COSMO-SkyMed is a dual-use programme employing technology that is among the most advanced in the world to provide data to institutions, defence organisations and private companies. The system was created under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, with financing and technical and operational co-ordination provided by the Italian Space Agency and co-financing from the Italian Ministry of Defence.
The early orbit operations for the fourth COSMO-SkyMed satellite were once again successfully managed by the LEOP (Launch and Early Orbit Phase) team at Telespazio’s Fucino Space Centre, while the first radar images from COSMO-SkyMed 4 were acquired normally by the Matera Space Centre and are now available.
The constellation, which is the jewel in the crown of the Italian Space Agency’s programmes, is now better able than ever to carry out continuous and accurate Earth observation over time, with parameters that ensure reliability, stability and continuity, relayed at intervals of a matter of hours, covering all changes, movements and variations to and on the land. Constant monitoring of this kind has never been achieved before. The COSMO-SkyMed system has therefore reached its optimal capacity for acquiring images – around 1,800 a day – day and night in all weather conditions. This makes the Italian system among the most reliable and advanced in the world.
The system was built by Thales Alenia Space (a Thales/Finmeccanica joint venture) in its role as prime contractor with responsibility for the entire programme, including both the space and ground segments. Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company, built the system’s entire ground segment and the?= integrated logistics and operations segment. The Fucino Space Centre houses the control centre for the constellation, which manages the satellite acquisition phases after launch and subsequent early orbit phases, as well as command and control activities and the planning of requests for the acquisition of images.
The Italian Space Agency’s Matera Space Centre is responsible for acquiring, processing and distributing the data sent back from the COSMO-SkyMed satellites for civil applications, representing a bona fide database of satellite images.
e-GEOS, a joint venture between the Italian Space Agency (20%) and Telespazio (80%), manages the services of the Matera Space Centre on behalf of the Italian Space Agency and markets COSMO-SkyMed data and products around the world. The company is a leading international player in the geo-spatial business.
e-GEOS offers a complete range of products and services in the Earth Observation and in the geo-spatial application domains, based on both optical and radar satellites as well as on aerial surveys. The Rome-based company employs more than 300 people and operates through the Earth Observation centres in Matera (Italy) and Neustrelitz (Germany). As the European hub for VHR (Very High Resolution) data, e-GEOS grants unique access to the COSMO-SkyMed, GeoEye-1, IKONOS, Radarsat, Envisat, QuickBird and WorldView and IRS satellites, with more than 20 years of experience in satellite data distribution, multi lingual customer service and multi-mission order management. In particular, COSMO-SkyMed represents a tremendous competitive advantage as it opens up a new era of operational applications.
e-GEOS can also rely on the specific know-how and market presence of the various companies within the group, such as GAF and Euromap (Germany), Eurimage, Aurensis (Spain), Telespazio Argentina, Telespazio Brasil, Telespazio France and others, that enrich its competitive advantages and provide synergies in the product chain and for market development at international level.
e-GEOS owns and operates the Multi-mission station located at the Matera Space Centre, where data from several EO satellites (COSMO-SkyMed, Radarsat-1&2, Envisat, ERS, Landsat, and others) are downlinked and processed both for the commercial market and to provide services to the Italian Space Agency and the European Space Agency. The company also owns the GeoEye-1 and IKONOS imaging and processing facility in Neustrelitz, which is operated through Euromap and the DLR (German Aerospace Agency) and that offers access to high-priority tasking and processing and fast delivery of GeoEye data.
e-GEOS is one of the main industrial players in the European GMES Program (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) where it leads projects such as GMOSAIC (Management of Operations, Situation Awareness and Intelligence for regional Crises) LIMES (Land and Sea Integrated Monitoring for Environment and Security) and LinkER (Supporting Action for the implementation of operational GMES services in Emergency Response) for the European Union as well as MARISS (Maritime Security Services) for the European Space Agency.
Thanks to the services developed in these projects, e-GEOS is today a world leader in environmental and maritime monitoring and in rapid mapping for the management of natural disasters and humanitarian crises, cooperating with EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency), EUSC (European Union Satellite Centre), JRC (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission), various UN Organizations and the Italian Civil Defence.
The company serves a variety of national and international clients, both in the public and private sectors, including customers such as the Italian Ministry of Agriculture (through AGEA/SIN) for the management of the Common Agricultural Policy in Italy, the Italian Ministry of the Environment for the interferometric processing of SAR data over all the national territory, major international oil & gas companies (ENI, Shell, Total) and railroads (RFI, NIIAS). e-GEOS is part of the Telespazio (Finmeccanica/Thales) group, operating the largest civil space infrastructure in the world, at the Fucino Space Centre, providing unrivalled service capacity.