translated from Spanish: Argentine satellite to report on environmental disasters and crops

Buenos Aires.- An Argentine observation satellite, The Saocom 1B, departed this Saturday for Cape Canaveral (United States), where it will be put into orbit and help improve information on potential environmental disasters, such as floods, fires and diseases in crops. The new satellite will accompany its twin, the Saocom 1A, which has been in orbit since 2018, and sources from the National Commission for Space Activities (Conae) informed Efe that Saocom 1B left the Patagonian city of San Carlos de Bariloche, in southern Argentina, on a plane in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The Saocom mission brings to space a technology that represents a «significant improvement in observation capabilities with respect to the usual optical sensors,» according to the agency. It consists of a synthetic aperture radar that works on the «L-band» portion of microwaves of the electromagnetic spectrum. The Saocom were designed to detect soil moisture and obtain information from the Earth’s surface in any weather conditions or time of day. They can do this because the microwaves on their radar have the ability to pass through the clouds and observe at any time of the day, which makes it useful, especially to «prevent, monitor, mitigate and evaluate natural or anthropic catastrophes». Although it will collect data from all over the world, knowing in particular what the humidity of the Pampean region will be its specialty, something that will help the agricultural sector.» This is one of the most important satellite projects our country has ever had,» Argentine Chief of Staff Santiago Cafiero said on Friday, in the run-up to the satellite’s departure to Space X’s facility in Cape Canaveral, in the US state of Florida.Cafiero stressed that the incitivate was never stopped by the «work of scientists.»
They are the engines of this project, the ones who carried it out and defended it to get it going,» he said.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Roberto Salvarezza, stated for his part in that same event that the Government of peronist Alberto Fernández «will continue to bet on a country in which knowledge represents an input for the future». Salvarezza insisted that science and technology must be «fundamental foundations for development». 

#SAOCOM1B Travel Log: FUEL RECHARGE AND FLY! With the first stop in Santiago de Chile in the morning, we continue the trip with SAOCOM1B and the team of engineers and technicians of CONAE VENG INVAP in Antonov. Maxi and Gabriel report from inside the plane! — CONAE (@CONAE_Oficial)
February 22, 2020

Original source in Spanish

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