The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities

Beyond policy document discusses the necessity of the Armed Forces, being capable of defending the Arctic region, depending on various political and military situations. yy Canada’s Northern Strategy: Our North, Our Heritage, Our Future has an objective of increased military presence and capabilities in the north (including satellite monitoring). yy The US National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD – 66 concerning an Arctic Region Policy stresses the importance of national defence by stating that the US is willing to cooperate, or act unilaterally, to safeguard its interests in the region (e.g., missile defence and early warning; deployment of sea and air systems for strategic sealift, strategic deterrence, maritime presence and security operations; and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight). yy Germany is also supporting the development of military strategies (within appropriate frameworks of international collaboration, such as NATO) to secure trade routes and access to resources. yy Although also without Arctic territories, France is concerned with questions of military security in the Arctic via its engagement with NATO and the European Union. In this context, special concerns arise from France’s status as a nuclear-weapon state. A major goal is the preservation of stability and the guaranteed access to critical transportation routes and natural resources. o a Nordic stabilisation task force be established that can be deployed to states affected by major internal unrest or other critical situations where international assistance is desirable; o the Nordic countries strengthen their defence cooperation on medical services, education, materiel and exercise ranges; o a Nordic amphibious unit be established based on existing units and the current cooperation between Sweden and Finland and, in the longer term, the unit should develop its own Arctic expertise; and o the Nordic governments issue a mutual declaration of solidarity in which they commit themselves to clarifying how they would respond if a Nordic country were subject to external attack or undue pressure. yy The Nordic Cooperation on Foreign and Security Policy report proposes that:

personnel are essential. The defence presence in the Arctic is forecasted to increase over the years in terms of personnel, vehicles, and budgets for the main purpose of sovereignty and border protection. Applications to support both the civilian government sector (coastal guard and local authorities) as well as military systems require a range of connection speeds.


GNSS is critical for military applications, and defence organizations typically have access to better navigation and positioning capabilities than do civilian users. The EU decided that it needed to have a sovereign GNSS capability, primarily because the US or Russia could deny access to GPS or GLONASS during military conflicts. While the Arctic has not been a theatre of war in the past, this could conceivably change as the region becomes more industrialized and populated. At present, the primary uses of GNSS in the Arctic are for military training exercises and for participation of the military in responses to emergencies and disasters. There are a broad range of defence applications of satellite EO, including intelligence gathering, detection and monitoring the movement of opposing troops and equipment, military operations planning and assessment, and planning and executing assistance to civilian agencies in response to major emergencies or disasters. In the Arctic context, the primary applications support wide-area surveillance efforts, military training exercises, emergency response to environmental disasters and search-and-rescue missions. Defence organizations can access and use the full range of commercial EO imaging services and also have access to classified EO technologies that are not accessible to civilian users. All types of imagery are typically used, including radar, optical and thermal EO data. Thematically, target detection and classification constitute central elements in defence EO applications. Accordingly, emphasis is placed on EO data acquired at very high spatial resolutions. Multi-spectral and thermal imagery are further used to differentiate camouflaged military equipment or installations from their surrounding environments. Military applications also emphasize monitoring for changes and/or of traffic at specific locations (e.g. suspected/ actual military installations, critical transportation links). The information required is typically extracted from imagery by means of visual interpretation by trained operators and supplemented by automated algorithms. In many cases, data collected for defence applications is shared with other national law enforcement and/ or border protection agencies. 7.4 Maintaining Presence 7.4.1 Overview A country’s ability to effectively maintain jurisdiction over and administer remote regions is tied to the presence of their people and economic activity in those regions. It also depends to a large extent on how well a region is known and understood and the kind of stewardship of the region’s land and resources that is undertaken. A strong presence in the Arctic enhances an Arctic nation’s ability to protect and monitor the land, sea and air of EARTH OBSERVATION SYSTEMS (Impact High)

7.3.3 Role of Satellite Systems COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS (Impact Medium)

Robust, reliable, and efficient communications systems (high speed internet, digital network infrastructure, mobile phones) to support both security and operational needs of defence


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