PRISMA Second Generation (PSG) soon to kick off

21 February 2022

PRISMA Second Generation (PSG) is taking its first steps. The Italian Space Agency (ASI, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) has awarded a feasibility study for the new generation of the Earth Observation mission launched in 2019 to a temporary group of companies led by Thales Alenia Space, which joins forces with Telespazio, e-GEOS, Leonardo and SITAEL.

Thales Alenia Space will be responsible for the design of the end-to-end system and the new satellite, while Leonardo will be in charge of the new PRISMA Second Generation hyperspectral payload.

Telespazio, instead, will design the ground segment of the PRISMA 2G programme, particularly the system requirements and architecture.

e-GEOS, a company owned by Telespazio (80%) and ASI (20%), will be responsible for analysing the market scenarios in which PRISMA will be operating, and will assist Leonardo in defining users’ requirements.

The 9-month contract will involve studying a highly innovative project for the development of new national and international applications, such as improving the monitoring of natural resources and of the atmosphere, and providing the data needed for more effective management of territories and environmental risks.

The ASI PRISMA mission (Hyperspectral Precursor of the Application Mission), launched in orbit in 2019 on board a VEGA vector, is equipped with the most powerful operative hyperspectral instrument in the world, capable of working in numerous bands arranged from the visible to the near infrared and up to the infrared shortwave. 

Unlike the passive optical satellite sensors currently in operation, which record the solar radiation reflected by our planet in a limited number of spectral bands – typically a maximum of ten – the instrumentation on board the satellite is capable of acquiring as many as 240 of them (239 spectral bands plus the panchromatic channel). This will make it possible to fine-tune our understanding of natural resources and the main environmental processes underway, such as phenomena connected with climate change.

 That’s because hyperspectral technology allows us to see things the human eye cannot detect: not only the shape of objects, but their chemical composition as well. 

The PRISMA2G mission will be equipped with even more advanced hyperspectral electro-optical instrumentation designed by Leonardo, ensuring even higher performance for a growing number of applications in response to the needs of institutional, scientific and industrial communities.

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