* The ministerial authority said that, “There is a commitment of help and support so that this project will materialize,” referring to the Center for Satellite Reception (CRS Biobío), a project driven by CEFOP-UdeC, that already has an agreement signed between the regional Intendant and the company Airbus S & D.
“As President of the Council of Ministers for Space Development, it is a privilege to be here at the University of Concepción, to get to know this Center for Satellite Reception initiative, which would be a milestone for our country in technological and scientific terms, and also to learn about the collaboration agreement that the regional government and Airbus S&D have signed to develop this project,” the Minister of Transportation and Communications, Andrés Gómez- Lobos, said during his visit to the Center for Optics and Photonics of the University of Concepción (CEFOP-UdeC).
His first stop was in the office of the Rector of our university, where the ceremonial greeting of protocol to Rector Bernabé Rivas took place. Then he plunged into the topics prepared by the research center.
After listening to the presentation by Dr. Rolando Hernández, Director of Technological Development of CEFOP-UdeC, the ministerial authority said that from the point of view of the Council of Ministers for Space Development, “We support this initiative and we will see how, from the Government end, we can help to make this project materialize.”
Dr. Hernández said the visit objective was so that the Minister could be familiar with this initiative that not only has the support of Airbus S & D, but in which various universities in the region are also involved. In his presentation, the Director of Technological Development noted that when the CRS is set up, it “will receive pictures from Spot 6 and 7 satellites, which have a coverage of 60 x 60 km, and at ground level will have a resolution on the order of 1.5 meters. That means that a person is noted as a point, and with that one can monitor roads, public works projects that are being carried out, etc. For example, if you need to know the entire range of forest roads, they can be clearly seen with a satellite image.”
In this regard, Gómez-Lobos stressed the importance that these types of projects originate in regions. “We are for decentralization, and these are the projects that underpin real decentralization- decentralization where knowledge, technology, and research are realized in regions, so we are very glad that this initiative has materialized here in Concepcion.”
The communication of the future
During his visit, the ministerial authority learned about other advances developed by CEFOP-UdeC, one of them being quantum communications projects. With this technology, CEFOP researchers have made important advances, and it is intended to provide greater security when sending data, for example. Dr. Aldo Delgado, principal researcher of CEFOP, explained: “Quantum communications delivers the promise of making communications completely secure, i.e., that cannot be intercepted or hacked by any third party. Therefore, quantum communications techniques are destined to become a technology of global importance for the future.” The Minister visited one of the laboratories where this research is being carried out, and there it was explained to him that once quantum communications technologies are implemented, “It will be possible to perform banking transactions without worrying about security. In other words, all bank fraud, or some other intervention in communications, will be impossible.”
Meanwhile, the Scientific Director of CEFOP-UdeC, Dr. Carlos Saavedra, said that the Minister’s visit is a unique opportunity to explain one of the flagship projects of the second stage of CEFOP-UdeC, the Center for Satellite Reception. “This is a project that has national and regional implications not only in economic areas, but also social areas as well. Therefore, it is important to have the possibility that the Minister in the area, who is currently responsible at the national level for the development of space policies, can learn about a project of this magnitude, which comes effectively within the stage of information technology through the use of satellite platforms that we are carrying out.”
Dr. Saavedra pointed out that the advances which CEFOP-UdeC are working on show that, without a doubt, they will be soon be concrete contributions to the region and to the country. “Quantum communications is the future of communications with the use of instrumentation that involves aspects which impacts people, such as business security systems and systems for monitoring air quality. It was an interesting opportunity to demonstrate that there are Centers in universities, like CEFOP, which at the same time are developing fundamental science and advancing knowledge with strong commitment to aspects of social development for the country.”