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Spanish Earth Observation Satellite set to launch this week
16 November 2020 @ 22:27

A TOTALLY Spanish-made satellite is due to go up into space from South America in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and will be able to capture ultra-detailed, high-resolution footage of land use, urban development, water supply, forest fires, wetlands, national borders, and crops.

The Vega will be capable, among other functions, of monitoring drought processes to be able to prepare for crop failure long before it happens, and send real-time alerts of wildfires breaking out.

Located at 670 kilometres above the earth, Vega will collate vital information for the entire planet, not just Spain, where it was built.

A Seosat-Ingenio, with the ability to take up to 600 images a day with a resolution of 2.5 metres – enough to take a close-up photo of a euro coin from 10 kilometres away – the Vega will be launched from the European space port of Kuru in Guyane Française at 02.52 mainland Spain time (01.52 GMT and Canary Island time) on November 17, alongside the French-made satellite Taranis.

Airbus Defence Space España's programme leader, engineer Oriol Álvarez, says the Vega, which weighs 830 kilos, can capture images of both sides of the planet at once and can 'visit' anywhere in the world in three days, takes just 98 minutes to orbit the Earth.

“This means it can circumnavigate the globe completely 14.7 times a day,” Álvarez explains.

“It's able to return to the same precise spot every three days.

“Thanks to the Vega, we've achieved two major aims: Firstly, we've shown the extent of the Spanish aerospace industry's capacity to develop high-performance satellite platforms; secondly, we've given Spain its own high-resolution Earth observation system.”

With technical and project management support from the European Space Agency (ESA), the Vega is financed and led by the Industry Technology Development Centre (CDTI), part of the ministry of science and innovation, and Airbus España has led a consortium of Spanish industries in its creation and design.

Companies involved include Sener, Thales Alenia Space España, Indra, Iberespacio, HV Sistemas, GMV, Deimos Space, Crisa and GTD – a range which, according to Álvarez, shows Spain has a 'solid aerospace fabric' and whose results will 'open the door to future national and international projects' of this magnitude.

Colour and black-and-white photographs are taken by the two telescopes fitted to the Spanish Earth Observation Satellite (SeoSat), and would be able to snap every centimetre of Spain's territory within less than two months.

Main observation areas of priority interest programmed at present are Latin America, North Africa, Europe, and Spain itself, and the footage will be distributed to private and public users as well as contributing to the massive European Earth observation programme, Copernicus; additionally, it will complement the work of the satellite radar PAZ, sent into orbit in 2018 mainly for defence purposes.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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