Space technologies in general, and Remote Sensing (RS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in particular, are rapidly finding widespread application across a highly diverse array of fields including resource mapping, agriculture, transport, navigation, environmental protection, meteorology, disaster management and surveying, etc. Despite the enormous potential for space technology applications in many spheres of governmental, business and citizen-service activity, in terms of enhanced effectiveness, efficiency and economy, these technologies do not seem to be adequately used in most public sector agencies. The major bottleneck in most cases is found to be the unavailability of RS/ GIS data at affordable costs, capacity constraints, and in certain other cases, the inadequate awareness of their potential.
The Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT), in its capacity both as a statutory corporation with a mandate for facilitating the introduction of modern technologies, (including space technologies as one area of specialization) as well as the national focal point for space technologies, is in the progress in develop National Hub for receiving and distribution of Earth Observation data on the Applications of the Space Technology for National Development.
The ACCIMT has negotiated with a number of international collaborative platforms on space technologies as well as certain other foreign agencies to receive the satellite data free of charge or at an affordable cost. The received data will be stored in a server located at the ACCIMT and will be shared with the public sector organizations who use satellite data for national development. The ACCIMT is in the process of developing infrastructure to receive and distribute earth observation data and a ten acre site for the proposed National Space Hub is identified in the Megapolis Master Plan for Western Province.
The proposed land for Satellite Ground Station at Mahenwatta in Pitipana, Homagama
The 10 Acre land has been allocated for the proposed Satellite Ground Station of Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT) to receive Earth observation satellite data at geographical location 6°49′ 38.48″N, 80° 2′ 8.20″E under the Megapolis project of the Government of Sri Lanka and is shown in the Google Earth image bellow. This land is situated in close proximity to the Sri Lanka Institute of Nano Technologies (SLINTEC) and the newly erecting NSBM (National School of Business Management) campus. The land has 4m wide access road with provision for future road widening and 3 phase electricity from National Grid. There is Sri Lanka Telecom premises nearby and will be a potential to have a high speed fiber link in the near future.
At present the proposed site satisfies the 5 Degree elevation clearance above the local horizon, a requirement to have a maximum time span for data reception during a satellite passing by. In order to prevent violating this condition from putting up constructions in the future maximum heights of the constructions around the site is proposed. The following is the proposed heights of the buildings around the site.
|Distance from the centre of the site(m)||Maximum height of the construction(m)|
|250||13 (3 Story building)|
|500||38 (9 Story building)|
|750||60 (15 Story building)|
|1000||80 (20 Story building)|