The Fifth Birthday of a Success Story
Airbus Defence and Space developed the SSOT (Sistema Satelital de Observación de la Tierra) Earth observation system for the Chilean government in order for Chile to access extremely high-quality satellite images. In Chile, the spacecraft is better known as "FASat-Charlie".
This imagery is exploited in a wide range of applications such as mapping, agriculture, urban planning, military intelligence and natural resource, risk and disaster management.
The high-resolution optical observation satellite is based on the AstroBus-XS platform, originally developed jointly by Airbus Defence and Space and the French national space agency CNES. The complete system was built, integrated and tested by Airbus Defence and Space in our facilities in Toulouse, France.
The SSOT satellite was launched aboard a Soyuz rocket from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on 16th December 2011. In December 2016, the Chilean Air Force (FACh) celebrated the first five years of operations of this successful satellite.
SSOT: An invaluable support to the Chilean Air Force
The SSOT programme is a result outcome of the Chilean Air Force’s (FACh) ambition to develop a national spatial capacity for Earth observation for a dual use: defence and sustainable development of Chile.
The NAOMI optical instrument has a panchromatic resolution of 1.45 meters, an unprecedented performance for a satellite weighing only 117 kg.
Airbus Defence and Space was the prime contractor for the complete system including the satellite, the Ground Control Segment and the Image Ground Segment located in Santiago, Chile. This infrastructure enables the Chilean authorities to control and operate their own satellite from their National territory. As part of the cooperation agreement, 20 Chilean engineers benefited from a comprehensive training programme. During the construction of the satellite, they worked alongside Airbus Defence and Space’s development team in Toulouse, France, where they were trained.
The satellite launch was also part of Airbus Defence and Space’s responsibilities.
Airbus Defence and Space is proud to have developed and delivered a powerful Earth observation satellite to the Chilean authorities and to have done so in optimum conditions, with performance matching perfectly the requirements and even exceeding the customers’ expectations
François Auque, Former Airbus Defence and Space CEO
A privileged partnership with Chile
Comprehensive Training Programme
Chilean engineers benefited from our overall training approach:
- Technical and academic training
- On-the-job training
- Knowledge and know-how transfers
Active participation of Chilean engineers throughout all development phases:
- Assembly, Integration and testing (AIT)
- System Operation
A Complete Ground Segment
The construction of a complex ground segment was also part of our packaged offer:
- Ground control station
- Bi-band antenna station
- Image processing center
- Related infrastructure
The Launch Services
Our comprehensive solution included a full spectrum of services for a successful in-orbit delivery of the satellite:
- Launcher procurement
- Launch campaign
- Launch insurance
- Early in-orbit operations
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Related Expertise: Socio-economic Benefits
An Earth observation satellite is a precious tool dedicated to sustainability and economic growth through direct spinoffs in various fields. Geo-spatial information acquired from National Space missions provides the basis for well-informed decisions in many areas.
From a better monitoring of climate change, an improved prevention of natural disasters, a more precise governance of natural resources and an increased productivity in various sectors, a satellite has a significant positive impact on social, environmental and economic development.