Space lab to assist farmers, fire prevention

Space lab to assist farmers, fire prevention

The country’s first community space technology laboratory has been set up in Chiang Mai province in close cooperation with GISTDA and its partners to train the local community on how to use satellite images to support activities such as farming and preventing forest fires.

Pakorn Apaphant, executive director of the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, said it plans to transfer knowledge and technology so people can benefit at a community level, with GISDA sending a team to educate students about correctly reading satellite images.

He said the space technology laboratory was created in cooperation with a committee featuring representatives from the communications, telecommunications, and digital economy industries as well as Wiang Pa Pao Technical College, who worked together on this pilot project.

“The project is in line with the master plan for space technology, which was approved by the cabinet this month to raise awareness about how this will eventually effect change in many areas, including farming technology using satellite data to guide production and forecast yields,” said Mr Pakorn.

He said his team would teach people how to read satellite images to better map out activities such as farming and issuing disaster warnings from forest fires, drought or even floods.

“Students are a significant human resource to foster more innovation. We want them to feel comfortable with space technology and use it for the benefit of their community. In the future, we hope to see further growth of the space economy in our country,” Mr Pakorn said.

The project has been established as the first of its kind at the Wiang Pa Pao Technical College in Chiang Mai province but is expected to roll out to other areas in Thailand in the near future.