ESA and Brazil sign Implementing Arrangement for Natal tracking station
ESA signed an Implementing Arrangement on 19 December with the Brazilian Space Agency for the setting up and use of telemetry and tracking facilities on Brazilian territory.
ESA Director of Space Transportation Daniel Neuenschwander and President of the Brazilian Space Agency Jose Raimundo Braga Coelho signed the Implementing Arrangement in the Barreira do Inferno Launch Centre (CLBI) at Natal in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
Daniel Neuenschwander said, “The signing of this Agreement is excellent for ESA. The Natal tracking station is central to the heart of our launch operations and it is time to start a new cycle of cooperation with Brazil.”
Brazil is one of the oldest international partners of ESA, thanks to launcher requirements, and with the first agreement dating back to 1977.
This Natal downrange station is included in the ‘standard downrange station network’ for eastward trajectories of the Centre Spatial Guyanais launch range (together with other stations at Kourou, Ascension Island, Libreville and Malindi).
Since 1977, another Cooperation Agreement between ESA and Brazil was signed in 2002 and extended for another 10 years until 2025. This agreement has allowed ESA and Brazil, in particular via the Brazilian Space Agency and the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) to work together in various domains.
In one of the traditional areas of collaboration, Earth observation, an ESA/INPE Technical Operating Arrangement for the Copernicus Space Component is being negotiated following the signature of the Cooperation Arrangement between the European Commission and the Brazilian Ministry for Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication, in the area of data access and use of Sentinel data from the Copernicus programme.
For the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), Brazil is very active in relation to forest monitoring and CEOS Data Cubes activities. INPE is developing a Data Cube project with CBERS and other datasets to support the Brazil Biome monitoring programme, with funds from their Amazonia Project (payments for deforestation programme).
ESA is discussing also the installation of an ESA GNSS sensor station at INPE facilities in Cachoeira Paulista.
Brazilian students are regularly hosted in ESA establishments as International Research Fellows.
With this celebration of more than 41 years of cooperation between ESA and Brazil, in particular in the Space Transportation domain, both parties expressed their great satisfaction and wish to pursue and expand the current cooperation to new activities and projects.