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Overview of past, present and future Brazilian small satellites missions 


Aeronautics and Aerospace Open Access Journal
Leonardo JC Souza,1 Victor R Baptista,1 Rafael P Lobo,1 Danilo Sakay2

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Abstract

In the last 6 years, a total of six small satellites where developed and launched in Brazil: NCBR-1 (2014), research on climate and phenomena, such as the SouthAtlantic Anomaly (SAA); AESP-14 (2015), communication failures after problems with the antenna deployment; SERPENS-1 (2015), operated with data collection and communication with a ground station; Tancredo-1 (2017), educational satellite;ITASAT (2018), experiment for amateur radio communications amongst other objectives; and the last one, Floripasat (2019), a continuation of the SERPENS 1model. Showing an increase in production, nine more cubesats launches are planned for 2020 - 2022: Alfa Crux, 14BisSat, NCBR-2, ConnaSat A, ConnaSat B, Garatea, Sport and the VCUB constellation. With a growing national interest in CubeSat platform and variations, a transition from educational and experimental activities to a more demand driven technology production is expected. In 2018, a joint initiative between the Brazilian Space Agency and Brazil Industrial Development Agency opened the discussion on commercial development of mature technology. At the occasion, in São José dos Campos, the nation’s aerospace demands were categorized in earth observation, data gathering, meteorology, communication, GP Sand science missions. The present study explores the goals and status of previous Brazilian CubeSat missions, and of the next nine missions planned for the near future. The objective is to investigate the gap between academic and industrial development with a pragmatic view, giving emphasis to the next steps needed to approximate both sectors and stimulate the country’s small satellites production and applications. Furthermore, the analyses should serve as a blueprint for business that plan on engaging in future missions in and applications.

Keywords

cubesat, Brazil, constellation, overview, business, analysis

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