Currently in different orbits of the Earth 4870 existing spacecraft for various purposes, and information, which they transmit, enters the branched terrestrial system. Without ground complex, without those specialists, which provide flight here, on earth, manned and unmanned satellites, space mission is impossible. In Ukraine, this mission is performed by the National Center for Space Management and Testing (НЦУВКЗ).


Rewarding servicemen

Until recently, the National Center was located in Evpatoria, where 4 October 1957 year with the reception of the signal of the first artificial satellite of the Earth began its work Space Control Center. NTSUVKZ is the only one not only in our country, but also throughout Eastern Europe organization, which provides a full cycle of measures for the operation of space systems for various purposes. The center has unique ground control stations for spacecraft and receiving stations, capable of working with huge data streams from almost all Earth's remote sensing satellites in orbit (DZZ).

Unfortunately, most of our compatriots do not even imagine, what is the space system. Everyone knows about the satellite (KA), however, in the space system it is a very small element. Part of the space system is the rocket and space complex, which consists of many components: launch vehicle (PH), spacecraft (KA), technical complex, where tests and docking are performed, starting complex, where they launch a rocket with a spacecraft and a test site, which provides measurements on the active part of the flight. And that's when the rocket has already worked on the active part of the flight - separated the spacecraft and launched it into space, the ground control complex begins to work with it, whose specialists manage the spacecraft. We are the drivers of the spacecraft. And if to add to this list also a ground special complex, stations which receive information from the spacecraft, and then it is distributed, then all this together is a space system.

The mission of the ground complex

The role of the ground complex is huge, without it, the satellite will not perform its function. Imagine, The spacecraft took off and flew in orbit: information is not received, not processed and, Of course, not transferred to public and private organizations and agencies. So the National Center is that segment, which combines a ground control complex and a ground special complex and ensures the operation of the spacecraft as intended. Given the total cost of the entire space system, then 40 interest is the value of the terrestrial system. Space systems are different, namely: remote sensing of the Earth (DZZ), communication, meteorological, scientific, navigation, manned, and each system has such a component, as a ground complex. NCUVKZ specialists can operate any system: navigation, DZZ, communication, etc.. This is the achievement of Ukraine. We managed to preserve the ground complex after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in 2014 to restore and develop the structure in Kyiv and various regions of Ukraine after the annexation of Crimea. After the modernization and renovation of the center, we have the opportunity to manage any space systems, work with all types of spacecraft, which are in the world. What we are interested in for foreign partners? Let's say, if they plan to launch their satellites into orbit, not having its own terrestrial space infrastructure, they don't need to spend more 40 interest on its creation, they can apply to Ukraine. And we will be able to manage their spacecraft on a contractual basis, receive information, if needed, process it and transmit it to high-speed channels to Internet users. After all, we have a large fleet of restored and new information reception stations, in particular, universal command and measuring station SKTRL-M1 spacecraft control, working with any satellites.

Device management and information reception

We are currently capturing information from six satellites and transmitting it to domestic users. Some skeptics say, why Ukraine has its own satellite? I want to note, that most of the tasks we perform are in the interests of national security. And if our specialists accept such information at their station - it's one thing, and if you take information from dealers - it's different. Better, Of course, and more reliably receive information from their spacecraft. Example, Ukraine will buy pictures and software abroad, and where is the guarantee, that we will not buy a counterfeit? The image can be retouched, add or remove something, that is, there is no 100 percent guarantee. If we accept information to your station, even from foreign satellites, this cannot be. However, there are also some problems and inconveniences. Foreign operator, which gives us such an opportunity, can put Ukrainian customers in line for filming. And that's at the time, when we need operational information, let's say, in case of fire or flood, explosions in weapons depots. After all, the board has restrictions on the order - someone ordered the shooting earlier, and the rest will stand in line for a few days and wait, while the information is dropped on the station. We will have our own companion, we will be fast, receive information reliably and quickly, because no one needs the old one anymore. There is no spacecraft in Ukraine yet, which have a disparate ability to ultrahigh, from 30 centimeters of pixel projection to meter, but "Jan 2-30", which is scheduled to launch at the end of the year, will allow to receive information more quickly and on a wide front, having wide delight. Our satellite passes the area more than 40 kilometers.

Picture of the area of ​​operation of ground stations

Today tests of the satellite "Sich 2-30" at the manufacturer's enterprise proceed. As for the ground control complex and the ground special complex, I can point out, that the technical means are all ready. However, some programs, which are required to control the spacecraft, as well as the flight control center are still in the process of adaptation to operators. There is still time, we work according to the training schedule. And he is not that for a day, not an hour behind, and in some areas ahead. And we plan to complete all tasks according to this schedule.

In the Khmelnytsky region, near Dunaivtsi, the Flight Control Center was established (CUP). There are trained staff, reinforced this year, including graduates of the Zhytomyr Military Institute named after SP. The Queen. The backup CUP will be the command hall, located in Kiev, in NCUVKZ.

First of all - efficiency

NCUVKZ cooperates with various organizations and agencies, public and private, as well as responsible users. They are most interested in remote sensing data. We are currently completing tasks, which was set before us by the President, on monitoring of high-resolution remote sensing spacecraft on the territory of Ukraine. Monitoring takes place within the framework of the land sale program and updating of the Land Cadastre. Representatives of different regions turn to us not only for information, but also for additional services, such as the manufacture of orthophotoplans of scale 1 to 10000, making various forecasts. Example, there are landslide problems on the Black Sea coast of Odessa region. In the city of the Black Sea, the sea is selected for residential areas, washing away houses. Our specialists analyze the situation, observe the dynamics, calculate dangerous places and issue a forecast to the nearest millimeter. Black Sea local authorities are interested in cooperation, and we help them solve problems. We also receive a lot of inquiries from environmental areas, this is precisely due to the state of the rivers and seas - the Black and Azov, pollution of water bodies, deforestation, illegal amber mining.

This summer, fires were burning in various countries around the world - forests were burning in Russia, USA, Greece, Turkey, in Cyprus. In Ukraine, Fortunately, there are no such large-scale fires, there are sometimes local fires. Last year, the Chornobyl forest burned, we submitted information to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine and other agencies, helping to localize the fire. Thanks to the specialists of the NCUVKZ, the issue of quick provision of information to public and private organizations has been resolved, efficiency is up to 30 minutes from the moment we receive the information. We report, in which area there was a thermal anomaly, developed software packages, which make it possible to immediately notify the head of the OTG and firefighters, as well as the police. The information immediately arrives on the user's smartphone, where indicated, in which square is the thermal anomaly, and the SES goes there. The most important thing is to put out the fire at the initial stage, preventing the spread of fire. There is no such efficiency even in Europe, there the notifications lasted up to two hours, and we went out 30 minutes. We plan to further develop our territorial structures, equip them with means, which will receive information from the spacecraft, defining natural and man-made hazardous areas. These are such spacecraft, in which the aisle is immediately 400 kilometers, and there are several such satellites in the system. That is, there is a constant monitoring of the territory of Ukraine, and this is a very important job, conducted by specialists of NCUVKZ.

High-precision radio navigation

Today, global navigation systems are becoming especially important, whose data is used in GPC primarily. We provide information on differential corrections to GPC data measurements, which then give out coordinates with an accuracy of 1-2 centimeters. Navigation systems are used in precision farming, in construction, etc.. Today our main task is to cover Ukraine with control and correction stations, providing increased accuracy of the user's location in accordance with the signals of global navigation satellite systems. We already have 43 station, eight more stations will be commissioned by the end of the year. We have already covered more than half of Ukraine and plan to continue this direction, after all, it is very relevant and promising, works both in the interests of the security sector, and for the economy, especially for the agricultural sector.


RT-32 radio telescope

Seismic control and geophysical observations

One of the tasks of our Center - fixing nuclear explosions in the world and obtaining information on various natural and man-made phenomena - is earthquakes, explosions. We have a network of branched sensors in different regions of Ukraine, working in the field of geophysical monitoring and included in European and world similar structures.

So we can provide real-time information on Ukraine. Our sensors are also installed at nuclear power plants, to capture vibrations and fractures, such unique equipment can control all explosions in Ukraine in quarries. Sometimes applicants cheat - show one number, actually rip off more, we provide this information to the police, SBU, The Prosecutor General's Office on request. All information, which is processed for the power unit, also joins the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. We actually pass on a lot of classified information - this applies to the war in the east of the country, investigations, conducted by the police, SBU (it is all closed).

Specialists of our Center also work at the Ukrainian Antarctic Station "Academician Vernadsky": information comes from there, associated with space weather. We, by the way, the Space Weather Center was established, located near Kiev, which is recognized by the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. It transmits data to European and American centers. Data from the Antarctic station are also used for scientific purposes, and to notify of space weather and earthquakes.

The specificity of our Center is also that, that civilian specialists and servicemen work here, business trip from the Ministry of Defense to perform tasks in the interests of national security. 80 percent information, which we provide to consumers, related to the national security and defense sector. That's why servicemen serve here. NTSUVKZ conducts powerful scientific activity, we work 10 doctors of sciences and more 30 candidates of sciences.

Loss prevention

There is such a concept in economics, as a loss prevention. According to our data, Ukraine has preserved for a year 7,5 billion hryvnias. We prevented huge losses, carrying out fire notifications, warning of deforestation, amber mining, alluvium of sand in different regions of the country, monitored and provided information on illegal mining explosions. Thanks to our information, a lot of criminal cases have been opened. And this is the effectiveness of the work.

For some time we will receive data from the domestic satellite "January 2-30", and now we continue to work with a group of European satellites. The European Commission has given us access to six Copernicus spacecraft. We also have the ability to receive information from more than 20 Spacecraft with open access: these are meteorological satellites, which control CO emissions, CO2 and other harmful substances. We accept all this, process and provide to consumers.

New opportunities and tasks

For, to work at a high enough level, funding is needed. We made a budget request for next year, and if the Verkhovna Rada supports us in approving the budget, we will be able to increase our capacity. Today, our specialists take images from optical satellites, but Ukraine is located in such a region, where from November to December - snowfall, rain and clouds. In such climatic conditions it is not possible to take pictures - due to the constant clouds nothing is visible. There are also few clear, cloudless days in March. Our specialists have worked out the processing of radar data, they can be obtained, regardless of the time of year and time of day. The necessary funding will make it possible to receive information from radar satellites at our stations. Of course, you also need to have software packages, who will process this information. This is very relevant and promising, today only a few countries have such an opportunity - the United States, France, Germany, Japan, RF, Italy, Canada, China. Ukraine will also have such an opportunity, if the deputies support our proposals.

We try to keep up with the leading European countries and even go one step ahead. We are considering the creation of a station for receiving information from modern spacecraft, not only in the X-band, but also in the Ka-range, it's over 20 GHz, range - more informative and high-speed. The United States has them, but in European countries, apparently, Currently there is no. The difference is significant: if a satellite, which operates in the X-band, flying over Ukraine, resets the information in 7-8 minutes, then in the Ka-range it will reset it in 7-8 seconds. We set up our specialists to work with such systems.

We are approached by the world's leading countries to insure their space systems, after all, the radio vision zone of our stations allows us to receive information on a time scale from the Atlantic, if the satellite passes through this zone, to the Urals, we are expanding it. The station was recently built in Kharkiv, will on 700 kilometers advanced beyond the Urals, to the Middle East, North, therefore, they are showing interest in our stations, especially those countries, that is far from Ukraine, - This is China, South Korea, Japan, from the western continent is the United States, countries of South America. The provision of services to foreign operators contributes to additional revenues for the development of the NCUVKZ infrastructure. We are also working fruitfully in the direction of international activity, cooperation with many countries continues, in particular, we have joint projects with Poland and China.

Scientific research

Early last year at our Space Research and Communication Center (the city of Zolochiv, Lviv region) earned RT-32 radio telescope, thanks to which scientific data from deep space research were obtained. The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine recognized RT-32 as one of 10 the greatest achievements of domestic science for 2020 year. Its creation will be completed next year. I am pleased to note, that our radio telescope is considered one of the best in the world, its use in space programs will strengthen the scientific and experimental base of domestic science, will help raise the image of Ukraine.

Space under control

We began to develop the direction, which is very relevant in the world, Is the control of outer space. Because a large number of spacecraft are currently being launched, they can pose a danger to other spacecraft, example, only the company Space X Ilona Maska plans to launch and deploy a large-scale, high-speed Internet system, and this is more than two thousand devices. Each of them can collide with the operating device, which is extremely dangerous, because it will cause loss of funds and equipment. To avoid trouble, you need to control all space, and close, and distant. In the near future to fly into near space into geostationary orbit or into outer space will be problematic. When a rocket passes through layers of near space, may collide with an object, that's why we need to control all of space. There is a similar system only in the United States, RF, China, it is created by India and a group of leading countries of the European Union. To date, we have deployed such a system, we have the Outer Space Control Center, which is located in Zhytomyr. By the way, officers work in this center, who left the Crimea, took with them software packages, restored them and work successfully, provide information to the power unit, scientists and other users.

The Ministry of Education and Science helps us a lot. Polissya National University, Odessa Academy of Food Technologies, Kharkiv Aviation Institute, Lviv Polytechnic, State Ecological Academy of Postgraduate Education and Management, Uzhhorod National University by its own means, techniques, their scientists help us control outer space. We have two radars - one meter range radar, which is located in Mukachevo.

It works and is modernized at the same time, because there is outdated technology from the 60s, but we reanimate it and give it a new impetus, digitally, on more economical devices, to reduce energy consumption. We are creating a new decimeter range radar, which is now being tested, the first stage has already ended. This radar is more modern: if the Mukachevo radar sees a soccer ball at a distance of 5-6 thousand kilometers, then he sees the cube 10 centimeters, the distance is less than 600-700 kilometers, but the accuracy of determining the coordinates of this object is several orders of magnitude higher than 5-50 meters, that is, a very accurate radar. We plan to build a centimeter-range radar, which will see in space even tiny nuts. Imagine, speed in space - more than seven kilometers per second, if such an object encounters a spacecraft, he stitches it like a ball, which is very dangerous.

Soon our country will have its own satellite in orbit, will manage it and use the terrestrial space infrastructure of the NCUVKZ. We hope so, that the status of Ukraine as a space state will be affirmed and grow.


Vladimir JURY, Head of the National Space Management and Testing Center of the State Space Agency of Ukraine, candidate of technical sciences.