The Brazilian government has started the testing procedures for its first own satellite, built to boost broadband capacity in the country as well as security of critical defense information.
Following its launch from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana earlier this month, the Geostationary Satellite Defense and Strategic Communications Satellite (SGDC) is now undergoing load capacity testing and verification of all its systems to ensure the equipment is ready to begin operations.
The data sent and received by the satellite is being monitored by the Brazilian Navy's aerospace center in Rio de Janeiro, with the process expected to end in June. Government-owned telecommunications body Telebrás will then take over with measurement testing for broadband provision.
Primarily expected to ensure the security of defense communications of the Brazilian Armed Forces and improve the inspection of Brazil's 17,000-kilometer border with ten South American countries, SGDC is also intended to improve broadband Internet availability in remote areas across Brazil over an approximate 15-year timespan.
Prior to the completion of SGDC, Brazil did not have satellites of its own and leased eight satellites operated by foreign companies. Some of the equipment's capacity will be used by Telebrás to support public services in some locations across the country and some will be leased to private operators.
The building process of the first Brazilian satellite required a total investment of R$ 2.7 billion ($817 million), more than double the original budget. The launch was also late: it took place nearly a year after the original planned date of April 2016.