On February 17th the resolution of the Council of Ministers regarding accepting the Polish Space Strategy was published on the Monitor Polski website.The resolution came into force on February 18th 2017, the day after its publication on Monitor Polski. The coordination of Polish Space Strategy (PSS) is entrusted to “the minister responsible for economic issues” (currently the subject responsible is the Ministry of Development and Minister Mateusz Morawiecki). The accepted legal document is 50 pages long and covers the time period of 2017-2030.
The Polish Space Strategy presents the following vision: “The space sector is an important element of the Polish economy relying on knowledge and innovation and its connections to other economic sectors supports their competitiveness growth.”
Following are presented the strategic goals of PSS until 2030:
- The Polish space sector will be able to compete effectively on European market and its market turnover will be at least 3% of total turnover of this market (proportionally to the Polish economic potential)
- Polish public administration will make use of satellite data for faster and more effective realisation of given goals, and national companies will be able to meet their internal demand for such services and will be able to export them to other markets
- The Polish economy and public institutions will be granted access to satellite infrastructure in order to satisfy their needs, especially in regards to security and defence
These three strategic goals will be accomplished by realising of the five following particular goals:
- Growth of competitiveness of the Polish space sector and an increase of its contribution in total turnover of the European space sector
- Development of satellite applications – contribution to digital economy
- Development of national security and defensive capabilities using space technologies and satellite techniques
- Creating favourable conditions for the development of the Polish space sector
- Training qualified personnel to meet the sector’s needs
The Polish Space Strategy will for sure be an important support mechanism for developing the space sector in Poland. The first steps towards fulfilling PSS are taken right now – there has been an increase in expenses for optional programmes in ESA. So far this value is not as high as anticipated (ultimately it should be 150-200% of the mandatory contribution), but it is still a great step forward. Moreover, the PSS imposes the creation of a National Space Programme (NSP), which will have its own funding, independent of ESA’s contribution.
Until 2030 in Poland there should be a couple of satellite subsystems integrators. In the long term, national subjects should be capable of integrating whole satellite systems. For now, Polish entities only deliver technologies and small subsystem elements, which now should change for the better.
In the incoming years, the national administration should use satellite data more frequently, including the data acquired by Polish companies. There should be practical and economic reasons for using such data. The Polish Space Strategy assumes that satellite data will be acquired both from the European space infrastructure (e.g. Galileo, Copernicus programme) and from national resources. One of such resources should be a national Earth Observation system, capable of conducting both visible and infrared and radar observations.
The Polish Space Strategy suggests that in Poland it is possible to manufacture satellites in the mass range of 10-150 kg. This is an interesting field of small satellites which are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Such satellites are not only used for simple scientific and demonstrative purposes – they are also being used for regular Earth Observation activities and communication services.