NEWS

Estonian Parliament Delegation visits SatCen

On 12 November 2021, SatCen had the distinct pleasure of welcoming a delegation from the Riigikogu, the Estonian Parliament, led by Mr Marko Mihkelson, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The delegation was composed of Mr Mihhail Lotman, Deputy Chairman, Mr Henn Põlluaas, Member of the Riigikogu, Ms Birgit Keerd-Leppik, Adviser and Head of Secretariat, along with H.E. Ms Mariin Ratnik, Ambassador of Estonia to Spain.

 

This first visit served as an introduction to the work of SatCen, providing an opportunity to demonstrate the different capabilities of the Centre and helping deepen understanding of the governance, responsibilities and authorities of the Agency. In a short overview of SatCen, Director Sorin Ducaru presented space as a strategic domain with enabling possibilities for both daily lives, concerning communication, navigation, economy, etc. but with implications for security and defence purposes as well. In this sense, Director Ducaru discussed SatCen activities, which at its core have geospatial analysis, but also described IT activities that support GEOINT, as well as capability development, partnerships and important activities in training, both for SatCen staff but also for other EU bodies and Member States. Mr Ducaru finished with significant examples on the value of autonomous awareness for foreign policy decision-making and actions.

 

Mr Álvaro Rodríguez, Head of Operations, showcased SatCen operational capabilities, deep-diving into specific examples and discussing the portfolio of products that respond to different user needs and requirements. In a lively exchange with the delegation, Mr Rodríguez underlined the value of SatCen not only as a tool for EU strategic autonomy but also as a multiplier and hub for synergies. For this, SatCen’s effective range of tools and products were described, along with the positive impact and contribution this has for Member States.

 

Whereas Mr Álvaro Rodríguez focused on one component of SatCen’s mission, specifically the core activity of providing Security from Space, Mr Paulo Nunes, Project Manager SSA/SST, addressed SatCen’s contributing mission of providing Security in Space, through its unique role as EU SST Front Desk. In this regard, Mr Nunes introduced the state of space as being congested and discussed EU efforts in this domain, highlighting SatCen’s contribution and activity in this sense. Within SatCen’s role as EU SST Front Desk lies its responsibility of acting as an interface for service provision delivery to users. Via an online platform, better known as the SST portal, different users have access to three types of services: collision avoidance, fragmentation analysis and re-entry analysis. Mr Nunes shared the future vision of the said portal as an integrated communication and coordination platform for satellite operators. Additionally, Mr Nunes underlined the need for security not only on earth but in space as well, distinguishing from space being not only congested but also contested.

 

The delegation showed particular interest in SatCen’s capabilities of monitoring and analyzing activities on earth and, in the words of Mr Mihkelson, was thankful for the “excellent briefing and services provided to make our lives more secure”.

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    Image1 of 10Mr Marko Mihkelson, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Estonian Parliament arrives at SatCen
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    Image2 of 10Estonian Parliamentarian delegation visits Centre
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    Image3 of 10Briefing by SatCen Director Sorin Ducaru
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    Image4 of 10Exchange of views with Deputy Director Louis Tillier
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    Image5 of 10Exchange of views
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    Image6 of 10Operational Briefing by Álvaro Rodríguez, Head of Operations
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    Image7 of 10Space Situational Awareness and Tracking Briefing by Mr Paulo Nunes, Project Manager SSA/SST
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    Image8 of 10Mr Marko Mihkelson signing the Book of Honour
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    Image9 of 10Exchange of gifts
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    Image10 of 10Estonian Parliament Delegation visits SatCen