Journalists from both general and trade press have converged on Thales Alenia Space’s clean rooms at its Cannes plant to admire the SGDC dual use (civil and military) telecom satellite. The telecom satellite is due to be shipped to the Guiana Space Center in the days to come. Its launch is planned for next March on board the Ariane 5 launcher. Two satellites built by Thales Alenia Space will be carried into orbit by the Arianespace rocket: the SGDC satellite and the Koreasat 7 telecom satellite produced for Korean satellite service provider KTsat.
Background to the SGDC program:
The Brazilian Space Agency and Thales Alenia Space signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2013 concerning an ambitious technology transfer plan, designed to support the development of Brazil’s own space program. This came in addition to the contract with Visiona to build the satellite.
Outcomes of the win-win partnership with Brazil
Eagerly awaited by Brazil, the SGDC satellite will allow the implementation of a secure satellite communications system for the Brazilian government and armed forces.
Together with operator Telebras, the SGDC satellite will help reduce the digital divide in Brazil.
Thales Alenia Space has established a unit at the San José dos Campos technology park in Brazil, to work more closely with its local customers and partners.
It has met its skills transfer commitment, since over 30 Brazilians have been trained in all space engineering techniques, supervised by the Thales Alenia Space program team.
An aluminum battery support panel made by the Brazilian company CENIC is already integrated on the SGDC satellite.
The technology transfer program is clearly a success for both partners, not just Brazil, but also Thales Alenia Space. Furthermore, plans call for more Brazilian companies to make equipment for the future SGDC-2 satellite. The aim is of course to support our Brazilian partners’ rise up the skills chain, so they can work with Thales Alenia Space to address new markets both in Brazil and abroad. With the SGDC program, plus technology transfers, Brazil is looking to establish its independence and sovereignty in space technologies in the medium term.