellites in all provincial capitals to help authorities sustain services when land-based telecom infrastructure is disrupted,” he added.
The ISA chief noted that the projects can be accelerated with the support of private sector.
“Five national events are to be held in the coming months, through which the agency’s needs are to be introduced to private firms,” he said, without specifying the dates.
Apart from ISA, Iranian Space Research Center is another specialized agency working on the domestic space programs.
Hadi Rezaei, a deputy at ISRC, said, “With an investment of 10 billion rials ($75,100), 37 research projects have been jointly launched by ISRC and the University of Tehran.”
According to the official, 25 professors and dozens of students are working on the projects that cover a wide range of sectors.
One of the projects is related to designing satellite propulsion systems.
Rezaei noted that ISRC plans to expand its collaborations with academic centers and extend more support to university researchers.
Roadmap for Space Program
Over the past few months, ISA, ISRC and the Information and Communications Technology Ministry have spearheaded efforts for the development of Iran’s space program.
In February, an Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing lab was launched in Tehran by ISRC to boost the space program. EMC is the branch of electrical engineering related to the unintentional generation, propagation and reception of electromagnetic energy which may cause unwanted effects such as electromagnetic interference or even physical damage in operational equipment.
Tests in the lab are designed to make certain that the equipment operates as desired when exposed to electromagnetic radiation.
At the time, ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said the EMC lab, built at a cost of 250 billion rials ($1.8 million), is certain to play a key role in advancing Iran’s space program.
“By launching special facilities and laboratories, we are moving closer towards developing Iran’s space industries … A roadmap for space program is in the making,” he said.
These efforts have not been limited to research and development, and Iran has attempted to put two satellites—Dousti and Payam—into orbit over the past months. However, both launches failed.
Dousti (friendship in Persian) was a locally-made micro-class 52-kg satellite that was to orbit the Earth at an altitude of between 250 km and 310 km. It reportedly had a spatial resolution of 10 meters.
Payam (message in Persian), a micro-class 100-kg non-military satellite, was to orbit about 500-600 km above the Earth's surface and undertake imagery and telecom tasks.
According to the officials, another launch has been planned for the near future. A satellite dubbed Nahid1 is reportedly ready and will be delivered to the Defense Ministry for launch. Nahid1 is to orbit the Earth at an altitude of 250 km.
Another satellite, Pars1, will be ready by early 2020. Iranian scientists are working on a satellite named Zafar as well.
ISRC is also developing Nahid2 for communication purposes.