The satellites were purchased with the Ministry of Defense budget to assist in the continuous monitoring of areas of interest to Brazil

Source: Agência Força Aérea, by Aspirante Roberta Nunes E Major Oliveira Lima

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) launched the first satellites of the Lessonia Project on Wednesday (May 25). The two Radar Remote Sensing satellites, called Carcará I and Carcará II, were launched by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, USA.

In Brazil, the operation was monitored from the Space Operations Center (COPE), in Brasilia (DF), with live broadcast by SpaceX’s official Youtube channel.

The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Defense, Paulo Sérgio Nogueira de Oliveira, the Commander of the Brazilian Air Force, Air Lieutenant Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior, Ministers of State, General Officers of the Brazilian Navy, the Brazilian Army and the Brazilian Air Force, and other authorities.

The images captured by the satellites will be used to support the fight against drug trafficking and illegal mining, update cartographic products, determine river navigability, visualize forest fires, monitor natural disasters, monitor the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and support border surveillance and control operations, among other capabilities.

In his speech, the Minister of Defense highlighted the benefits that this technological advance will bring to the country. “The Amazon region will be one of the greatest beneficiaries with permanent monitoring and more precise information that is essential for strategic decisions. We have to thank President Bolsonaro for his unrestricted support for the project, which is now a reality, and for the broad endorsement he has always given to the Armed Forces’ strategic programs and projects,” he said.

The Commander of the Brazilian Air Force explained that this is an important step for the knowledge and control of our territory. “The ICEYE satellites will use radar technology to monitor our territory, this technology allows us to observe the terrain even when there is cloud cover. They are more accurate than optical scanning satellites, which have a more limited reading, because they do not “pierce” the clouds and restrict our ability to monitor regions like the Amazon,” he explained.

Lessonia Project – 1

Consists in the acquisition of a constellation of low orbit satellites. Of dual use, they aim to meet the operational needs of the Armed Forces, the Operational and Management Center of the Amazon Protection System (CENSIPAM), as well as government agencies. The Lessonia Project imaging system uses an Active Detection Sensor capable of generating very high resolution images, which can be obtained at any time of the day or night, regardless of weather conditions, because the signal passes through the clouds. In this way it is possible to continuously monitor areas of interest to Brazil.

The satellites were contracted and acquired from the Finnish company ICEYE in 2020, under the current Federal Government’s administration, with resources from the Ministry of Defense budget, and will be developed and manufactured during 2021.

The Lessonia Project is part of the Strategic Program for Space Systems (PESE). Executed by the Coordinating Committee of the Combat Aircraft Program (COPAC), a Military Organization of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), it provides dual products (civil and military) to be used in an integrated way for the benefit of the Brazilian society.

Seeking to fully accomplish the strategic program of space systems, in the future, it is also foreseen the deployment of a set of satellites, of national manufacture, to obtain optical images, which will complement the capacity of the Ministry of Defense to image the national territory, thus meeting all governmental demands.

Satellite characteristics

  • Dimensions: 1m³
    Weight: 100kg
    Solar Panels: 5
    Power: 300W

Photos: Sergeant Bianca Viol and Sergeant Viegas / CECOMSAER – Video: Sergeant Ronan and Sergeant Mônica / CECOMSAER
*** Translated by Defconpress team***

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