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Satellite Missions Catalogue


Last updated:Feb 15, 2024






LOTUSat-1 (name derived from the “Lotus” flower) is a Vietnamese X-band radar imaging satellite designed and manufactured by Japanese company NEC for the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC)/Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST). Planned to launch from December 2024 to February 2025, LOTUSat-1 will provide timely information to respond and minimise the impacts of natural disasters and climate change in Vietnam.

Quick facts


Mission typeEO
Mission statusPlanned
CEOS EO HandbookSee LOTUSat-1 (JV-LOTUSat) summary

Artist's rendition of LOTUSat-1


Mission Capabilities

The LOTUSat-1 instrument is an X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) of the same design as ASNARO-2. The instrument has the ability to penetrate cloud cover, which allows for more effective land observation in Vietnam, a region prone to frequent cloudy and rainy days. The mission will provide insights into landscape features, waterways and seas, as well as changes occurring in these areas. This data will contribute to crafting hazard maps to identify vulnerable zones, formulating evacuation plans and establishing preventive infrastructure.

Performance Specifications

LOTUSat-1 will be launched into a Low Earth orbit (LEO) sun synchronous sub-recurrent orbit of altitude approximately 500 km, with a period of approximately 100 minutes. It will have three observation modes: Spotlight mode (resolution less than 1 m, swath width 10 km), Strip Map mode (resolution less than 2 m, swath width 12 km), and Scan SAR mode (resolution less than 16 m, swath width greater than 50 km).

Space and Hardware Components

LOTUSat-1 will be developed based on NEXTAR, a standard satellite system designed by NEC, and will use a NEXTAR NX-300L satellite bus. LOTUSat-1 will also feature systems modelled after the ASNARO-2 radar observation satellite that is currently in operation.


LOTUSat-1 is designed and manufactured by Japanese company Nippon Electric Company (NEC) for the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC). LOTUSat-1 has a designed lifetime of five years and is planned to be accompanied by LOTUSat-2 in the future. LOTUSat-1 originated as part of the ASNARO (Advanced Satellite with New System Architecture for Observation) project, led by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. LOTUSat-1 is the first satellite that NEC have provided for a customer outside of Japan. 1) 3) 

LOTUSat-1 will be equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instrument and will contribute to upgrading and developing warning systems for natural disasters and minimising the impact of climate change. Radar images from LOTUSat-1 will contribute to environmental monitoring as well as manage natural resources and socio-economic development. The nature of the radar instrument means LOTUSat-1 can monitor the Earth's surface without constraints related to weather or time. 4)

Figure 1: illustration of Vietnam's LOTUSat-1 Earth observation satellite. (Image credit: NEC)



LOTUSat-1 is currently being manufactured by NEC with an identical design to ASNARO-2, a Japanese satellite currently in operation. LOTUSat-1 is designed to weigh 580 kg and have dimensions of  4.0 × 4.0 × 3.9 m. It will be powered by two deployable solar arrays and will use a NEXTAR NX-300L satellite bus, which is a low-cost platform for small observation satellites in LEO. 1) 2)


LOTUSat-1 is planned to launch in early 2024 on a Japanese Epsilon-S rocket from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. It will be launched into a LEO sun synchronous subrecurrent orbit at an altitude of approximately 500 kilometres and will complete an orbit around Earth approximately every 100 minutes. 5) 6) 7)

Mission Status

  • December 2022: LOTUSat-1 project transitioned from the design phase into the manufacturing stage. 5)
  • April 2020: NEC and the Vietnam National Space Center signed the contract to build LOTUSat-1 after over a decade of proposal development, bidding, and contract negotiations.
  • 2009: NEC and the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC) established their collaborative relationship and discussions surrounding LOTUSat-1 began. 8)

Sensor Complement

The LOTUSat-1 instrument is an X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imager, the same as ASNARO-2. The radar has the ability to penetrate cloud cover, allowing for more effective land observation in Vietnam, a region prone to frequent cloudy and rainy days. 8)

X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

The X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar can capture highly detailed images of the Earth's surface. It will have three observation modes: Spotlight, Strip Map and ScanSAR mode. The instrument will have an incidence angle of 15 - 45°. 1) 9)

Table 1: Resolution and swath width of X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar observation modes.



Strip Map



1 m or less

2 m or less

16 m or less

Swath width

10 km or more

12 km or more

50 km or more


Ground Segment

In addition to manufacturing LOTUSat-1, NEC will provide VNSC with a completed ground system, including a nine metre-diameter parabolic antenna, satellite control centre, and mission data utilisation centre. The user interface will be based on NEC's "GroundNEXTAR" software package. The system will be installed at a space centre in Hoa Lac, established and operated by VNSC. 1)


1) NEC. NEC to provide Vietnam with “LOTUSat-1” Earth observation satellite system. April 23, 2023. URL: 

2) Kallender-Umezu P. Japan’s NEC Looks To Expand Commercial Market Footprint. SpaceNews. November 24, 2014. URL: 

3) Platnick S. The Earth Observer. 2017;29(1):43. URL: 

4) VOV.VN. Vệ tinh LOTUSat-1 có khả năng chụp ảnh trái đất với độ phân giải cao trong mọi điều kiện thời tiết cả ngày lẫn đêm. Việt Nam Sẽ Phóng vệ Tinh Quan sát trái đất LotusSat-1 vào năm 2023. October 22, 2019. URL: 

5) NEC. The “LOTUSat-1” Project—NEC’s Interdepartmental Team’s First Satellite System Export to Elevate Vietnam’s Space Capabilities. 2023. URL: 

6) VNSC. System Requirements Review Meeting of Vietnam Space Center Project’s LOTUSat-1 Satellite System. Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology VIETNAM NATIONAL SPACE CENTER . March 18, 2021. URL: 

7) Spacetv. Launch of Jaxa Epsilon with JV-Lotusat-1. SPACETV.NET. URL: 

8) NEC. Aiming to develop a global space business: Lotusat-1. 2023. URL:

9) Tuan V. EO Satellites and Remote sensing applications in Vietnam. URL: