The first COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation satellite has been launched successfully

Kourou   18 December 2019

Today, at 09:54 (CET), the first COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation satellite (CSG-1) belonging to ASI and the Italian Ministry of Defence, was launched from the Kourou European Space Centre in French Guyana. The mission was run by a Temporary Consortium of Companies comprising Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio.

26 minutes after the launch, performed by Arianespace using a Soyuz carrier, the first telemetry data sent by the satellite was acquired by Telespazio's Fucino Space Centre. From there, in the coming days the LEOP phase (Launch and Early Orbit Phase) will be run, followed by the satellite being put through the IOT (In Orbit Test) and Operational Qualification phases.

The second-generation COSMO-SkyMed constellation is a satellite system designed to ensure operational continuity of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) observation services provided by the four first generation COSMO-SkyMed satellites, launched between 2007 and 2010.

Thales Alenia Space is responsible for the entire COSMO-SkyMed Second-Generation programme, including building two satellites, while Telespazio is responsible for designing and developing the ground segment, and for providing Integrated Logistics and Operations services.

Leonardo contributes to the programme by supplying the Attitude Sensors (A-STR) for orienting the satellite, solar panels (PVA), and sophisticated units that process and distribute electricity throughout the satellite, maximising its energy efficiency.

The satellite launched today has highly innovative technologies and engineering solutions. CSG-1 will ensure a step up in terms of technology, performance, and service life, consolidating Italian leadership in the Earth Observation sector worldwide.

From when the first satellite was launched, the COSMO-SkyMed programme has provided an exceptional tool for Earth Observation, using its innovative operational capabilities to contribute to continuous monitoring of the Earth's surface, to security-related needs, and to dealing with natural events. In fact, COSMO-SkyMed was designed for dual use, that is, as a programme able to satisfy both civil and defence requirements.

COSMO-SkyMed’s data is marketed throughout the world by e-GEOS, a joint venture between Telespazio (80%) and ASI (20%).




Financed by the Italian Space Agency, the Defence Ministry, and the Education University and Research Ministry, the COSMO-SkyMed system is the result and expression of the finest skills in the Italian space industry, with Leonardo and its joint ventures, Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio, assisted by a significant number of Small and Medium Enterprises. More specifically, Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%) is the leading company in the undertaking, responsible for the entire system, while Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%) has set up the Ground segment and hosts the constellation’s command and control room at the Fucino Space Centre. The first generation, made up of four satellites launched into orbit between 2007 and 2010, provides radar images to clients all over the world. The COSMO-SkyMed constellation is able to acquire up to 1,800 images per day, which are received, processed, and marketed around the world by Leonardo, via e-GEOS (Telespazio/ASI).