Brasília: Brazil and Argentina are planning to join the international constellation of satellites to provide valuable data and help to prevent another ocean colour data gap. The two countries have agreed to split the mission into two satellites: one focused on imaging the global oceans, expected to launch in 2018, and another for regional studies, planned for 2019.
The joint mission is called SABIA-Mar, an acronym for Argentinean-Brazilian Satellite of Environmental Information of the Sea. It is an initiative of Agência Espacial Brasileira – AEB (Brazilian Space Agency), Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais – INPE (National Institute for Space Research), both from Brazil and CONAE Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (National Commission of Space Activities) from Argentina. The actual objective of this space mission is to better understand the Earth’s carbon cycle, as well as to help fisheries and aquiculture, detect and monitor pollution and harmful algal blooms, follow species at risk, evaluate water quality and water visibility, and study climate and environmental changes. The mission will also aid coastal management efforts and national sovereignty and defence measures. The coastal zones and interior water bodies such as lakes and rivers will be the focus of the regional camera to be placed onboard the regional SABIA-Mar satellite as they have much more complex color patterns (due to the presence of suspended sediments, dissolved organic matter and microalgae).