Spain’s Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, and Portugal’s Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Elvira Fortunato, have signed an agreement for the development of the Atlantic Constellation, a joint constellation of 16 Earth observation satellites.
The agreement was adopted in the framework of the XXXIII Spanish-Portuguese Summit, held in Viana do Castelo and led by the President of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa.
The Minister of Science and Innovation assured that this constellation, which will complement the European Union’s (EU) European Copernicus satellites, will provide data from any place on Earth every three hours, which will allow its use in applications that require a high frequency of images, such as firefighting or mitigating the effect of natural disasters.
It is envisaged that each of the two countries will independently build and operate half of the satellites of the Atlantic Constellation, which will involve a total investment of 60 million euros thanks to funds from the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.
The Constellation is open for other countries to join, which would increase the data frequency to hourly satellite information, improving the performance of the system without increasing the cost for the participating states. The United Kingdom, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil and Norway have already shown their interest in doing so.
This initiative is part of the Strategic Project for Aerospace Recovery and Economic Transformation (PERTE), coordinated by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, which will mobilise ¤4.5 billion to boost science and innovation in the aerospace field.