INFANTE is a development and demonstration microsatellite project that will be in orbit (to be launched in 2020) as a precursor of a constellation for Earth observation and communications with a focus on maritime applications. The project was presented last October 19th, during the International Meeting of AED - Aeronautics, Space and Defense Cluster, in Oeiras.
INFANTE will be the first satellite developed by Portuguese industry, articulated in a national consortium led by the TEKEVER group, which integrates nine companies with references in the space sector such as Active Space Technologies, Omnidea, Active Aerogels, GMV, HPS and Spinworks; and 10 internationally recognized R&D centers in their areas of competence, such as CEIIA, FEUP, ISQ, FCT-UNL, INL, IPN, IPTomar, ISR Lisbon, IT Aveiro and UBI.
INFANTE will establish the basis for new lines of business associated with the space sector, based on new products, services and processes, contributing to strengthen Portugal's position in the international space landscape.
The INFANTE space segment includes a modular and low-cost microsatellite, equipped with a software-defined radio with air and maritime surveillance functions; propulsion system for orbit maintenance; solar panels and their mechanisms; and cargo bay with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and multispectral camera, along with scientific experiments and technological validation.
In the soil segment, the INFANTE project includes the development of a new system for rapid assembly, integration and testing, adapted to small satellites and frequent launches; and a data hub to aggregate, process and disseminate information.
The consortium is joined by satellite data users to support the demonstration of INFANTE results, such as the National Maritime Authority, IPMA or INIAV; other domestic companies; and international organizations such as the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Federal Fluminense Institute of Brazil or the French CLS.
INFANTE takes place between 2017 and 2020 and has an investment of 9.2 M €, executed by a team of 150 researchers, engineers and technicians, of whom 40 are PhDs. It is co-financed by Structural Funds in the context of the Portugal 2020 Program's R & D IS Mobilization Programs.