The first Argentine communications picosatellite is launched: what services will it offer?

The new platform will revolutionize satellite technology, in terms of “size, low launch cost and service provision

An alliance between the company Innova Space and the Ministry of Productive Development will crown this Thursday the launch of the first Argentine communications minisatellite, within a project to bring connectivity to agricultural, mining and oil operations.

“It is a historic launch for our country and the world,” said the CEO of the Innova Space company, Alejandro Cordero, regarding the 461-gram minisatellite that will be launched this Thursday at noon from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

The name of the satellite is “MDQubeSAT1 San Martín“And it will be the first of a constellation of 130 that will be sent into space in the next three years. The technology of this picosatellite – 10 x 10 x 5 centimeters – will provide connectivity for the Internet of Things, which allows the digital interconnection of everyday objects with the Internet, without the intermediation of people.

The Undersecretary of Knowledge Economy of the Ministry of Productive Development, Mary Apolito, highlighted that the “MDQubeSAT1 San Martín” is “the first in Latin America of this size and with these specific characteristics”, and praised the project as a “model” of both public – private collaboration and “a virtuous alliance between education and the productive world “.

The process that will culminate with the launch of Thursday, began in 2019, from in the classrooms of the Technical School No. 5 of Mar del Plata, when the then electronics professor and now director of Innova proposed to his students to design a picosatellite.

“This type of connectivity service is going to be a common denominator in many economic sectors because having everything that concerns a productive sector online is what is coming,” Apólito told the Télam news agency.

The “MDQubeSAT1 San Martín” will be the first satellite of the constellation “Liberators of America“and will be launched through Space X, the company founded by millionaire Elon Musk. It can be followed live on Innova Space’s YouTube account.

The picosatellite will orbit in the LEO (Low Earth Orbit), a polar orbit at approximately 400-500 kilometers. “This first mission consists of a proof of concept and validation of the platform, which will allow us to advance and make improvements in the design of the next satellite, on which we will soon start working,” explained the director of Innova.

A mini-satellite for agribusiness, mining and oil exploitation

“We have very good Internet coverage, but our country is super extensive, very diverse, there are places where the usual supplier companies do not reach because they are field areas where there are no users, but there are machines and sensors,” said Apólito, who recalled that “70% of our country is without any type of communication coverage“.

The objective of the “Libertadores de América” ​​project is to improve the IOT connection. The official gave as an example the connectivity that applications need to permanently and remotely monitor issues such as “harvest times, drought or other meteorological variables.”

The Undersecretary of Knowledge Economy indicated that sensors in the field are not enough but rather “you need connectivity between devices and apps that the producers use, and for that the Internet of things service is needed, via satellite, where there is none “.

The director of Innova explained that the new platform “will revolutionize satellite technology”, in terms of “size, low launch cost and provision of services, with infinite applications “, since, although this project is focused on agriculture, it can also be applied to” maritime, mining, oil and gas “activities.

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