Frequently asked questions on CBERS program
Frequently asked questions on CBERS program

1. What CBERS means? What is that?

It means China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite. It is a program for technological cooperation between Brazil and China, whose objective is the development and in-orbit operation of two remote sensing satellites. A protocol was signed in 2002 for the development of two more satellites.

2. What is the purpose of CBERS satellite?

Its purpose is to generate image of the Earth surface, that are used for applications in diverse sectors like agriculture, environment, hydrological and ocean resources, forest, geology and other. This field of knowledge is called Remote Sensing.

3. Who are the participants in the CBERS program?

For Brazil, INPE-National Institute for Space Research, as responsible for development, and AEB, Brazilian Space Agency, as well as the industrial Brazilian sector. For China, CAST-Chinese Academy for Space Technology, as responsible for development, CNSA-China National Space Administration, CRESDA-China Center for Resource Satellite Data and Applications, in the ground images segment, and CLTC-China Satellite Launch and Tracking General, in the control ground segment.

4. What are the launch dates of CBERS satellites?

The first, CBERS-1, was launched on October 14th, 1999. CBERS-2 will be launched between Oct. 21 and 23, 2003.

5. How was the work divided between China and Brazil?

Brazil made 30% of the total investment, China the remaining, i.e. the remaining 70%.

6. What are the main characteristics of these satellites?

The main characteristics are:
a. Dimension – almost cubic, with a 2m side
b. Mass – 1450 kg
c. Power – 1100 W
d. Orbit – Helios-synchronous at 778km altitude
e. Control – In the 3 axis.

7. How does CBERS work?

In orbit, at a 778km altitude, the optical cameras receives images of the Earth. On-board transmitters send these images to the receiving stations. The Brazilian receiving station is in Cuiabá.

8. How much does a CBERS satellite cost?

CBERS program was costed at 150 US$ Millions for the development, construction ad launch of two satellites. Each satellite cost about 50 US$ Millions.

9. What equipment is used for remote sensing?

Three cameras are used for making images of the Planet. They are:
a. CCD Camera – High Resolution CCD Camera
b. IRMSS Camera – Infrared Multispectral Scanner Camera
c. WFI Camera –Wide Field Imager Camera

10. When did CBERS begin?

The international China-Brazil agreement was signed on July 6, 1988.

11. CBERS-2 will be launched from which location?

CBERS-2 will be launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, at approximately 750 km from Beijing, in the Chinese Shanxi province.

12. Why is CBERS-2 launched from China?

The cooperation agreement provided for this launch, since China possesses an adequate launch vehicle, while Brazil does not, as yet.

13. Will CBERS-2 launch be transmitted live by TV?

No, because the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center does no allow live transmission.

14. Could CBERS-2 be launched from the Alcântara Launch Base?

No, because Brazil does not have the required infrastructure.