Argentina will develop satellite technology to increase the effectiveness of public policies for managing disaster risk and enhancing productivity with a $60 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The project will use lessons learned to build and launch the SAOCOM 1A satellite for the development and commissioning of the SAOCOM 1B satellite, which will be launched in March 2020.
SAOCOM satellites are for terrestrial observation and to collect data use a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) antenna that detect soil moisture and provide information in any weather condition or time of the day. The satellites will also have an image reception and processing platform with SAR technology, as well as the software and hardware updates required to download data generated.
The SAOCOM 1A and 1B will be part of a unique constellation of satellites system in the world, which will include four other satellites of the Italian Space Agency. This system will bring benefits for agriculture, territorial planning, natural resource management and climate change mitigation and adaptation, both in Argentina and in other countries in the region. It will also contribute to the advancement of scientific research and decision-making for productive and social purposes, with emphasis on promoting entrepreneurship in technological services with high added value.
The project is expected to increase productivity ‒ volume harvested per area sown ‒ of the most important crops in the country (corn, wheat, sunflower and soybeans). Aggregate returns are also expected in the medium term with the use of satellite information for productive purposes or for the prevention or management of climatic risks.
The IDB loan of $60 million has a term of 25 years, with a grace period of five and a half years and interest rate based on LIBOR. The local counterpart will be $31 million. The project will be in charge of the National Commission for Space Activities (CONAE), a decentralized agency that operates under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. Since becoming the first Asian member country of the IDB in 1976, Japan has been involved in IDB projects through a number of funds and programs.