Poland will gain access to space situational awareness services and data, including alerts concerning collisions, fragmentation, or uncontrolled satellite reentries into Earth’s atmosphere. The data will be provided by the US Air Force Space Command’s 18th Space Control Squadron on the basis of an agreement signed on April 10, 2019, by Michal Szaniawski, acting President of The Polish Space Agency (POLSA) and Rear Adm. Richard Correll, director of plans and policy for USSTRATCOM during the 35th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.
The SSA data plays an important role in ensuring the safety of satellite systems from certain extraterrestrial threats. The data is particularly crucial for monitoring the safety of the costly infrastructure operating in space, including the International Space Station and almost 2000 active observation, navigation and communication satellites delivering data used daily around the world.
- Building and enabling the national Space Situational Awareness system is one of the goals indicated in the Polish Space Strategy adopted by the Government of the Republic of Poland in February 2017 - said Jadwiga Emilewicz, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Innovation of Poland. - The agreement signed in Colorado Springs is of vital importance for operations of national space assets. I have in mind the strategic aspects of the agreement relating to cooperation between POLSA and USSTRATCOM, which will support securing the future national space infrastructure (satellites), safety of space vehicles and critical ground infrastructure, as well as the security of our citizens. The agreement is also important for the Polish space sector. It will influence the development of our space object monitoring infrastructure, which encompass all sorts of sensor systems, but also observation data analysis and processing – added Minister Emilewicz.
Signing the agreement with USSTRATCOM is yet another activity undertaken by POLSA in order to promote development of Polish capabilities related to space situational awareness. With this goal in mind, a special task force was appointed at the agency in May 2018, whose efforts resulted in Poland’s accession to the European Union SST (Space Surveillance and Tracking) Consortium in December 2018. The establishment, development, and implementation of a national situational awareness system is included among five large projects which are to be carried out within the Polish National Space Program 2019-2021.
- The agreement with USSTRATCOM will support enlarging Polish SSA capabilities, in particular developing an SSA Operations Center in Poland, which will serve to enhance safety of Polish and allied satellites in space, among other goals. Signing the document is also a first step to broaden the SSA cooperation between Poland and the USA - said Michal Szaniawski, acting President of the Polish Space Agency.
The SSA data provided by USSTRATCOM is already used by the European Space Agency, the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, 18 countries most active in the space sector (including France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Canada, Israel, Belgium, and Japan), and over 74 commercial satellite operators.
- This agreement expands our already strong military and economic partnership into another domain - said Adm. Richard Correll, director of plans and policy for USSTRATCOM. - Agreements like this one, between responsible nations, are critical to setting norms that encourage peaceful space operations.
USSTRATCOM has global responsibilities that include strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.
- This is a major milestone in boosting Polish-U.S. collaboration in space. Specifically, it realizes President Trump’s goals to support safe, stable, and sustainable space activities - said Georgette Mosbacher, the USA Ambassador in Poland.