Telespazio’s Innovation Award 2019

Rome   18 November 2019

The award ceremony for the Telespazio 2019 Innovation Award, now in its fifteenth edition, took place in Rome. The event, which was held at the headquarters of the Italian Space Agency, was attended by the acting General Director of ASI, Santo Darko Grillo, and Telespazio’s CEO, Luigi Pasquali.

The winning proposals were presented by the managers of the Telespazio lines of business Alessandro Caranci (Satellite Communications) and Massimo Claudio Comparini (Geo Information), Fabio Cannone (Head of Engineering of the line of business Satellite Systems and Operations), along with the Human Resources and Organization Manager, Maurizio Corselli, and Innovation and Technological Governance Manager, Marco Brancati.

Innovation and research have always been the distinctive and characteristic elements of Telespazio, a company founded at the dawn of space adventure in 1961, which since then has been a protagonist in the development of satellite telecommunications and space services. Today Telespazio, a joint venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%), is one of the major operators in the world in the satellite solutions and services sector, in which it can draw on the skills and knowledge of 2,500 people, most of which are engineers and technicians, working in Europe and South America.

For Telespazio, the Innovation Award represents the litmus test for measuring the validity of its efforts in the field of Research and Development, aimed at sustainable development of its Product Policy.


Here are the three proposals that won Telespazio 2019 Innovation Award:

  • Category: Radical Innovation Full Flight View (F2V) project: Telespazio/e-GEOS technologies for UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)”, submitted by a Telespazio/e-GEOS team made up of Alissa Ioannone (team leader), Elena Francioni, Luigi Palieri, Gian Paolo Plaia, Dario Rapisardi, Gabriele Murchio and Roberto Melchiorri.

Description: The “Full Flight View" (F2V) project envisages the integration of Satellite Navigation, Satellite Communication and GeoInformation technologies for the use of drones in a urban context in order to ensure maximum safety and produce innovative procedures for the development of new services aimed at monitoring and controlling the environment.


  • Category: Incremental Innovation Enhanced Flood Footprint - (EFF), new generation flood mapping services”, submitted by an e-GEOS team made up of Vincenzo Scotti (team leader), Domenico Grandoni, Lucia Luzietti, Federica Mastracci, Marco Corsi, Mariano Biscardi, Claudio Mammone and Sara Barozzi.

Description: Enhanced Flood Footprint (EFF) represents a new generation of flood mapping products, obtained through synergic use of satellite data, hydraulic models and external sources such as social media to produce flooding maps with very high accuracy, especially in urban areas.


  • Category Idea ARISE (Artificial ResIdent Space object survEyor)”, submitted by a Telespazio team made up of Luca Spazzacampagna (team leader) and Daniele Bettinelli.

Description: ARISE is the idea for a simulation software supporting the design of space missions focused on space debris monitoring. The application is aimed at evaluating the critical issues and potentialities of the on-board sensor and the optimal observation strategy in order to better design and plan the mission.


Three proposals were considered to be worthy of Special Mention:

  • A pretrained deep Learning AI model specialized on SAR data, submitted by an e-GEOS team made up of Mauro Di Donna (team leader), Massimo Zavagli, Corrado Avolio, Flavia Macina and Mario Costantini.

Description: The proposed approach aims at realizing a neural network dedicated to SAR images, something not yet existing, through the exploitation of the huge archives of Sentinel-1 and COSMO-SkyMed images, with the possibility of specialising the model for various applications of interest using only a limited number of labelled images.


  • Satellite-Structural Health Monitoring – S-SHM™, submitted by a Telespazio VEGA UK team made up of Geraint Cooksley (team leader), Kajal Haria and  Ruben Colomina.

Description: Satellite Structural Health Monitoring (S-SHM™) is an innovative approach that utilises Interferometric SAR (InSAR) techniques together with a 3D Building Information Model (BIM) of the structures to monitor, thus expanding the use of InSAR beyond its conventional structural monitoring application.


  • GEWS-GALILEO based Emergency Warning System, submitted by a Telespazio France team made up of Laurent Arzel (team leader), Soufian Ayachi, Axelle Pomies and Romain Crapart.

Description: GALILEO-based Emergency Warning System (GEWS) is a system using the GALILEO signal as the sole communication channel to provide alert/alarm messages to citizens via their smartphones. Should the necessity arise, such system can be used by Civil Protection and Police services to warn anyone anywhere in the world, even when landline links are not available.


The awards ceremony was preceded by a round table discussion on the topic of “Research and Innovation for the development of a satellite service provider”, attended by Paolo Gaudenzi (Head of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at La Sapienza University), Luca Del Monte (Head of the Industrial Policy Division at the European Space Agency) Roberto Cingolani (Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Leonardo) and Andrea Sommariva (Head of the SEE Lab at the Bocconi University).


The round table discussion was moderated by TG2 RAI journalist Giorgio Pacifici and by Marco Brancati of Telespazio.