Currently, the Rocket and Space Corporation "Energia" (Russia) is performing the final testing of the system. The equipment will be put on board of the International Space Station in April 2010. It will be installed in the Russian segment of the system for carrying out an experiment codenamed "Hurricane".
The system will provide additional capabilities for forecasting and monitoring various natural and man-caused emergencies. It will allow determining the location of dust storms, scale of pollution during emergencies at industrial facilities and oil pipelines, registering the pace and distribution of spring snow melt. The novelty will allow to resolve many ecological problems including the weed dynamics in arable lands. It will allow tracking man-triggered impact on the environment, studying expansive bodies of forests and determining their composition, finding unprotected areas with rare species of flora.
According to developers, space technologies will enable regular monitoring of development of dangerous processes and phenomena in the terrestrial environment and using the information to make the best choices to address and minimize the impact. Apart from registering and monitoring natural and man-caused emergencies, the system will allow forecasting their development.
The new system was created in the framework of the research program "Hurricane". The Applied Physics Research Institute of Belarusian State University has got an extended experience in designing various systems and equipment for space research. For instance, the Institute created a spectrophotometric solution for forecasting geophysical cataclysms within the research project "Hydroxyl ISS".