MILMAG Defence & Space 02/2020 »

MILMAG - The Military MagazineCzech SATCEN fully operational - MILMAG - The Military Magazine

Czech SATCEN fully operational

Starting from 1st January the Czech Republic’s Satellite Centre (SATCER CR) is fully operational and ready to provide the country’s military and civilian security institutions with specific, detailed and accurate information about the location of interest objects and areas. The Centre will be acquiring and analysing electro-optical and radar imaging data of a very high resolution space survey in near real time for the needs of the Czech Republic as well as allied nations and multinational institutions, such as NATO.

The Czech Republic’s Satellite Centre (SATCEN CR), which was formally launched in 2018, has reached a full operational capability status / Image: Czech MoD

‘Thanks to this new ability, which we contribute to collective defense, we increase the Czech Republic's credit in the Alliance and reaffirm our allied commitments. But the centre will not serve only the defense department. Its outputs will also be used by other state institutions or units of the Integrated Rescue System’, said Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic, Lubomír Metnar.

According to the Czech MoD, the SATCEN ‘will support NATO partners and the Czech army. Up-to-date satellite imagery will provide the soldiers with important information, for example, in reconnaissance of terrain or in covert monitoring of the enemy's forces and resources, including detection of deceptive positions and masking techniques’. The department adds that the centre could also ‘make a significant contribution to operations in liberating kidnapped persons or hostages’.

"Intelligence from satellite imagery is a great way to help our allies while exploiting the capabilities of our people in the areas of artificial intelligence or communication technology," said Czech Ambassador to NATO Jakub Landovský.

The SATCEN will provide information on the locations of the objects of interest and the areas as required. The centre willacquire electro-optical (multispectral) and radar image data from commonly available space exploration satellites. The images will be available in tens of minutes after the required space is captured, and it will be possible to distinguish objects up to 50 cm or different types of surfaces and materials.

The Czech SATCEN was officially opened on 1st July 2018, however, at that time the centre was acting on the Initial Operational Capability status. ‘We began to build the centre in 2018, and thanks to our historical experience with video intelligence and the experts we have, the centre is now fully operational and fulfilling its tasks that contribute to the security of our country and our allies’, said Military Intelligence Director Jan Beroun.

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