Created in 1971, the National Research Institute (INPE) operates in the fields of meteorology and climate change, Earth observation, space and atmospheric sciences and space engineering. The agency also provides weather and climate forecasting services, the monitoring deforestation in the Amazon, satellite tracking and control, monitoring of burning, lightning and air pollution.
INPE's activities in fact began in the decade prior to its foundation. On August 3, 1963 the Organization Group of the National Commission on Space Activities (GOCNAE) was set up, and in 1963 it was renamed the National Space Activities Commission (CNAE). In 1971 the CNAE was shut down to make way for INPE, then linked to the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).
INPE is the main civil agency responsible for space development in Brazil. Linked to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT), it transfers knowledge and encourages training in the Brazilian space industry and the development of Brazil's space sector. Click here for more information.
Among the most important of INPE programs is the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS), which began with the signing of the agreement on cooperation in space with China, in 1988. The partnership led to the launch of three satellites in 1999, 2003 and 2007. By 2014 two more will be sent into space.
With regard to meteorology, the Center for Weather Forecasting and Climate Studies (CPTEC) at INPE, created in 1994 and based in Cachoeira Paulista (Sao Paulo state), is one of the most complete weather and climate forecasting centers in the world. The area is closely linked to development of the country, especially in agriculture, energy and environmental conservation. INPE's computational resources rank Brazil among the leading countries in processing capacity dedicated to weather and climate operations and research.