Finmeccanica-Telespazio will contribute to the management of operations and the ground segment of the Copernicus programme's Sentinel-1 mission

Rome  30 December 2015 14:46

Already committed to the development of the satellites and on-board sensors, Finmeccanica's role expands

Finmeccanica-Telespazio (Finmeccanica 67%, Thales 33%) has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) with a duration extending until 2020, to support the operations and the corrective and evolving maintenance of the Sentinel-1 mission's ground segment as part of the Copernicus programme, the European Earth Observation Programme.

Specifically, Telespazio will be responsible for the assembly, integration and validation, engineering support for the network infrastructure and ICT security, preparation for the operations, and maintenance of the support tools. The subsidiary Telespazio France also plays a role in safety, operations, development, and maintenance.

The Italian Group's role expands from already being in charge, through Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Finmeccanica 33%), of the design, development, integration, and testing of the Sentinel-1 satellites, and, through Selex ES, supplying payloads and hi-tech sensors on board the "sentinels" that watch over our planet's health.

The contract was awarded to the company in a consortium led by Airbus Defence and Space, and it represents for Telespazio a further international success in an extremely competitive market, demonstrating the high technical level offered by the company.

The Sentinel-1 mission is based on a constellation of four satellites equipped with a C-band synthetic aperture radar. Sentinel-1A was launched in April 2014, Sentinel-1B will be put into orbit in 2016, while Sentinel-1C and 1D will be launched progressively starting from 2021. The main objectives of the Sentinel-1 mission are the mapping of urban areas and environmental impacts, monitoring risks from movements of the Earth's surface, monitoring the marine environment, maritime safety, monitoring sea ice, monitoring forests and climate change.



Finmeccanica is a leading industrial partner in the Copernicus programme. As prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Finmeccanica 33%) is responsible for the design, development, integration, and testing of the constellations for the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3 missions. Telespazio (Finmeccanica 67%, Thales 33%) contributes to the development of the ground segment and the operations, making the COSMO-SkyMed data available to the Copernicus service, and provides the geospatial services for land monitoring, emergency response, and maritime safety. Finally, through Selex ES Finmeccanica provides Sentinel-1 with stellar sensors for the satellites's attitude control of and CAPS power units (C-band antenna Power Supply) and TPSU (Tile Power Supply Unit). For the Sentinel-3 mission it has developed the solar panels and the SLSTR radiometer (Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer), which will ensure the accurate measurement of sea water and soil surface temperatures.