Leonardo - Finmeccanica for the sustainable development of the Arctic

Rome  10 October 2016

Leonardo with e-GEOS took part in the Conference “The Arctic Council and the Italian Perspective”, organised at Palazzo della Farnesina by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, jointly with the Institute of International Affairs, the National Research Council (CNR) and the Italian Society for International Organisation (SIOI).

The event focused on the activities of the Arctic Council, which Italy participates in as Observer, and the international cooperation initiatives of interest for Italy from a political, scientific and entrepreneurial standpoint.

The Arctic region is undergoing profound climate change, offering new opportunities for development and exploitation of resources while posing risks for the natural and human environment. Leonardo, a global player in high technology for aerospace, defence and safety, boasts a wealth of innovative solutions able to address the challenges associated with the Arctic’s sustainable development: environmental monitoring, safety of indigenous populations and navigability of Arctic routes.

In fact, Leonardo boasts technologies that include integration of satellite systems for Earth observation, environmental monitoring and emergency management, satellite and land communications systems, radars and systems for terrestrial, coast, maritime and infrastructure surveillance, aircraft and helicopters for acting on the territory, unmanned aircraft for surveillance, identification and intelligence operations, as well as control and monitoring centres for coordinating reconnaissance and intervention activities.

Satellite systems, in particular, are able to offer crucial support in the Arctic region for continuous monitoring of atmospheric, weather, hydro-geological dynamics as well as accidental leaks of pollutants.

Leonardo’s satellite technology is already successfully employed in the Arctic region, where its subsidiary e-GEOS – joint venture between Telespazio (80%) and the Italian Space Agency (20%) – has developed partnerships in Scandinavia, thanks to which two stations for data reception from the Italian COSMO-SkyMed constellation (realised by Thales Alenia Space – a joint venture between Thales 67% and Leonardo 33%) are now operative.

The COSMO-SkyMed radar satellites, of the Italian Space Agency and Ministry of Defence – the instrument of choice for observing and monitoring such remote regions, wide-ranging as well as difficult from the meteorological point of view – are able to support sustainable development of the Arctic, by enabling monitoring and control of human as well as natural activities.

In the 2011-2014 period, e-GEOS has provided more than three thousand COSMO-SkyMed images, covering approximately 100 million square kilometres of the Arctic region. Furthermore, until 2020 e-GEOS is expected to provide to the Copernicus European programme – in which Leonardo plays a significant industrial role – an additional six thousand satellite images covering approximately 190 million square kilometres in the region.

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