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Brazil’s Armed Forces Plan to Launch Geostationary Satellite in 2014

first_imgBy Dialogo July 22, 2011 Brazil plans to launch a geostationary satellite — GOES — that would connect all the country’s defense and security organizations and allow for more secure communications among them. In late June, Defense Minister Nelson Jobim announced that the satellite would be launched in 2014. The satellite will provide direct links between Brasília, the border platoons and submarines in the Atlantic Ocean, he said. It will also speed up the transmission of images from remote areas. Jobim, in a recent public hearing before the Brazilian Defense and Foreign Relations Commission, said the geostationary satellite is of vital importance for national security and will make Brazil self-sufficient in such matters. The hearing was especially important because of the presence of 10 senators who are also members of the Amazon and Border Sub-Commission — two areas that would benefit significantly from the new satellite, if all goes as planned. Borrowed images Currently, the Brazilian government leases satellite channels from a Mexican mobile phone group that sends the images per request and without exclusivity. This service costs around $28.3 million per year. “Today, when we want an image, the Mexicans send it to us in 36 hours,” Jobim said. Building, launching and maintaining Brazil’s new satellite will cost $443 million, but it also will link 1,800 isolated communities to the Internet for the first time. The Defense Ministry envisions GOES sending audio and images from remote locations to federal authorities, while permitting real-time communication with and among all branches of the Armed Forces and all units in mission — including those on foreign soil. “While Brazil has other satellites, none of them is under the control and for the exclusive use of the government,” said Defense Ministry spokesperson Roberta Belyse. “This satellite will have military transponders in Band X and transponders for government use in Band Ka.” What’s a GOES A geostationary satellite or GOES is anything but stationary. It actually circles Earth in the same direction and speed of the planet’s rotation; this way the satellite’s location is always above a specific spot on the globe. Since all geostationary satellites are positioned directly over the Equator, only a limited number of such satellites can be placed in orbit. They’re located in the geosynchronous plane about 22,300 miles above Earth, which offers an unobstructed view of the planet. GOES’ continuous monitoring is essential for intensive data analysis. Being fixed above a single point allows the satellites to chart atmospheric changes that precipitate tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and other severe weather conditions. Brazil’s space program began 50 years ago, making it the fourth country to enter the space race after the United States, the former Soviet Union and France. Even today, Brazil is one of the few countries with a comprehensive space program that includes the development of rockets, satellites and launching centers. Brazilians are, indeed, very proud of their space history. However, a recent study, Caderno de Altos Estudos, by the Senate’s Science, Technology, Communications and Informatics Commission, urged the government to invest more to keep pace with current needs, as well as with international partners. Between 2012 and 2016, Brazil plans to launch three satellites, the Cbers 3 and 4, for earth observation, and the Amazon 1. Total cost for all three launches: $200 million. Good neighbors share resources Jobim emphasized on how GOES will help Brazil collaborate with neighboring countries, particularly with respect to border security. “Some of the satellite’s capabilities would be shared with other nations,” said Jobim, who announced the plans for GOES in the context of a broader presentation to the commission of the government’s Strategic Border Plan. He also recounted his recent visit to Colombia, which resulted in the first steps towards a binational plan for border security between the two countries, with a focus on protection of the Amazon. The Brazilian military devotes significant efforts to protection of its rainforest, and satellite images are an invaluable resource. In early July, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) released satellite images showing that 268 square kilometers of Amazon rainforest had been cut down in May 2011 — twice the amount of clearing as in May 2010. This follows reports that deforestation had increased to 593 square kilometers in March and April 2011 from 103 square kilometers in the same period a year earlier. “The GOES satellite would allow the sharing of security plans and real-time information of air, land and sea borders,” explained Belyse. In addition, she said, it will connect remote populated areas with emergency services and let them receive important government communications. In addition, these geostationary satellites serve other functions such as meteorological monitoring, feeding of GPS systems and provision of TV and mobile phone signals. Excellent information, today telematics will provide us with more security for our development on different socio-cultural level through geostationary satellites. I am sure that the Peruvian Government should take advantage of such benefits for the population. Hello, It’s a pleasure speaking with you, but I have a question. Why is Brazil so far behind in terms of security and technology?last_img read more

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Chase Utley’s influence goes beyond analytics for Dodgers and their future

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> Baseball’s deep dive into statistical analysis has created a new language of exit velocities, launch angles, FIPs, WHIPs and BABIPs.But this is another new concept courtesy of the analytics crowd – a 37-year-old “bounceback candidate.”Chase Utley posted career-lows across the board offensively last season. A .212 batting average, .286 on-base percentage, .629 OPS and only eight home runs in over 400 plate appearances. Combined with the fact that he would turn 37 in December, the numbers seemed to scream of a player in decline. His 140 plate appearances with the Dodgers over the final two months of the season didn’t paint any prettier a picture (he hit .202 with a .654 OPS). Utley did bounce back. The oldest leadoff hitter in baseball this year, Utley has started 69 of the Dodgers’ first 94 games there – and eased a massive problem. Last year, Dodgers’ leadoff hitters (primarily Rollins and Joc Pederson) combined for the lowest batting average in the majors (.233), one of the lowest OBPs (.319, 20th) and fewest runs scored (93, 24th). Those numbers this season are a healthier middle of the pack in the National League.If not for a June swoon that lopped more than 20 points off his batting average, Utley’s individual statistics would be in line with most of his career norms.“I still feel like I can contribute. That’s the bottom line,” said Utley of his own belief in his bounciness.“Early in the (2015) season, first week or so, I felt like I was swinging the bat really well,” he said of his sub-par 2015, a season that started with him trying to play through an ankle injury suffered during an off-season workout. “For a couple weeks after that, even though I did swing the bat well I didn’t have a whole lot to show for it. At that point, I think it’s only natural to try to figure out a way to help your team. For me, I got out of what I’m most comfortable doing. Instead of trying to hit the ball hard I was trying to find places to hit the ball. And that didn’t work so well.“I took some time off (a six-week stint on the DL at mid-season) and got my body in more of a position to be successful. After that, I felt like I swung the bat okay, better than my baseball card would show. Obviously I appreciate that they were able to see beyond that.”For all their adherence to the measurables produced by an analytics department of unknown size but unquestioned influence, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and Zaidi also saw beyond Utley’s value in the batter’s box. When they re-signed Utley, they readily admit they were paying for intangibles as well.“The leadership, the attention to detail he has for the game — it was a huge boost for us down the stretch and into the playoffs (in 2015) and was an important thing for us to get back,” Zaidi said. “He just has such a strong reputation that even if you didn’t get quite that (offensive) production there was a lot of value to having him on your team.”The Dodgers expect to benefit from that value well beyond Utley’s one-year contract. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he “absolutely” sees Utley’s old-school influence impacting the Dodgers’ new wave of talent, young players like Corey Seager, Trayce Thompson and Joc Pederson.“Unbelievable. I can’t even, don’t even know where to start,” Seager said when asked if Utley has had a positive influence on him. “He’s helped me on the field, off the field, in the clubhouse. Anything you can think or imagine I’ve asked him and he’s talked to me about.“Just little things I’m picking up that people do, tipping pitches and little stuff that I personally never looked at that he’s shown me, tried to involve me. Obviously I’m a work in progress. I’m not awesome at it even when I know what he’s doing, the tipping or whatever.”Seager said he followed Utley’s career while growing up in North Carolina. Now he finds his locker next to Utley’s in the Dodgers’ home clubhouse and becomes effusive when talking about the benefits that flow from that relationship, saying he believes “100 percent” that being Utley’s teammate will benefit his career.“Just watching his at-bats, watching him grind through at-bats – I’m lost for words how impressive it is,” Seager said. “Watching him as a fan while I was growing up, you just think he’s this great player. He’s just that much better than everybody. But you watch him work – he grinds everything out, his attention to detail is off the charts.”Utley acknowledges the responsibility he has to provide a positive role model for a future star like Seager as well as others, whether through words or action.“For me, I don’t want to always be that guy, the teammate telling someone what to do. That’s not the way to go about it,” Utley said. “I think you play the game the way you think you should and hopefully some guys see how that can be beneficial and try to implement that into their game.” Utley’s long-time double-play partner, Jimmy Rollins, had similar numbers in those categories over a full season with the Dodgers last season and found himself unsigned until late February this spring when he accepted a minor-league contract offer from the Chicago White Sox. He made the White Sox’s roster and took a deep paycut (from $11 million to $2 million) only to be released in mid-June.But Utley barely had to wait until December to re-sign with the Dodgers for $7 million with other suitors lined up, willing to sign a 37-year-old middle infielder coming off the worst season of his career.“It was a couple things,” Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi said, explaining the thinking behind last winter’s most surprising decision by a front office that has advertised a desire to build a younger roster. “One, purely on the performance side, even when he was with us last year – he really had bad luck in that 150 at-bat sample. We looked at his hard-hit percentage, line drive percentage – that kind of stuff. It was actually very much in line with the numbers he’s putting up now. You would have thought he was a .280 to .300 hitter with .420 or .450 slug.“I think he was viewed as a strong bounceback candidate, that it (his poor offensive production) was going to be just one year.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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