FACH - CHILEAN AIR FORCE

1. SUMMARY

Besides its duties related to defense matters, FACH is involved in many activities concerning the support to the community in times of peace.

There are some direct supports activities, like to provide communications and transport to remote zones, medical campaigns, search and rescue, photogrametry and support in catastrophic events.

There are also activities directed to create a special sense in the community in relation with space development, as the organization of the bi-annual International Fair of Air and Space, FIDAE, (www.fidae.cl); the organization/support of other space events in order to promote the use of space applications and to spread the knowledgement of space law and international co-operation; the promotion of the development and use of new technologies in order to increase the wellbeing of the people and the growing of the country and to promote the creation of a civilian National Space Agency.

Other activities are directed to promote specific space projects, like the Educational Project "Chinitas al Espacio" (Ladybirds to Space), where FACH is providing technical and legal advice to a group of students of the Liceo Nº1 "Javiera Carrera" college, acting as their contact with NASA to launch the experiment in the space shuttle. The idea is to study the behavior of the "coccinalidae", as a natural plague control, in microgravity environment.

FACH is also a direct actor in using navigation systems and meteorological data, in governmental assistance for air/space legal and technical matters, in the support of private/academic space projects, in the study of strategical, social and economical variables concerning the air/space activities, in the operation of the LUT and GEOLUT stations for the COSPAS/SARSAT SAR System for the region of Southern America’s Cone.

All this activities are executed, along the country, with the support of their Air Bases and others organizations related to the space activity, like the Center for Aeronautical and Space Studies, CEADE, (director@ceade.cl), the "FASAT" Satellite Control Groundstation, ECS, (fasat@ctcinternet.cl) , the Secretary of the Space Affairs Commitee, CAE, which is the advising organization for the President in this matters, and the Mission Control Center for the COSPAS/SARSAT System, (chmcc@reuna.cl), MCC-Santiago , which is directly related to the Air Rescue Service, SAR (jsoler@saf.cl)

As a special matter to mention, FACH and DGAC (General Directorate of Civil Aviation) put in orbit in July 10th, 1998 and operates the first Chilean satellite, called FASat-Bravo, which is an experimental microsatellite for earth observation with scientific purposes, whose main experiment is dedicated to the monitoring of the ozone layer and to take pictures of the earth.

2.- CONTACT

Name: Brigadier General Alfredo Guzmán Matus
Position: Chief of the E.C.S. FASAT
Address: Av. Pedro Aguirre Cerda 5500, Los Cerrillos, Santiago, Chile
Phone: (56 2) 530 5670 / Fax: (56 2) 539 3963
E-mail: fasat@ctcinternet.cl
Internet: http://www.fach.cl / http://www.fasat.cl

CURRENT FACILITIES

1. LABORATORIES AND EQUIPMENT

FACH, as a Defence Force, has several Bases along the country, each of them with aircraft maintenance facilities and some specific laboratories related with aircraft technology.

FACH is directly related to the National Aeronautical Enterprise, ENAER, which has a very wide range of design, fabrication and material thermal and electrochemical processing facilities, plus instrument calibration and chemical laboratories, including a Non Destructive Inspection facility and a Quality Assurance System (certificated under ISO9000 standards). ENAER fabricated some pieces for the Chilean satellite under British specifications.

The MCC-Santiago is located in Los Cerrillos Air Base, were it is a GEOLUT and a LUT for the COSPAR/ SARSAT System. A second L.U.T. is located near the city of Punta Arenas, in the Chacabuco Air Base.

The FASat-Bravo Satellite Groundstation, ECS-FASAT, is also in the Los Cerrillos Air Base.

The Aerophotogrametric Service (SAF) of FACH has its facilities in Los Cerrillos Air Base too.

2. SOFTWARE

Each of the previously named organizations has the software they need to perform their own activities. A special mention is done to SAF, with a wide experience in image processing. FACH has a specialized internal organization encharged of the management of the utility software for the institution.

CURRENT CAPABILITIES

1. PERSONNEL

FACH has 12 persons working in the MCC-Santiago, 09 of them L.U.T. operators. Two mechanics/operators assist the automatic L.U.T. in Punta Arenas.

The SAF organization performs its photogrametric job with 219 people.

The E.C.S. FASAT has 11 persons to maintain the facilities and operate the FASat-Bravo satellite, 5 of them with a MSc degree.

2. OWN DEVELOPMENTS

In the space applications field, FACH is first a user of satellite data and each organization has developed operational techniques and software to improve their own results.

In the space technology field, FACH and DGAC put in orbit a microsatellite on the 10th of July 1998. The FASat-Bravo satellite was designed and fabricated in a collaborative project with Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, SSTL, of the University of Surrey, England, improving its personnel preparation. This project included the built of a Groundstation in Santiago (ECS FASAT) to operate the satellite.

The people that participated in the project worked in the design, fabrication, testing, launch campaign and operation of the satellite.

CURRENT ACTIVITIES

Name of the project: COSPAR/SARSAT SYSTEM. Centro de Control de Misión Santiago Name of the project: Chilean Space Agency

Space Affairs Committee Affairs, CAE

Summary: Emergency localization of ships, aircraft or individuals using ELT transmitters, for Southern South America Summary: Give advice in space matters to the President
Institutions involved Air Rescue Service, SAR; General Directorate for Civil Aviation, DGAC. Institutions involved:

Institutions represented at CAE:

Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Ministry for Education,

Ministry for Transport and Telecommunications,

Ministry for National Defense

Chilean Air Force (President & Secretary)

Chilean Army

Chilean Navy

Center for Space Studies, Universidad de Chile

Universidad Federico Santa María

Universidad de Concepción,

Universidad de Magallanes

Universidad de La Frontera

Universidad de Tarapacá

Center for Aeronautical and Space Studies, CEADE

National Council for the Research of Science and Technology, CONICYT,

Universidad de Santiago

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Name of the project: FASat-Bravo Satellite

Estación de Control Satelital FASAT

Summary: Command of the first Chilean Satellite.
Institutions involved: General Directorate for Civil Aviation, DGAC, Space Affairs Commitee, CAE, Universidad de Concepción; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Name of the project: GEOTEC

FACH Aerophotogrametric Service, SAF

Summary: Digital Cartography.
Institutions involved: Military Geographic Institute, IGM

 

AREAS OF INTEREST (FUTURE PROJECTS)

FACH is interested in developing space technologies and its applications. Its future projects refers to the design and fabrication of remote sensing payloads for environmental care and to put in orbit an minisatellite for teleobservation and telecommunications.

FACH is also interested in promoting the international collaboration regarding space technology applications to national development.

FACH is also interested in promoting the national industry development in space technologies (ENAER, National Enterprise of Aeronautics.

FACH is also interested in promoting the inclusion of the space matters in the national education system and the participation of the students in space projects.