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IRIDE: ESA awards to Planetek 42 million euro contract to develop downstream services.


IRIDE: ESA awards to Planetek 42 million euro contract to develop downstream services.

he European Space Agency awarded Planetek Italia two of the four contracts, worth a total of EUR 42 million, for the development of downstream services derived from the EO data of the future Italian satellite constellation IRIDE.

On 12 April, the European Space Agency unveiled the objectives, investments and timetable of the IRIDE project, announcing the industrial teams entrusted with the development of the various components of what is defined one of Europe's most important space programme for Earth observation.

Launched as an initiative of the Italian Government, financed with PNRR funds, the IRIDE programme is managed by the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and has the goal of creating by 2026 an Earth observation satellite infrastructure designed to provide downstream services to national public administration.

In the Service Segment, the component of the programme that will develop Earth observation services for Central Public Administration and institutional users, Planetek Italia will be the leader of the two industrial teams, which will develop applications in the areas of water resource management, weather and climate, air quality, land management and land use, agriculture and forestry, for a total value of EUR 42 million.

To develop these services, Planetek Italia will lead two groupings of companies including e-Geos, Exprivia, Serco Italia, Arthur D. Little, SAM Consortium, CGI Italia, CMCC, MEEO and CIMA.

Planetek Italia will also be an active contributor in the two groupings of companies that will implement the Ground Motion and Emergency/Security services, led by e-Geos, leader of the other two contracts for the development of geoinformation services for central PA.

In the development of services for the Public Administration, Planetek will make available its thirty years of experience in the use and advanced processing of geoinformation data, gained in important Italian and European Earth observation space programmes, such as Copernicus and COSMO-SkyMed.

"The IRIDE programme represents a unique opportunity to modernise PA activities. Planetek Italia in the development of services collaborates with the best of the industry, including SMEs and innovative start-ups," says Giovanni Sylos Labini, CEO of Planetek Italia. "Planetek Italia brings to the programme the experience gained in thirty years of developing services for end users in many territorial and industrial applications, but also the most innovative technologies related to artificial intelligence, cloud computing in orbit and blockchain."

The IRIDE programme

IRIDE is one of Europe's largest space programme for Earth observation in low earth orbit (LEO) and represents a significant component of the NextGenerationEU dedicated to the development of space activities, supporting the ecological and digital transition. The programme will realise a system that includes all parts (upstream, downstream and services) to provide geospatial services at the national and European levels, both to the public administration and private customers.

IRIDE will consist of a constellation of satellites of various types and sizes combining SAR, optical, panchromatic, hyperspectral and infrared sensors. The constellation will be built in Italy and completed by 2026 with the support of ESA and ASI for a total value of EUR 1.1 billion allocated under the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience (PNRR). The constellation will help the Civil Protection Department and other administrations deal with hydrogeological instability and fires, protect coastlines, and monitor critical infrastructure, air quality and weather conditions.

Planetek Italia's role in IRIDE

Planetek Italia will play an active role in the design and development of different components of the system (upstream, downstream and services), acting both as prime contractor in different work lots and collaborating with the various industrial teams in charge of developing other components.

Other IRIDE components involving Planetek Italia:

  • Flight Operation Segment
  • Payload Data Ground Segment
  • Digital Marketplace
  • Land monitoring services for local PA
  • Land monitoring services for central PA

Learn more about the Italian IRIDE constellation:

Media Contact: Antonio Buonavoglia - Tel: +39 0809644200 - Email: