Brunei, India sign MoU for cooperation in space research field

A MEMORANDUM of Understanding (MoU) was recently signed between the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Government of the Republic of India for cooperation in the operation of telemetry tracking and telecommand station for satellite and launch vehicles, and for cooperation in the field of space research, Science and applications.

Under the MoU, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set up a Telemetry, Tracking and Command Station in Brunei Darussalam – known as the Indian Space Research Organisation Telemetry, Tracking and Command Station (ISRO TTC Station) – within the compound of the Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru) premises at the Tungku Submarine Cable Landing Station.

This arrangement has been in place since 1997 as forged in the previous agreement and MoU between both governments on its establishment. The signing of the MoU on July 19, 2018 has extended this arrangement for another five years.

The Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) acts as the authority to license the operation of ISRO TTC Station in Brunei Darussalam for the purpose of telemetry tracking functions.

Under the MoU, the Government of the Republic of India through ISRO will share experiences and expertise in training and exchange programmes on space technologies applications at various facilities under Department of Space, India as follows:

• Short-term training courses of about one to two weeks duration for decision makers of Brunei Darussalam to highlight the importance of space technology inputs in various developmental activities including natural resources management, environment monitoring, governance and disaster management support.

• Medium-term training courses, of about four weeks duration, for officials / students of Brunei Darussalam on specific themes of space technology applications, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, environment, etc.

• Long-term courses, of about nine months duration, for the students and researchers from Brunei Darussalam on space technology applications including Earth observation, satellite communication and satellite navigation.

As a way forward for this arrangement, working committees will be established to identify and detail the activities to implement the programme of cooperation as stated in the MoU.

In this regard, the Ministry of Communications and AITI will act as the focal point for Brunei Darussalam to coordinate the requirements of relevant agencies, including institutions of higher learning, to ensure benefits from this arrangement are fully gained and optimized.