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SAOCOM 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B


The Argentine SAOCOM (Satélite Argentino de Observación Con Microondas) constellation comprises two L-band SAR satellites.

The mission is headed by CONAE. INVAP is the prime contractor for the design and construction of the SAOCOM-1 spacecraft and its SAR payload, currently under development. The SAOCOM-1 spacecraft will benefit from the heritage of the SAC-C spacecraft platform. Both satellites, SAOCOM 1A and SAOCOM 1B, are identical.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR-L), an L-Band instrument featuring standard, high resolution and global coverage operational modes with resolution ranging from 7 m to 100 m, and swath within 50 km to 400 km. It features a dedicated high capacity Solid State Recorder (50 to 100 Gbits) for image storage, and a high bit rate downlink system (two X-band channels at 150 Mbits/s each).

The SAOCOM system will operate jointly with the Italian COSMO-SkyMed constellation in X-band to provide frequent information relevant for emergency management. This approach of a two SAOCOM and a four COSMO-SkyMed spacecraft configuration offers an effective means of a twice-daily coverage capability. By joining forces, both agencies will be able to generate SAR products in X-band and in L-band for their customers.

SpaceX was contracted in 2009 to launch the satellites in 2012 and 2013, but the first launch was delayed to October 2018.

A second constellation, consisting of SAOCOM 2A and SAOCOM 2B is also planned, but the current status is unclear.

Nation: Argentina
Type / Application: Earth observation, radar
Operator: CONAE
Contractors: INVAP
Equipment: SAR-L L-Band SAR
Power: Deployable solar array, batteries
Lifetime: 5 years
Mass: ~3000 kg
Orbit: 615 km × 634 km, 97.90° (#1A)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
SAOCOM 1A 2018-076A 08.10.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5)
SAOCOM 1B 2020-059A 30.08.2020 CC SLC-40 Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with GNOMES 1, EG 1
SAOCOM 2A - 202x
SAOCOM 2B - 202x


Further SAOCOM missions:

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