Space technology can improve lives on Earth, seminar told
Space technology can improve people's quality of life and enable Thailand to achieve its sustainable development goals, space industry experts said on Thursday during the first day of a two-day seminar in Bangkok.
They made the comments during a debate at the "New Space Economy Thailand" seminar that began on Thursday and wraps up on Friday at the Sukosol hotel.
The seminar is being organised by the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Gistda), the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, and the National Innovation Agency.
Phurit Pookayaporn, satellite lead of aerospace manufacturer mu Space Corporation, said satellite technology can help people deal with climate change, which is a part of Thailand's sustainable development goals.
"People can use satellites to observe how much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere," Phurit said, adding that they can be used in carbon-credit trading as well.
Sensors can also be attached to planes to measure the volume of greenhouse gasses, he added.
Developing the right materials for building satellites is also important to mitigate their impact on the environment. "We tried to make sure that when satellite solar cells burn up in the atmosphere they will not emit carbon dioxide," Phurit said.
Internet accessibility and applications will help improve people's quality of life and reduce social inequality, he said, adding that applications can help people to cope with disasters, such as flooding and PM2.5 air pollution.
The government should conduct a thorough survey of people's quality of life and ensure that all Thais will be able to access space technology infrastructure, Phurit added.
Olivier Chalvet, who leads Airbus in Southeast Asia (North), said space technology will help people deal with environmental challenges, including those triggered by climate change.
"We have to develop the space industry in a sustainable way," he said.
To cope with environmental challenges, he said it is necessary to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, such as solar cells and hydrogen.
Airbus is working with Gistda on smart agriculture and sustainable development in Thailand, Chalvet said.
He also urged the Thai government and the private sector to work together to deal with climate change, so the country can achieve its sustainable development goals.
Kanate Wangpaichitr, assistant secretary-general of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), said space technology is important for Thailand's shift towards sustainability.
Sophisticated technology has been used in the EEC to develop smart cities, including for internet access and wastewater management, Kanate said.
He said a drone delivery service would be available in EEC in the future, adding that it is developing vehicles using space-industry materials.
The government is paying attention to space technology as it will be a key driver of Thailand in the future, Kanate said.
"The space industry is among the government's 10 target or S-curve industries," he said, referring to the 10 technologically advanced industries the government has identified for development.
He said the EEC is ready to allow investors to develop space technology, saying they could generate plenty of opportunities for Thai people.
"Thailand needs to aim high to become a regional hub for the aerospace industry," he said. adding that Gistda and the National Innovation Agency will play key roles in making this happen.