The center is already monitoring space and will reach its final operational capacity in 2023. Under the Air Force, the new Space and Surveillance Center (COVE) at the Torrejn de Ardoz Air Force Base is attached to the Aerospace Headquarters.The Combat Air Command Surveillance and Control System (SVICA) and its creation are based on the relevance given by the And the need to monitor it because of its high potential for interference, according to Brigadier General Juan Francisco Sanz. Head of SVICA. Defense Secretary Margarita Robles visited it to learn more about how it works.
The importance of space is undeniable, it has an absolutely transversal character, it affects all sectors, from economy to leisure, transport and above all security and defense, explained Sanz. The general pointed out that threats and challenges from space have increased significantly and cited a few examples. The deliberate actions of a hostile nature (threats) include the inspection satellites, which can approach others to hinder their operations or to remove them from their own orbit, although they can also approach to solve problems. Nowadays, space resources are critical infrastructures and a country’s security depends on its space capabilities, he said. However, the challenges are of a natural or unintended nature, like space debris or solar storms.
The Space Surveillance Operations Center is integrated into the national space surveillance and tracking system (S3T) and significantly increases the effectiveness and efficiency of the available resources. In the short and medium term, its role is to monitor space, especially as it affects the evolution of the armed forces’ military operations. Its activities also include the distribution of space weather forecasts and their possible effects, as well as forecasts about the accuracy of positioning, navigation and weather signals. In the long term, it is expected to be able to provide space management services. Likewise, COVE has important areas of national and international cooperation with industry and universities, NATO and the EU, as well as with the United States, as there is an exchange of knowledge, training and education that requires a lot of cooperation. The acquisition of all of its skills is expected to be achieved in June 2023 with a team of 30 highly skilled employees. The first phase was completed in June 2020 and the second will end in June of this year.
Photo: Space Surveillance Operations Center personnel (Air Force photo)
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