Poland signs agreement to launch first satellite constellation

Poland has signed an agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA) that will allow the country to launch its first constellation of satellites in 2027.

The constellation will consist of at least four satellites – three optoelectronic and one radar – working together as a system. Poland will fund the expected €85 million (378 million zloty) costs while the ESA will help the country with the design, construction, launch and commissioning of the satellites.

Data from the devices will help Poland in the monitoring and management of land use, agriculture (for example, to predict crop yields), the environment, infrastructure, water, and emergencies (for example, to assess flood risks and monitor border security).

✍️ Dziś weszła w życie umowa, na mocy której Polska zyska własną konstelację satelitów obserwacyjnych!
🛰️Rozpoczną one prace już w 2027 r.

💬Minister @waldemar_buda: To niezwykle ważna umowa, która daje nam nowe narzędzia zwiększające bezpieczeństwo i poprawę jakości życia nas… pic.twitter.com/nvNGpso7ZJ

— Ministerstwo Rozwoju i Technologii (@MRiTGOVPL) October 30, 2023

“This is an extremely important agreement that gives us new tools to increase security and improve the quality of life for all of us,” said development minister Waldemar Buda, who signed the agreement with the ESA yesterday.

“Currently, Poland does not have its own satellites, and the demand for high-resolution data is very high,” he noted.

“Data obtained through the satellites will be used, among other things, to record, assess and monitor the effects of climate change and environmental pollution, as well as to assess security, or, for example, to determine the amount of state support for farmers and businesses,” added the minister.

Polish space agency signs deal with NASA for “exploration of Moon, Mars and beyond” https://t.co/yfntgRvBP5

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) October 28, 2021

The ESA’s decision to provide assistance to Poland was announced last week by the agency’s director, Josef Aschbacher, who also revealed that the new satellite constellation would be named “Camilla”.

The director of the ESA’s Earth Observation programmes, Simonetta Cheli, noted that, as well as supporting Poland in designing, building, launching and commissioning satellites, they would also help develop monitoring services.

“This would be a significant step for Poland and [the] Earth Observation industry to build capabilities and boost its role/competitiveness in the Earth observation market,” she added.

#EarthObservation is a joint effort & supporting our Member States is a key part of @esa’s goals: I welcome @esa’s new agreement with Poland to support the country’s new #EarthObservation endeavors.@AschbacherJosef announced the agreement this morning: https://t.co/yGb4o11hNm pic.twitter.com/KleYEqtgde

— Simonetta Cheli (@SimonettaCheli) October 20, 2023

Earlier this year, Poland revealed that it had increased its contributions to the ESA by €295 million for the years 2023-2025, allowing Polish companies to participate in various programmes for the development of technologies, products and services in the field of satellite communications, navigation and Earth observation.

In August, the Polish Space Agency (PAK) announced that a Polish astronaut will participate in an ESA mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

It will be only the second time in history that a Pole has travelled to space. Poland put forward Sławosz Uznański. an eingeer, as its candidate for the mission. He began his training for the mission in September.

Notes from Poland is run by a small editorial team and published by an independent, non-profit foundation that is funded through donations from our readers. We cannot do what we do without your support.

Main image credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center / flickr.com (under CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED)

Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for Reuters.

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