Türkİye, Science-Technology

Officials laud Turkish efforts in developing space tech

Turkish engineers capable of manufacturing indigenous satellites, experts at astronomy festival say

Erdogan Cagatay Zontur   | 02.08.2019
Officials laud Turkish efforts in developing space tech Lokman Kuzu, head of the Space Technologies Research Institute at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK)

ANTALYA, Turkey 

Turkey manufactured its first communication satellite locally, said an official late Thursday at an annual astronomy festival in the Mediterranean city of Antalya.

Speaking at the National Sky Observation Festival, Lokman Kuzu, head of the Space Technologies Research Institute at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), said Turksat 6B was commissioned to space by engineers of the council.

Kuzu said there are various kinds of satellites ranging from about 10 tons (2,2046) of weight to 10 centimeters (3.93 inches) in diameter.

"There were two other satellites manufactured by Turkish engineers, Rasat and Gokturk 2,” Kuzu said, adding that Imece, a screening satellite, is also on the cards.

Turkey’s satellite operator Turksat broadcasts Turkish series to neighboring countries thanks to its orbital location, he added.

Mesut Gokten, deputy director of the Space Technologies Research Institute, said TUBITAK Space was founded in 1985 to carry out space research.

BILSAT, Turkey's first screening satellite, started operating in 2003, while Rasat and Gokturk 2, the first indigenous satellites, started operating in 2011 and 2012.

“Rasat is Turkey’s first experimental satellite,” Gokten said. “It was produced just to develop new technologies.”

He added that Turkish engineers also run various projects including an earth station, National Earth Station (MIYEG) and produce software used in satellites.

Cezmi Yilmaz, director of satellite control at Turksat, said Turkey’s satellite fleet covers an area spread across 118 countries and serves up to 3 billion people.

Murat Ikinci, head of STM, a defense technologies company, said the research and development facilities focus on aviation and space technologies due to the developments, especially in defense industry in recent years.

Ikinci said STM aims to produce micro satellites which are cheaper than ordinary satellites.

“We are carrying out research and development on our micro satellite Lagari, which we plan to send into orbit by 2020,” Ikinci said.

“Through micro satellites, we have the chance to send five, six satellites weighing around 70 kilograms [154 pounds] into orbit at a time,” he added, saying they can be used for sea navigation.

The festival will run through Aug. 4.

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