Arianespace Launches Brazil’s First MilCom Satellite

Brazilian Satellite Launched to Ensure Military Communications and End Digital Apartheid

(Source: Brazilian Ministry of Defence; issued May 4, 2017)

(Issued in Portuguese; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

BRASILIA --- The first geostationary satellite for defense and strategic communications(Satélite Geoestacionário de Defesa e Comunicações Estratégicas, or SGDC) was launched on Thursday (04), at 18:50, from the Kourou base in French Guiana. The launch mission lasted about 30 minutes.

The SGDC, launched today by the Ariane 5 launch vehicle, will bring broadband internet to the entire Brazilian territory, in addition to expanding the operational capacity of the Armed Forces, for example for joint operations in the border regions.

From the Center for Space Operations (COPE-P) located at Brasília Air Base (Ala 1), the President of the Republic, Michel Temer, followed the launch of the SGDC, together with Defense Minister Raul Jungmann and Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications Minister Gilberto Kassab; the commander of the Air Force, General Nivaldo Luiz Rossato; the president of Telebras, Antonio Loss and other officials.

At the end of the launch, President Temer made a brief statement to the press highlighting the importance of Brazil having its own communication satellite. "We are going to democratize the digital phenomenon in our country, since broadband will reach all corners. It is a great moment for the Brazilian state," said the president.

For the Minister of Defense, Raul Jungmann, the feat serves national interests. According to Jungmann, all confidential communications will pass through the Brazilian satellite, as well as strategic government communications.

"As the satellite will be operated by the air force, and the cryptography used is yellow-green (these are Brazil’s national colors—Ed.) , we will have security in military communications, ensuring sovereignty and independence, maintaining our ability to respond and deter to a level that is required for a country of Brazil’s size and commitments," said Minister Jungmann.

The SGDC satellite, which will have a useful life of 18 years, is a partnership between the Ministries of Defense and of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications, and involved investments of about 2.7 billion Brazilian reais. The satellite will have the civilian mission of bringing broadband internet to all Brazilian territory, allowing greater social and military inclusion, ensuring our sovereignty and increasing operational capacity. Within the next 10 days, the satellite will be positioned in its orbit, 75 degrees west, about 36,000 kilometers from Earth.

At the end of the launch, President Temer made a brief statement to the press stressing the importance of Brazil having its own satellite.

Visiona, Telebras, the Ministry of Defense, the Brazilian Space Agency and INPE -- the entities participating in the SGDC Program -- were able to train in the state-of-the-art technology of geostationary satellite design and development. Throughout the program, around thirty engineers worked hand in hand with the French manufacturer of the satellite (Thales) at every stage of the project, from design to final acceptance testing.

The involvement of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) in the project is related to the fact that, according to the National Defense Strategy, it is responsible for the development of the space operations.

The FAB is responsible for the operation and monitoring of the satellite. A new military organization, the Main Space Operations Center (COPE-P), was created in Brasília, where about one hundred professionals will take turns in three shifts to support the operation of the satellite - 24 hours per day. Also, a very large antenna (18 meters high and with a diameter of 13 meters) was installed in the same place, and will maintain contact with the satellite. Another secondary operations center is located in Rio de Janeiro.

The satellite, acquired by Telebras, will operated in KA band for strategic government communications and implementation of the National Broadband Program (PNBL), and an X band, which corresponds to 30% of its size, for the exclusive use of the Forces Armed. The Ministry of Defense invested about 500 million reais to use the X band.

With this, Brazil will become part of the select group of countries that have their own geostationary communications satellite, reducing the need to rent equipment from private companies, which will generate a significant savings to the public coffers and greater security in their communications.

Geostationary Satellite
Developed by the French company Thales Alenia Space, which has signed a contract with Visiona (a joint venture formed by Embraer and state-owned Telebras), the SGDC is a dual use satellite, operated for both civil and military missions. On the one hand, using the Ka band, it will allow access to the broadband connection to all locations in the country, without exception. On the other hand, from the X band, it will be possible to process information related to defense and governmental operations.

SGDC Technical Sheet
-- Mass: approximately 5,735 kg. on takeoff
-- Stabilization - 3 axis
-- Dimensions: 7.10m x 2.20m x 2.0m (launch setting)
-- Platform: Spacebus 4000C4
-- Payload: 50 transponders in Ka band and 7 transponders in X band
-- Energy on board: 12 kW
-- Operational Lifetime: more than 18 years
-- Orbital position: 75º West
-- Area of coverage: Brazil

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Visiona Announces Successful Launch of Brazilian Geostationary Satellite

(Source: Embraer; issued May 4, 2017)

KOUROU, French Guiana --- Visiona Space Technology announces the successful launch of the Brazilian Geostationary Defense and Strategic Communications Satellite (SGDC), held today at the Guyana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. The SGDC should provide coverage of internet services throughout Brazil´s whole territory, as well as providing a secure and sovereign means for the strategic communications of the Brazilian government.

"With the launch of the SGDC, Visiona demonstrates its ability to execute and manage such a complex and important program for Brazil within the schedule, cost and performance contracted," said Eduardo Bonini, president of Visiona. "The satellite meets or even exceeds the requirements of the Brazilian government and should promote the digital inclusion of millions of Brazilians as well as the security of government communications and the Armed Forces."

"The SGDC inaugurates a new era in the history of telecommunications in Brazil, because now we can take internet via satellite to 100% of the Brazilian territory, generating social and economic benefits. We will be illuminating Brazil, with broadband internet, generating social and digital inclusion in schools, hospitals, health posts and, above all, increasing the competitiveness of Brazil," said Antonio Loss, President of Telebras.

As a joint venture between Embraer and Telebras Visiona is responsible for the structuring and integration of the SGDC Program, acting among other activities in the improvement of requirements, selection and management of suppliers, validation of engineering reports, production monitoring and system tests required for mission success.

For more than two years, Visiona engineers worked side by side with ThalesAlenia professionals in France in the development and production of the satellite under the technology absorption program, acquiring knowledge that will be fundamental to increase the Brazilian content of the future space programs.

With an international presence and also a player in the markets for remote sensing and satellite telecommunications services, Visiona should leverage the knowledge acquired during the SGDC program to propose solutions incorporating the state-of-the-art in space construction and application technologies for the National Program Of Space Activities (PNAE) and the Strategic Program of Space Systems (PESE), always seeking the development of the Brazilian industry.

Visiona Tecnologia Espacial SA is a company of the Embraer and Telebras groups, constituted with the initial objective of working on the integration of the Brazilian Government's Geostationary Defense and Strategic Communications Satellite System (SGDC), which aims to meet the Government's satellite communications needs.

Telecomunicações Brasileiras S.A. - TELEBRAS - is a publicly traded joint stock company, a strategic provider of telecommunications solutions for the Public Administration and the market, acting as agent for local development and promoting the democratization of access to information. It offers dedicated Internet access services to telecommunication service providers, in addition to providing infrastructure to telecommunications services provided by private companies, States, Federal District, Municipalities and non-profit entities.

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78th Straight Success for Ariane 5

(Source: French National Space Center, CNES; issued May 4, 2017)

PARIS --- On Thursday 4 May, Ariane 5 completed a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), orbiting two new telecommunications satellites: SGDC, built by VISIONA Tecnologia Espacial S.A. for Brazilian operator Telebras S.A., and KOREASAT-7, built by Thales Alenia Space for Korean operator ktsat, a subsidiary of KT Corp.

The flight marked the European launcher’s 78th straight success since 2003, the fourth launch of the year from the CSG and Ariane 5’s second in 2017.

With a launch mass of 5,735 kilograms, SGDC is a telecommunications satellite built by VISIONA Tecnologia Espacial S.A. for Brazilian operator Telebras S.A. SGDC will bridge Brazil’s digital divide by providing high-quality Internet services nationwide, provide sovereign and secure strategic communications for the Brazilian government and armed forces, and give the Brazilian space industry the critical technologies needed to play an increasingly important role in the nation’s future space programmes. It has an expected service lifetime of more than 18 years.

With a launch mass of 3,680 kilograms, KOREASAT-7 is a telecommunications satellite built by Thales Alenia Space for Korean operator ktsat. KOREASAT-7 will provide a full range of video and data applications, including Internet access, direct-to-home broadcasting (DTH), government communications and connectivity for VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) networks.

The satellite is designed to provide higher throughput and extended coverage over Korea, the Philippines, the Indochinese Peninsula, India and Indonesia. It has an expected service lifetime of more than 15 years.

Commenting on the launch, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “CNES is proud to have completed this 78th consecutive launch of Ariane 5, the leader in satellite launch services for nearly 15 years. This is the second launch for Ariane 5 and the fourth of the year from the CSG, marking yet another success for our world-class launch base.

“I would like to take this opportunity once again to congratulate all of the teams to whom we owe this success, at ESA, at Arianespace, across Europe’s space industry and of course at Telebras S.A. and ktsat. I would also like to thank and congratulate CNES’s teams at the Launch Vehicles Directorate and the Guiana Space Centre.”

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