Air Marshall Supoat Sooksamran of the Royal Thai Air Force and Abe Bonnema, Innovative Solutions in Space marketing director, sign an Earth observation satellite contract. Credit: Innovative Solutions in Space

SAN FRANCISCO – The Royal Thai Air Force ordered a second Earth observation satellite from Innovative Solutions in Space (ISISpace) of the Netherlands, under a contract that includes the ground segment, satellite commissioning and training.

The contract is “a showcase for our delivery-in-orbit model,” Abe Bonnema, ISISpace marketing director, said by email. Increasingly, customers are turning to ISISpace for turnkey solutions rather than hardware alone, Bonnema added.

ISISpace announced a contract to build the first Earth observation satellite for the Royal Thai Air Force in September 2018. Under that contract, ISISpace built a six-unit cubesat and Earth imaging payload in addition to establishing the ground segment, setting up mission control and arranging the launch. Once the satellite is orbit, ISISpace will be in charge of commissioning the satellite before turning it over to the Royal Thai Air Force.

The latest contract announced Sept. 26 also includes a training package. ISISpace will train the Royal Thai Air Force to determine future operational needs and to design missions to fulfill those needs, Bonnema said. Based on the training provided and knowledge Royal Thai Air Force officials gain from operating their first Earth observation satellite, the Royal Thai Air Force will develop a roadmap for the future, he added.

“We are very proud to continue working with the Royal Thai Air Force for their next satellite mission and to further support them in achieving their long-term space operational goals,” Bonnema said in a news release on the ISISpace website. “This contract follows the recent completion of the first satellite mission, ready and waiting for launch, and confirms the determination of the Royal Thai Air Force to keep expanding their space-based resources and capabilities.”

ISISpace will act as prime contractor for the second Royal Thai Air Force mission, working closely with partners including Simera Sense, an engineering firm focused on optical payloads, and Kubos Corp. a satellite software company, according to the news release. ISISpace subsidiary Innovative Solutions in Launch plans to send the second Royal Thai Air Force satellite into orbit on a Soyuz rocket in 2020.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...