Last week the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, better known as TNO, and the Beijing Institute of Space Mechanics and Electricity (BISME) signed a groundbreaking agreement to establish a joint laboratory on optical instruments for space science. The joint lab will serve as platform to co-develop optical instruments for scientific remote sensing and deep space exploration missions. The emphasis lies on environmental research such as climate change. TNO has a strong heritage in this field. At the same time, BISME is a leading and active partner in China’s space program. It is a subsidiary of the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST), which is the largest contractor for the Chinese space program. BISME has provided over 100 space optical remote sensors for different satellites.
This milestone builds upon several years of intensive collaboration, including work on the Fengyun-3 (FY-3) meteorological satellite. In a sign of the importance that is attached to this collaboration, the signing was witnessed by high level representatives from China’s National Space Administration (CNSA), the China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation (CASC), as well as CAST. The Dutch government was represented by deputy ambassador Andre Driessen and the Netherlands Office for Science and Technology.
More information can be found on the website of the CNSA (Chinese only).