INVAP is an Argentine company that provides design, integration, construction and delivery of equipment, plants and devices. The company operates in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, the Middle-East and Africa, and delivers projects for nuclear, aerospace, chemical, medical, petroleum and governmental sectors.
INVAP holds a close relationship with the Argentine Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA) and the Argentine Space Commission (CONAE), institutions with which it has jointly accomplished major projects. The company is related to numerous international organizations, such as the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) and the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (AEA).
INVAP was created in 1976, as a spin-off of the Argentine Autonomic Energy Commission, research laboratories division. The company is an unlisted private company, the sole owner being the Province of Rio Negro. The company’s headquarters is in San Carlos de Bariloche. As of 2015, the company directly employs 1,330 people, from which 59% are highly qualified professionals.
INVAP was the first company in Latin America certified by NASA to supply space technologies. It manufactures satellites, payloads, and ground stations, including the SAC (Satelites de Aplicación Científica) satellite family, developed for the Argentine space agency CONAE. INVAP was the first company in Latin America to provide design, development, mission control and operational support. The SAC-D was put into orbit on June 9th, 2011, carrying several scientific payloads, including NASA’s 100 million USD Aquarius project, which will measure the oceans’ sanity.
In 2007 the Argentinian government by law created a company named ARSAT, formerly NahuelSat, Argentina’s first commercial satellite operator for the manufacturing and operations of communications satellites and founded in 1992 by European companies, Aerospatiale, Daimler-Chrysler and Alenia Spazio.
The first communications satellite entirely built in Argentina by INVAP was the ARSat-1 that was launched in 2014 by launch operator Arianespace. The second satellite, ARSat-2, was launched in September 2015 on an Ariane 5 rocket operated by Arianespace.
The third ARSat satellite, ARSat-SG1 (ARSat Second Generation-1), known as ARSat-3, is scheduled to be launched in 2023. The project for ARSat SG-1 communications satellite was restarted in February 2020, four years after ARSat-3 was put on hold.
In 2018 INVAP and Turkey’s partly state-owned Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), manufacturer of fighter planes, attack helicopters and military drones, formed GSatcom Space Technologies (GSatcom), with the goal of building and selling small GEO satellites at home and abroad.
The JV-company will focus mainly on high-throughput satellites that would weigh 500 to 2,000 kilograms with 1.5 to 7.5kW of onboard power. GSatcom will be constructing the ARSat SG-1 spacecraft.
Turkish Aerospace Industries built most of the Turkish government’s optical imaging satellite Gokturk-2, helped build Gokturk-1 with Thales Alenia Space, and is constructing Türksat-6A satellite for satellite operator TürkSat. Türksat-6A will be Turkey’s first domestically produced geostationary telecom satellite.
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