European Union Satellite Centre
The European Union Satellite Centre (EU SatCen; previously EUSC) was initially founded in 1992 as the Western European Union Satellite Centre. It was incorporated as an agency of the European Union (EU) on 1 January 2002. It is located in Torrejón de Ardoz, in the vicinity of Madrid, Spain.
The centre supports the decision-making of the European Union in the field of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), including crisis management missions and operations, by providing products and services resulting from the exploitation of relevant space assets and collateral data, including satellite and aerial imagery, and related services. In June 2014, a new Council Decision replaced the former Council Joint Action of 2001 to modify SatCen’s mission, aligning it with the evolution of the user demand and the developments of the EU’s space activities relevant to CFSP (ref. 1), making it an essential interface with the European Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT, ref. 2) community.
The staff of the Centre, headed by Director Pascal Legai, consists of experienced image analysts, geospatial specialists and supporting personnel, recruited from EU Member States. In addition, experts seconded from Member States work at the SatCen for periods ranging from six months to three years, and temporary staff are recruited as needed.
SatCen assures technical development activities in direct support to its operational activities, as well as specialised training for image analysts.
Production and users
In 2015, SatCen provided 1348 products for the benefit of a large community of users, such as the European External Action Service (see link 2) in general, but especially the EU Military Staff, the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre and the Civil Planning and Conduct Capability, as well as EU Member States and international organisations (see ref. 3).
- Common Security and Defence Policy
- European External Action Service
- Military of the European Union
- European Union Institute for Security Studies
- European Defence Agency
- Western European Union