An agreement to an amendment of an original contract for the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation (CSG) program worth 77 million euros between Thales Alenia Space and Italian space agency ASI was announced. This is important as it covers the remaining operations to complete the program. Thales Alenia Space Italy will receive 66 million euros of the total, while space services affiliate Telespazio will receive 11 million euros reflecting the joint venture between Thales (67 percent) and Leonardo-Finmeccanica (33 percent).
Leonardo also contributes to the program by supplying attitude sensors and state of the art equipment that will process and distribute electric power throughout the satellites.
This contract kicks off phase D2/E1 of the program, which entails all operations needed to complete construction of the second satellite (FM-2), the launch of both satellites and the verification and operational validation of the entire system with the two satellites in orbit. The launch of the first satellite is planned in 2018, with the second following a year later.
The overall system, including the ground segment, will set the performance standard for space based radar observation systems, in terms of precision, image quality and flexible user services. It is designed as a “dual use" (civil
The development of the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation system will guarantee a quantum leap in terms of technology, performance and service life, consequently, strengthening Italian leadership in the Earth Observation sector on a global level. Moreover, strategic international partnerships, such as those already established with France and Poland regarding the COSMO-SkyMed reception and processing of data and data products, will also be extended.
COSMO-SkyMed, financed by the Italian space agency, Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Education, University and Research, is the first dual-use Earth observation system. Its four satellites monitor the entire Earth from space, day and night, under any weather conditions, using high-resolution X-band radars. The program was developed in conjunction with both large aerospace corporations and a number of innovative small businesses. Thales Alenia Space Italy is the prime contractor, responsible for the entire system, including both space and ground segments. Telespazio developed the ground segment and hosts the Constellation Control Center at the Fucino Space Center.