Thales Alenia Space Italy is responsible for the overall COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation program, including construction of the two satellites, while Telespazio is responsible for designing and developing the ground segment and providing the integrated logistics and operations services.
Leonardo also contributes to the program by supplying attitude sensors and state of the art equipment that will process and distribute electric power throughout the satellites.
This contract kicks off phase D2/E1 of the program, which entails all operations needed to complete construction of the second satellite (FM-2), the launch of both satellites and the verification and operational validation of the entire system with the two satellites in orbit. The launch of the first satellite is planned in 2018, with the second following a year later.
These state-of-the-art satellites feature the last technologies and engineering solutions. The overall system, including the ground segment, will set the performance standard for space-based radar observation systems, in terms of precision, image quality and flexible user services. It is designed as a “dual use" (civil/military) system, to meet the requirements of scientific, commercial and government customers.
Ever since the launch of the first satellite in 2007, the COSMO-SkyMed program has been an exceptional tool for observing our planet. With its innovative operational capabilities, it contributes to the continuous monitoring of the Earth's surface, to safety-related needs and to the management of natural events, as shown recently by the damage assessment activities and support to rescue operations following the earthquakes that hit central Italy.
The development of the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation system will guarantee a quantum leap in terms of technology, performance and service life, consequently, strengthening Italian leadership in the Earth Observation sector on a global level. Moreover, strategic international partnerships, such as those already established with France and Poland regarding the COSMO-SkyMed reception and processing of data and data products, will also be extended.
COSMO-SkyMed, financed by the Italian space agency, Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Education, University and Research, is the first dual-use Earth observation system. Its four satellites monitor the entire Earth from space, day and night, under any weather conditions, using high-resolution X-band radars. The program was developed in conjunction with both large aerospace corporations and a number of innovative small businesses. Thales Alenia Space Italy is the prime contractor, responsible for the entire system, including both space and ground segments. Telespazio developed the ground segment and hosts the Constellation Control Center at the Fucino Space Center