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Brazil launches nanosatellite

NanoSatC-BR1: in space since June 19, 2014 with three experiments in progress

Léo RamosNanoSatC-BR1: in space since June 19, 2014 with three experiments in progressLéo Ramos

Launched on June 19, 2014, NanoSatC–BR1 is working very well. The acronym refers to the Brazilian scientific satellite, which was conceived and developed by researchers at the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) Southern Regional Center in partnership with the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The satellite data is being received by the stations in Santa Maria and by the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA), both operated by students and as well as by amateur radio operators. Weighing less than 1 kilogram, the nanosatellite—called a cubesat due to its cubic shape, with edges measuring 10 cm each—carried three payloads, or experiments, onboard. One is a sensor called a magnetometer that will study the Earth’s magnetic field and its interaction with ionizing radiation (see Pesquisa FAPESP Issue No. 219). The other two experiments are integrated circuits designed in Brazil for space use. “Analysis of the initial data received regarding one of the radiation-resistant integrated circuits is positive,” explains Otávio Durão, coordinator of engineering and space technology for the project at INPE’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, in inland São Paulo. Data from the other two experiments, an integrated circuit and a magnetometer, are still being analyzed. Updates, photos, videos of the launch and other technical information about the project can be accessed through the website.