COSMO-SkyMed (acronym for COnstellation of small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation)
it is the first earth observation mission conceived for dual purposes, i.e. civilian and military.
The system, promoted jointly by the Ministry of Defense and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), is the Italian component of the European Union’s Earth observation program Copernicus (formerly GMES), included among the data sources of the European INSPIRE initiative (acronym of INfrastructure for SPatial InfoRmation in Europe).
The first generation of the system consists of a constellation of four satellites with a synthetic aperture radar payload. More recently, the second generation has come into action, which completes and replaces the first, with four other new generation satellites, two of which have already entered into operations.
The system was built by Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture of Thales and Leonardo S.p.A., on behalf of ASI and the Ministry of Defence. The ground segment was created by Telespazio.
Sistematica S.p.A. played an important role in the creation of the system, in particular in the “turnkey” construction of numerous components of the ground segment for the first and second generation.
Among the latter, some are of considerable importance:
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