Greece to Launch New Satellite Constellation

Greece to build 13 satellites to help with environmental monitoring and national security.
Greece to build 13 satellites to help with environmental monitoring and national security. Credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. CC BY 2.0/flickr

Greece is set to launch its first ever state-owned satellite constellation to help government agencies collect vital data for improved environmental monitoring, disaster response, and national security.

The 13 satellites, costing 60 million euros, are being built by UK company Open Cosmos’s branch in Greece – Open Cosmos Aegean.

What Will Greece’s Satellite Constellation Comprise?

The constellation will comprise three separate types of satellites, including seven small satellites in LEO, each fitted with multispectral and hyperspectral cameras for high-resolution Earth imaging of the entire Greek territory. These will help Greece monitor the spread of marine pollution and provide farmers with precision data to make agriculture more efficient.

There will also be four thermal imaging satellites, equipped with specialized sensors. These satellites will provide real-time data for fire monitoring, especially in the night hours when visibility is limited – significantly improving firefighting efforts.

And finally, there will be two radar satellites. These advanced satellites will be employed in a national security role for Greece by surveying military installations and providing information during earthquakes and floods. Their ability to “see” through debris and assess flood depth will be extremely helpful for disaster response teams.

The Greek government will pay for the cluster. The project, which is also supported by ESA, will complement the Atlantic Constellation – an EO project from Portugal, Spain, and the UK – announced in November.

“Greece is making significant steps in space,” Dimitris Papastergiou, Greece’s minister of digital governance, said in a statement. “By investing in both capacity-buying and capacity-building space programs, our aim is to stimulate local high-tech space industries, foster job creation, retain our skilled engineers and space experts in the country, and attract additional talent.”

Greece’s satellites will use on-board AI to speed up data processing and become part of Open Cosmos’ envisioned OpenConstellation – a large fleet of small, EO satellites shared by different users. Open Cosmos wants the OpenConstellation to become the “largest shared infrastructure in space.”

Greece has committed to providing access to data from its new constellation to improve disaster response and environmental monitoring worldwide.

Open Cosmos was founded in 2015 with the declared vision of simplifying access to space using small satellites, to ensure that a greater number of organizations all over the world could benefit from the richness of satellite data to address their challenges.

Its first satellite was delivered in record time when the company was only a few months old and comprised of five people. Since then, it has grown into a multinational company with top talent from all over the world that has delivered advanced telecommunication, earth observation, navigation, and scientific satellites.

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