SAOCOM Payload Harness

SAOCOM mission is a two earth-observation satellites system developed by CONAE and equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) operating in L-Band.

The system will provide L-band polarimetric SAR information about different areas of the world regardless of weather conditions and time of day. Data will be visualized in real time and stored mode, with a spatial resolution ranging from 10 to 100 meters and with different angles of observation.

STI is the primary contractor for the fabrication, integration and assembly of the main instrument’s harness.

In addition, STI’s personnel collaborate in the System Engineering and Product Assurance teams.


STI is in charge of the integration, start up and validation of the electronic ground support equipment (EGSE) of the SAOCOM satellites’ radar antenna. The rack integration process is conducted in our facilities, since we have at our disposal all the equipment needed for radar instrument antenna panels and RF electronic tests.


The Argentine National Commission on Space Activities (CONAE), the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) and the Brazilian National Space Development Institute (INPE) are jointly developing the SABIA-Mar mission in the framework of a space cooperation program between CONAE and AEB.

The SABIA-MAR mission was conceived to provide information and products to studies of ocean ecosystems, carbon cycling, marine habitats mapping, coastal hazards and coastal land cover/land use. It also aims at contributing to fishery activities.

Argentina is in charge of developing the satellite’s payload module. Within this context, STI participates by developing the payload module’s On-Board Computer. That computer is a CompactPCI (cPCI) based computer with a backplane with 8 available slots that are full fitted by data acquisition boards, a temperature acquisition board, a voltage acquisition board, a thermal control board and an STD-MIL-1553B and General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) board.

This computer is being designed to be qualified as a NASA class 2 mission or ESA equivalent and is one of the first nationally developed computers with these characteristics.


The SARAT project is a Plane-Carried Synthetic Aperture Radar intended to obtain soil images. Mounted on the airframe of a plane, it acquires radar data, and then processes it and stores it. The offline post-processing provides useful information for the CONAE’s SAOCOM / SIASGE projects.

The main goal of the SARAT system is to provide early SAR data for soil moisture measurement before the SAOCOM / SIASGE missions take place.

The SARAT’s main characteristics are:

  • Flight Height: between 3900 y 4500 m
  • Cruise speed: 100m/s
  • Frequency Band: L (1275MHz)
  • Antenna Size: Patch-type 1.8 x 0.3m

STI is in charge of the maintenance and repair of the currently operative SARAT-1. In addition, STI offers courses on radar operation.

Currently, STI is involved in the development, implementation, and assembly of the new system, the SARAT-2.

SARAT New Generation

Following the National Space Program and the developments achieved in SARAT, STI is in the development stage of the SARAT "New Generation" L-Band, which is intended to steer the beam electronically. Its main objective is to continue with the advances in SAR and test technologies and in applications for future satellite missions.

VEX / Tronador II Project

Tronador II is the name of the second phase of CONAE’s development of launch vectors. The program, called Tronador, involves a series of experimental vehicles (VEx) of great complexity.

STI is in charge of the production of thermal protection for the liquid-propellant motor combustion chambers of VEx rockets.

Image analysis and processing

One of STI’s teams is in charge of image processing and analysis. The team works with the CONAE’s image group on optical range (panchromatic, multi-spectral and hyper-spectral) and on microwaves, particularly on Synthetic Aperture Radar of bands L, C and X.

STI also has a team devoted to software development and maintenance of the satellite imagery catalogue.


The SARE 1B, part of the SARE system of the National Space Program by CONAE, is the first Segmented Architecture technological demonstration mission. STI is jointly developing with INVAP part of the payload of the microwave instrument.



In 1992, STI took part in the first Argentine space industry project, joining in the development of SAC-B (satellite mission) as an INVAP contractor.

STI has continued working on the design, manufacturing, integration, testing and qualification of subsystems for SAC-B, SAC-A and SAC-C satellites.

As CONAE’s contractor, STI has been involved in several different areas of the SAC-D, SAOCOM, SARAT and SARE projects.