PAZ: a Spanish satellite ready for space

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PAZ: a Spanish satellite ready for space

The PAZ satellite will turn Spain into the third European country with its own capacity of observation and monitoring from outer space
The PAZ satellite will turn Spain into the third European country with its own capacity of observation and monitoring from outer space

Spain is about to become the third European country with its own capacity of observation and monitoring of natural resources, territories and infrastructure, surveillance and border security, and humanitarian emergencies and crises from outer space.

On 30 January, our country is launching PAZ, our first high-resolution space-based radar and Earth observation satellite, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, USA.

PAZ will be in orbit at an altitude of 514 kilometres for five years and a half, giving 24-hour coverage of the entire planet and offering business and governmental solutions.

PAZ is equipped with a powerful, state-of-the-art radar capable of producing day and night images with a resolution of up to 25 centimetres in all kinds of atmospheric conditions. Its sophisticated devices include an automatic identification system (AIS), which, together with a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), enables better monitoring of marine environments.

The satellite will also perform an experiment led by the Institute of Space Sciences of the Spanish National Research Council (IEEC-CSIC): the Radio Occultation and Extreme Precipitation Project for Extreme Precipitation Study and Forecasting.

International cooperation

For the final stages of satellite development to be successful, the developing team worked in close collaboration with Airbus, leading partner, and Hisdesat, satellite owner and operator. All in all, the project to develop, manufacture and launch the PAZ satellite required collaboration from 18 European partners.

The development of the space-based radar is one step further for the Spanish aerospace industry. ‘It is a success story for teamwork in the global space industry and the Spanish aerospace sector in particular,’ said José Guillamón, Head of EO, Navigation and Science at Airbus Space Systems, at the presentation.

In the words of Miguel Ángel Panduro, CEO of Hisdesat, ‘The PAZ satellite project meant hundreds of qualified jobs over the years, plus a significant boost to research, innovation and development in Spain.’

In addition, our country’s first Earth observation satellite will make contributions to Copernicus, the European global monitoring programme for environment and security.