Sunday, September 29, 2013

US firms asked to help with satellite project in Azerbaijan

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is seeking proposals from U.S. firms that are qualified to perform a feasibility study for a second satellite project in Azerbaijan. USTDA made the request in contract documents released Thursday through the Federal Business Opportunities website.

“This feasibility study will help Azercosmos to assess the technical, economic, and financial feasibility for a second communications satellite,” USTDA said in the announcement. Azercosmos is a state-owned Azerbaijan satellite communications company.

Azercosmos has already launched and is operating its first satellite, the Azerspace-1 communications satellite. Azercosmos partnered with MEASAT Satellite Systems, the leading satellite operator in Malaysia, to jointly operate this satellite, which has an orbital slot that covers not only the entire territory of Azerbaijan, but also the Caucasus, Central Asia and Europe as well as Middle East, Commonwealth of Independent States region and Africa. In order to meet the expected future demand in Azerbaijan, the region and Africa, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan announced in 2012 the commitment to launch a second communications satellite, Azerspace-2. Azerspace-2 will meet this increased demand by using three different satellite frequency ranges, C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band; Azerspace-1 only uses C-band and Ku-band.

Azerbaijan established its space program in 2009 with the aim of improving communications in the country, diversifying the economy from oil and gas by establishing a satellite industry, and contributing to bridging the global digital divide. As part of this program, Azercosmos was created by the President of Azerbaijan that same year as the key implementation arm for the mandated space program. As such, Azercosmos is responsible for the design, implementation and management of the current and planned satellite projects of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The U.S. firms selected to perform the feasibility study will be paid from a $604,000 grant from the USTDA. Interested companies should submit their proposal by Oct. 24.

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