CONAE launches new SAOCOM 1 satellite for effective Earth observation and disaster management

The Argentina National Space Activities Commission (CONAE) launched a new Earth observation satellite that will support disaster management efforts. SAOCOM 1A is the first of a constellation of two radar satellites. The remote sensing mission aims to provide timely information for disaster management as well as monitoring services for agriculture, mining and ocean applications.

The SAOCOM 1A uses L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). The mission, which also plans to launch the SAOCOM 1B in 2019, was designed to work within the Italian-Argentinian satellite system for Emergency response (SIASGE), where the two space agencies work together. Argentina’s  SAOCOM and Italy’s COSMO-SkyMed constellations complement each other. The later uses X-band and is designed to collect fine details. Other particularities linked to the SEACOM 1A are related to the heating system since the use of L-band implies that the structure needs to distribute the heat across the antenna.

“You will see that the radar is white on one side and on the other side everything is insulated. What you get from this is that you don’t lose heat in an unbalanced way. You are absorbing heat from one side and losing heat from one side but in the most uniform way possible.” Sonia Botta explained in a interviewed.

The satellite will be able to analyze day and night imaginary and will produce 225 images a day. Data gathered by the two constellations are expected to be used globally but especially in Italy and Argentina.