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News Article

Mexico Joins Satellite Monitoring System

By Alicia Arizpe | Wed, 12/09/2020 - 12:35

The Mexican Space Agency (AEM) and the Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) joined their efforts to those of other agencies in Latin America in the development of the Integral Satellite Information Regional System (SIRIS) platform. SIRIS, which is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) and supported by institutions from Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, uses satellite technology to monitor several economic activities and to support decision-making.

While many believe satellites are used mainly in monitoring and telecommunications, this technology has a broad scope of applications including supporting agriculture through field monitoring and management using satellite images. The SIRIS project, which is being coordinated by the National Committee of Space Activities of Argentina (CONAE), will grant Mexico access to satellite resources for productive activities. “The digital platform SIRIS shows the advance in space cooperation in Latin America, which through satellite data provides valuable information for decision-making in member countries,” said Salvador Landeros Ayala, Director General of AEM. This collaboration will grant Mexico access to three digital components: Agro Products, which will provide information that can be used in forestry and agriculture; Fire Products, for monitoring fires and prevention; and Health Products, which maps risks for certain diseases.

SIRIS uses the ISAGRO system to review satellite information for agriculture applications. The latter platform can be accessed by public and private associations and individuals interested in monitoring their fields. ISAGRO provides meteorology and ground humidity information and fire, drought and frost warnings, among others. By sharing information and capabilities across participating countries, SIRIS would be able to provide more and better information on many areas, while reducing production and environmental risks. SIRIS was also highlighted by AEM as a solidary project among Latin American nations.

AEM is spearheading numerous efforts to strengthen Mexico’s space capabilities and increase awareness on how satellites can improve daily life. Last month, AEM signed a collaboration agreement with Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEMEX) to monitor agriculture fields using satellites to better plan their use and prevent plagues and damages from natural disasters. Previously, AEM had signed a strategic alliance for the joint development of satellites with UNAM to promote the education of highly trained professionals and the development of technology for space research and exploration. The agency also highlighted its numerous applications during the first National Space Activities Congress (CONACES), an online event that highlighted research projects from Mexican space scientists.

Alicia Arizpe Alicia Arizpe Senior Writer