Russia: Russia is planning to develop a unique satellite system to monitor climatic changes and survey energy resources in the Arctic region. The Arctica satellite grouping will monitor the weather and environment of the North Pole, pinpoint hydrocarbon deposits on the Arctic shelf, provide telecommunications over the hard-to-access areas and ensure safe air traffic and commercial shipping in the region.
“The creation of the Arctica system will not only allow us to monitor the ecology of the shelf, the water temperatures, the thickness of the ice floe and the pollution levels all year round, but will also ensure the effectiveness and safety of the exploration of the [Arctic] shelf for our and foreign companies,” said Anatoly Perminov, the Head of the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos.
He said the project would cost about 68 billion rubles (USD2.3 billion), but half of the funding could from private investment and potential foreign partners. The basic configuration of the system envisions two sun-synchronous orbit satellites and two high-elliptic orbit satellites for remote sensing and ecological monitoring of the region.