Space center activities
Since 2012, the Matera Space Centre has been one of the three stations of the Core Ground Segment of ESA for the reception and processing in near realtime of radar and optical data acquired by Sentinel satellites within Copernicus, the European Earth observation programme.
For the ESA, it acquires, processes, stores and distributes data for various satellite missions, including ERS-1, ERS-2, ENVISAT, ALOS, MODIS, JERS, Landsat-5, Landsat-7 and MOS-1. Since January 2014, it has also provided data services for the Landsat-8 observation mission.
For the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), it acquires and processes Radarsat and COSMO-SkyMed data, and provides maritime surveillance services. The information sent to EMSA, within 30 minutes of the satellite passing, enables oil pollution in the sea to be monitored and ships conducting illegal activities to be identified. e-GEOS is head of the service for the entire Mediterranean Basin and the Black Sea.
Finally, in relation to e-GEOS contracts with national and international public and private end users, the Matera Space Centre conducts value-added data processing activities, including orthocorrection, image mosaicing and extracting digital elevation and terrain models. These activities are conducted using optical and radar data collected by both aircraft and satellites.
On behalf of ASI are conducted geodesy activities that include: the operations of the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), a radio telescope used for geodetic measurements through the observation of remote sources such as Quasars; the operations of the Matera Laser Ranging Observatory (MLRO), used to determine the exact orbits of artificial satellites and make high-precision geodetic measurements; the operations of the Italian GPS Fiducial Network (IGFN), a network of permanent GPS stations created in 1995 to improve GPS data usability over the national territory.
The optical telescope installed at the Geodesy Centre is also used to study the Earth’s gravity and observe movements of tectonic plates.