Earth remote sensing (ERS)

In accordance with the definition of the Remote Sensing (RS) – it’s a data about Earth received from the space, by using capabilities of electro-magnet waves emitted, reflected, absorbed or scattered by the objects of sensing.

The whole surface of Earth, including elements of land, water, atmosphere, natural phenomena, anthropogenic factors and formations, are the objects of sensing of Remote Sensing respectively.

National Space Facilities Control And Test Center (NSFCTC) is the only structure in Ukraine, that provides all variety of actions in sphere of Remote Sensing, including exploitation of Remote Sensing framework generally or its separate elements: storing, analyzing, interpretation (decrypting) and distribution Remote Sensing data.

Moreover, NCSFCT is officially recognized as a national operator of Remote Sensing systems.    

In structure NSFCTC – there are Center Of Special Information Reception and Processing (CSIRP) and Navigation Field Control (NFC) (located in Dunaevtsi city, Khmelnytsky region) with several active data receiving stations in range from 1.7GHz to 8.2GHz; stations of coordination and reception of telemetric data.


Fig.1 RS reception and telemetry stations

NSFCTC specialists has been providing full-scale exploitation of all national RS satellites beginning with the first ukrainian satellite “Sich-1” which was launched in 1994. Particularly NCSFCT specialists were involved within the framework of Ground Control Complex (GCC) and Ground Information Complex (GIC).


Fig. 2 Past and future Ukrainian remote sensing satellite systems


Fig. 3 Scheme of work of “Sich-2” Space Syctem

In nearest future the launch of perspective national satellites with resolution of 7,8m and 2,5m is planed. Total technical modernization and re-equipment of GCC and GIC as well appropriate training of NSFCTC personnel are going to be done in order to meet the requirements of listed above space systems.


Fig. 4 Prospective Ukrainian satellites of the “Sich” system

Ground Control Complex (GCC) is a complex of territorially spread radio engineering, optoelectronic and electronic computing ground facilities, which are used to control one or few spacecrafts of specific space system.

The GCC facilities solve the following tasks:

  • Measurement of movement parameters of the spacecraft;
  • Definition and prediction of the parameters of the spacecraft orbits, and, calculation of parameters of the orbit correction, if necessary;
  • Control of the technical state of the systems by processing the results of the telemetric information;
  • Inspection and correction of onboard timeline;
  • Formation and transmission of control commands (command and control programs), supervision of their activity and execution, correction of current tasks and programs during the flight of the spacecraft;
  • Restoration of efficiency and providing maximum term of active existence of spacecraft (optimization of operating modes of devices, rational consumption of energy resources and their replenishment);
  • Maintenance of stable and regular connection of “Earth-board”(uplink) and “board-Earth”(downlink);
  • Cooperation with GIC in terms of management;
  • Simulation of various emergency scenarios that may arise on board of the spacecraft, in order to make reasonable decisions while controlling the spacecraft.

Spacecraft Mission Control Center (SMCC) – is an organizational and technical complex that is intended for control of spacecraft that are part of the space system.

The main questions that are solved by SMCC during the stage of preparation of the spacecraft for the launch are following:

  • obtaining from the launch pad initial technological data on the actual parameters of onboard systems required for the operation of the GCC facilities during the orbital flight of the spacecraft;
  • receiving from the launch pad information about the exact time of launch of the spacecraft;
  • carrying out necessary ballistic calculations;
  • obtaining from the launch pad necessary information about the trajectory and state of the spacecraft during the active phase of the flight;
  • search and identification of the unmanaged spacecraft (after the initial launch of the spacecraft into orbit) by the signals of the command-and-control system in the specified area where spacecraft was placed into orbit by the carrier rocket;
  • calculation of the parameters of the placing the spacecraft into orbit for the construction of a spacecraft system or its’ modernization;
  • preparation of initial data, calculation of command-program information, issuing it to the control station (for placing it onboard of the spacecraft) and to other flight control centers (coordination of works) during the first communication session with the spacecraft.

Tasks of SMCC during the regular operation stage are:

  • command-line software tasks;
  • ballistic-navigation support tasks;
  • tasks of control of the state and functioning of on-board systems of spacecraft, or telemetric support tasks;
  • tasks of interaction with the facilities of the GCC and the organizations involved in the work with the spacecraft;
  • tasks of displaying, recording and documenting of circulating information inside the control module of spacecraft;
  • tasks of information security inside the SMCC;
  • tasks of automated information exchange and communication.

Works on the redeployment of the SMCC to CSIRP and NFC were initiated in 2015.

Land Station SKTRL-M1


Modernized land compatible command-telemetry radio line station is intended to:

  • transmission of commands and packages of information on board of spacecraft;
  • reception and processing of receipt and telemetric information, as well as masses of received data from the board of the spacecraft;
  • measurement of sloping range and radial velocity;
  • definition of inconsistency of onboard and ground scales of time;
  • organization of the exchange of information between subscribers of the general use network.

Ground Information Complex (GIC) is a complex of technical and program facilities, aimed to receive special information, its’ documentation, automatic processing, analyzing and providing final customer with the results.


Universal Ground Information Reception Station (UGIRS-8.2). It’s a reception station of high resolution remote sensing data. It provides reception, visualization, and the X-range information extraction from “Sich” and “EgyptSat-1” – type spacecraft.


ERS Information Reception Station (ERS IRS-137). Station is intended to receive, register and pre-process the information that was obtained from meteorological and natural-resource artificial satellites of the Earth in metric range of waves with the low resolution. It provides receiving of the APT-information from the “Sich”, “NOAA”, “Resurs-04” – type spacecrafts. For today the receiving is being carried out from “NOAA” – type spacecraft (AVHRR device) in range of 137Mhz frequency.


ERS Information Reception Station (ERS IRS-1,7). Station for receiving low resolution remote sensing information. It provides receiving, visualization and extraction of S-range information from “Sich”, “NOAA”, “Resurs-04” and “MeteoSat” – type spacecraft.



Receiving Station (RS-8,2). Station is aimed to receive high resolution X-range remote sensing information; demodulate that information, pre-processing and further transportation of that information to the connection lines for further processing. It has maintained operation of METEOR-3M (MSU-E devise), “Sich – 1M” and “EgyptSat – 1” spacecraft.

National Space Facilities Control and Test Center uses remote sensing data for solving following tasks:

  • operative detection of thermal anomalies (fires);
  • forecasting the level of fire safety on the territory of Ukraine;
  • monitoring the temperature of the underlying surface;
  • the state of the flood situation on the territory of Ukraine;
  • monitoring the state of snow cover and snow melting;
  • estimation of the state of snow cover and snow melting;
  • forecasting the probability of melting snow in Ukraine;
  • monitoring of snow cover height in Ukraine;
  • monitoring of the ice cover of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait.

Moreover remote sensing data is being used for national defence and security interests.

Customers can get final information result of remote sensing data processing threw appeal.

For today a governmental institution that uses remote sensing data are:

  • State Service of Ukraine for Emergency Situations;
  • Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine;
  • State Agency of Water Resources of Ukraine;
  • National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine;
  • Ukrainian Hydro meteorological Center;
  • Law enforcing agencies.

Examples of solutions to specific tasks are shown on the respective maps:

a11 a10
a9 a7

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