EU – EUSC (European Union Satellite Centre) Annual Report 2009

“The Council

  • welcomed the support provided by the EUSC to the military operations of the EU, in particular its support to the operations Atalanta and EUFOR Chad/RCA, as well as its increasing role in support to the EU civilian missions, in particular in the support to the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia,
  • encouraged the facilitated access of the EUSC to governmental imagery, (…)
  • encouraged the EUSC to continue to explore cooperative opportunities where benefits for further improvement in EU crisis response capabilities could arise.”

(Council conclusions on ESDP, 18 May 2009)

Foreword by the Director

Dear Madam/Sir:

Space-based intelligence is one of the key fundamentals for sound European Union decision-making as well as successful planning and execution of EU civilian missions and military operations. Whether for monitoring of pirate-plagued waters off the coast of Somalia or for crisis management of conflicts in Africa or Asia, analytical products and services based on satellite imagery prove time and again invaluable for both senior decision-makers and civilian and military forces on the ground. In order to answer the requirements from its customers, including Operational Headquarters of EU NAVFOR, the EU Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability, EU Military Staff, EU Joint Situation Centre, EU Member States and the United Nations, the EU Satellite Centre, in 2009, further consolidated its access to high resolution governmental and commercial imagery. While the offer of commercial satellite imagery increased, the EUSC continued to closely integrate valuable governmental data from EU Member States into its products, especially from satellites like Hélios (France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Greece), COSMO-SkyMed (Italy) and soon also SAR-Lupe (Germany).

However, satellite imagery is just one part of EUSC products. The other part is the result of the human capacity to understand this data and, through interpretation and enrichment with collateral data, turn it into a relevant, timely and useful analytical product. In the business of information management, data represent only ca. 40 % of the end product, whereas analysis can represent 60% or more. Experienced imagery analysts at the EUSC – optical and radar experts, functional and regional specialists, military and civilian – create the added value that turns satellite imagery into relevant geospatial intelligence. The EUSC has been developing this core activity for more than a decade now, and 2009 has again proven us right in insisting on this number one priority for capability development. I hope that with this annual report the reader will gain a better insight into the many-faceted activities of the EUSC in 2009 and learn more about how the Centre supports the EU Common Security and Defence Policy in helping the European Union become a true global actor.


Tomaž Lovrencic

To download the report in detail as a pdf-file click here.

European Union Satellite Centre
Tel. +34 91 678 60 00
Fax: +34 91 678 60 06
Postal address:
Apdo de Correos 511
E-28850 Torrejón de Ardoz
Madrid, Spain

More news and articles can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow on Facebook and/or on Twitter