The Airspace Operations Command in Brasília has kicked off operations of the Geostationary Satellite for Defense and Strategic Communications (SGDC) on Wednesday (July 5). The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) will be in charge of operation and monitoring the satellite and will cooperate with the Army and Navy.
The $843.55 million satellite, which was launched into space in May, will provide security for government and Armed Forces communications and, in the short term, help expand broadband services to remote areas of the country. It will also support airspace surveillance over the borders with Bolivia and Paraguay.
Launched from Kourou Space Center in French Guiana, the satellite was undergoing adjustments and orbital testing under the supervision of Armed Forces military personnel and engineers from the equipment manufacturer, France-based Thales Alenia Space.
The kick-off event for satellite broadcasting was a video conference from Vilhena, Rondônia state, and the SGDC command center in Brasília, held by Defense Minister Raul Jungmann.
The minister said that it is a historic moment for the country, and stressed the importance of the satellite for Brazil's defense and sovereignty. “We are running the first satellite fully controlled by Brazil, which was encrypted under our control. It's not only a military project for national sovereignty and defense, but also obviously a major milestone for our self-reliance, our independence from foreign media for our communications,” Jungmann said.
With information from the Air Force Agency.
Translated by Mayra Borges