Argentina is taking efforts to protect its forests to a whole new level. The precision of this technology will ensure that the native forests are guarded all the time. Whether it is at night or during the day, it will be easy to monitor. The country will achieve that by putting a satellite into the orbit. In addition to that, it will assist in the control of climate change by measuring forest carbon stocks accurately.
The satellite, SAOCOM 1B, is under the management of Argentina’s National Commission for Space Activities’ experts. However, its manufacturer was a country in South America. Its launch is scheduled to take place in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The exact date is not yet announced, but it is any day between July 25 and July 30. It will use a whole new technology, which is an advancement of optical sensors.
According to the head of research of this particular mission Laura Flurra, it is not a common type. There is only one other similar satellite, and its developer is the Japanese space agency. According to her, there were several reasons as to why they chose to go for microwaves instead of optical sensors. As the name suggests, optical sensors work in the presence of light. On the other hand, microwaves can work even in the darkness, through the clouds and also when it is raining.
One might wonder why Argentina is so serious about its forests. That’s especially when everyone else is only thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the move is justified because, as far as the country is concerned, they have two emergencies to deal with. The coordinator of Greenpeace’s forest campaign of that country, Hernan Giardini, has already warned them regarding the same.
There is also a report released in 2015 showing that Argentina was in the top 10 list of the most deforested states globally in 15 years between 1990 and 2015. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, as of last year, deforestation has decreased, but it is still going on. Unfortunately, that has changed this year since the coronavirus restrictions. They paralyzed the efforts of the government to protect the forests. It saw Argentina lose 21,000 hectares of forest cover within such a short period.
Fortunately, with the help of the SAOCOM 1B, that will be easy. It is capable of detecting changes in glaciers, forest structure, crops, and soil moisture. It will also be in a position to relay that message fulltime. After all, it uses s radar that uses microwaves. Together with the SAOCOM 1A launched in 2018, Argentina expects better results are going forward.