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Background of Cooperation

CBERS China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite is a series of remote sensing satellites built by Brazil and China. The search for more effective and economical means of observing the Earth led the man to develop the remote sensing satellites. But the high cost of this technology make developing countries dependent on the images supplied by equipment from other nations.

In an attempt to reverse this context, the governments of Brazil and China signed on July 6, 1988 a partnership agreement involving INPE (National Institute for Space Research) and CAST (Chinese Academy of Space Technology) to develop a program to build and operate two advanced remote sensing satellites, named CBERS Program (China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite).

With the financial and technological resources from Brazil and China, an investment exceeding $ 300 million, it was created a system of shared responsibilities (30% Brazilian and 70% Chinese) with the intent to implement a complete system of remote sensing internationally.

Motivations for the Alliance

In the late 1980s, the Chinese government drew guidelines for intensive development of various sectors, including industry and space research. With the use of new technologies, the Chinese emerged from two decades of isolation to raise the level of their scientific and technological skills.

In Brazil, progress in the various satellite programs of the Brazilian Complete Space Mission (MECB) encouraged research in this area. The Chinese experience in the construction of satellites and rocket launchers became the great strategic partner for the Brazilian government. In contrast, Brazil brought in their luggage some familiarity with high technology and a modern industrial park.

On the other hand, large areas depopulated and large natural resources within the territory of both countries were added to these interests. Besides the large agricultural and environmental potential, both Brazil and China had the need to constantly monitor these areas. The tool for this challenge was CBERS Program, which brought in its design specific sensors for these scientific activities.

Two similar satellites

The CBERS program aimed to the development and construction of two remote sensing satellites carrying imaging cameras and, a transponder for the Brazilian Environmental Data Collection program. The CBERS-1 and 2 are identical in their constitution, technical space mission, and payloads (cameras, sensors, computers and other equipment designed for scientific experiments). Each CBERS satellite was designed to meet the needs of both countries and also to allow them to entry into the emerging market of satellite imagery.

Continuity of the program

In 2002, an agreement was signed for the continuation of the CBERS program, with the construction of two new satellites - CBERS-3 and 4, with new payloads and new investment division of resources between Brazil and China - 50% covered by each country. In 2004, a new agreement was signed to build the CBERS-2B, which was launched before CBERS-3, in 2007. The CBERS-2B operated until early 2010. The CBERS-3 is scheduled for launching in late 2012, while the CBERS-4 is at a normal pace of construction.
Image Catalog
Brasília (DF)
Images CBERS-2 - Camera CCD
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