The Czech Republic’s army recently announced it is planning to open a space surveillance center to assess and process satellite and aerial images for the military intelligence service (VZ) as well as NATO. The center – known as SATCEN CR – will receive ground-based images from around the globe, analyze them, and provide them for the alliance’s defense planning and the local army’s use. The center, which is financed by the Czech Defense Ministry, plans for a July 1st opening and will become fully operational by the end of 2019.
“The center’s building costs are to reach hundreds of millions of crowns and its annual operation will cost dozens of millions,” said VZ spokeswoman Alzbeta Riethofov.
Experts will receive images that are commonly available from research satellites, but the center will also have its own equipment to receive images directly from the orbits.
“The center staff will process and assess the data subsequently,” Riethofova added. “It is not just about the extraordinary properties of the system, which is able to deliver the required information within tens of minutes. It also attests to the fact that our specialists are not falling behind world experts in anything.”
SATCEN CR will also help rescuers when monitoring natural disasters. Data from the center could be utilized by firefighters or rescuers in times of floods or fires. During floods, rescuers would be able to tell exactly where the water has spread. Satellite images could be also used by the Transport Ministry in supervising highway and bridge constructions.
“Movements of bridges can thus be monitored and landslides can be detected on time. I am sure that this would be appreciated during the construction of the D8 highway,” stated an expert from the military intelligence working on the center’s preparation.