Five resident companies at São José dos Campos Technology Park are part of the team taking Brazil into space, as they work on the country’s first earth observation satellite.
Known as Amazonia 1, it is the first such satellite entirely designed, integrated, tested, and operated by Brazil. The five companies are associated with the Brazilian Aerospace Cluster, and are members of the Aerospace Brazil Sectorial Project, conducted in partnership with Apex-Brasil (Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency). It was launched on February 28, as part of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) mission PSLV-41.
“The Amazonia 1 Mission empowers the national industry in systems and subsystems, increasing the level of maturity and conditions for insertion of Brazilian technology in the global space market. São José dos Campos Technology Park is an innovation ecosystem that raises our associated companies’ capacity in the national and international space scenario,” explains Michele Cristina Silva Melo, acting director of Strategic Intelligence and New Businesses at the Brazilian Space Agency.
The mission’s objective is to provide remote sensing images to observe and monitor deforestation and agriculture throughout Brazil, providing data from the coastal region, water reservoirs, forests, and environmental disasters and seeking to work in synergy with existing environmental programmes.
For the director of operations of the TechPark, José Iram Barbosa, the launch proves Brazil’s capacity to develop space projects.
One of the great differentials of Amazonia 1 is the Multi-Mission Platform (MMP) concept that will optimize future missions.
Given this scenario, the Brazilian Aerospace Cluster is encouraging more companies to operate in the space sector.
“We are launching a satellite, proving that our country is capable of producing high value-added technologies. We want to increase the proportion of our companies that also operate in this segment, ” says Marcelo Nunes, the Brazilian Aerospace Cluster coordinator.
Investments in the space sector continue to increase globally with the growing economic benefits that space exploration can generate. Such benefits originate directly from charging for space-related services and indirectly, such as satellite signals used in agribusiness, meteorology, natural disasters, among many other applications.
Companies and technologies involved in the Amazonia 1 satellite
Equatorial Sistemas and Opto Eletrônica – part of Akaer Group, in charge of WFI Camera, specially designed to monitor the Amazon and capture color images of areas of about 640.000 km². These companies also developed the Digital Data Recorder, a radiation-resistant device that records and stores the image data collected at times when the satellite is out of sight of earth stations, providing flexibility to the mission.
Omnisys – a subsidiary of the Thales Group in Brazil developed and produced the AWDT Band X Transmitter and its Antenna. It was also responsible for the development of testing hardware and software for the Remote Telemetry Unit (RTU), a device that performs the remote acquisition of telemetry and the distribution of commands associated with the equipment and subsystems embedded in the satellite.
Fibraforte, associated with the Brazilian Aerospace Cluster, developed the propulsion subsystem, responsible for altering the speed of the satellite, ensuring the correct insertion and maintenance of its nominal orbit.
AEL Sistemas, which is part of the Sectorial Aerospace Brazil Project, managed by the Tech Park, developed the DC / DC converters, responsible for converting the electrical voltage levels necessary to power the satellite systems.