MOSCOW, May 16 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has finalized deployment of a space monitoring system to help ensuring prompt response to emergency situations in the country, it said on Thursday.
“We have created and are expanding a system of space monitoring of emergency situations which provides real-time data on the conditions of potentially dangerous facilities or areas in high-risk zones,” the ministry said in a report to the Cabinet.
The system currently comprises 10 satellites with monitoring systems of various visual and spectral resolutions allowing surveillance of Russian territory (except the northern part of Yakutia and Chukotka) and border regions of neighboring countries, the ministry said.
The ground-based segment of the system includes four data receiving and processing centers in Moscow, Vologda, Krasnoyarsk and Vladivostok.
Russia is planning to expand the system with the addition by 2015 of three data receiving and processing centers in the Arctic region, where the country has nuclear power stations, naval bases and ports hosting nuclear submarines and nuclear icebreakers, and important transport hubs.
The system will also help ensure the safety of the Northern Sea Route, a vital shipping lane from the Atlantic to the Pacific running along Russia’s Arctic coast from Murmansk on the Barents Sea, across Siberia, to the Bering Strait and Far East.
Easier access to the untapped natural resources of the Arctic, caused by the melting pack ice, will lead to the construction of dozens of new pipelines and require well-coordinated monitoring of oil and gas exploration in the region, the ministry said.