MINSK, 29 November (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia have drafted an agreement on expanding the joint orbital group of satellites for the remote sensing of Earth, BelTA learned from Director of the Geoinformation Systems enterprise of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) during the joint session of the NASB Presidium and the Board of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry on 29 November.
The official said: “At present we have access to information from two high-resolution satellites – BKA and Canopus. The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and Roscosmos have drafted an agreement on expanding the group. There are five Canopus satellites in orbit now, including one with an infrared camera. The agreement is going through the intradepartmental approval process.” Apart from that, a new satellite is being designed in association with Roscosmos.
As for weather forecasts, Belarusian specialists had access to information from four weather satellites only until recently. “Respectively, the Emergencies Ministry and the National Center for Hydrometeorology, Radioactive Pollution Control, and Environmental Monitoring used to get the information late. Last week we commissioned a new receiving station and receive data from 12 weather satellites now. At present the Emergencies Ministry gets information about fire-hazardous situations 24 times per day. According to the ministry, they have been able to detect 68 forest fires and peatland fires early thanks to satellite data,” the official noted.