Following the launch of its communications satellite on a Chinese rocket, Pakistan plans to put a remote sensing satellite into space later this year as part of efforts to create a sophisticated surveillance system by 2014.
The Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission has drawn up plans for creating the Remote Sensing Satellite System (RSSS) in the next three years to meet "national and international user requirements in the field of satellite imagery", said SUPARCO Secretary Arshad H Siraj.
RSSS will be a "progressive and sustainable programme", he said.
Initially, SUPARCO will launch an optical satellite with a 2.5 metre panchromatic camera (PAN) into a 700-km sun-synchronous orbit by the end of 2011.
This will be followed by a series of optical and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites in future.
Siraj said the proposed system will be helpful in exploiting the potential of space technologies for surveying natural resources and monitoring the environment.
RSSS will also be "significant in executing application projects of national significance (and) transfer technology to users in public and private sectors as remote sensing along with its allied technologies has become an industry in itself," he said.
The RSSS will also be helpful in improving agriculture, management of water resources, monitoring the environment and other related issues, Siraj said.
Pakistan's PakSat-1R geostationary communications satellite was launched into space by a Chinese rocket on August 11.