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There will be less urgency in replacing the radar spacecraft—five German SARLupe satellites and four Italian CosmoSkyMed units—which are just entering service and will not reach the end of their nominal lifetime until 2017-18. A second COSMO-SkyMe generation (two technologically upgraded satellites) is now under study for replacing first constellation satellites after disposal.
Satellite Instruments
Based on the strategy of the Italian National Space Plan (PSN), the initial focus was to deploy a system for environmental observation and natural hazards mapping for the Mediterranean Basin area. Meanwhile, the Italian DoD, who is a minor partner in the use of the French Helios reconnaissance satellite system, was looking for follow-on capabilities. Modifying the requirements of the initial X-Band SAR satellite and launching a strategic alliance with the French Pleiades programmes, made COSMO now a dual use system, now co-funded by the Italian DoD. The Italian national user studies revealed—similar to the TerraSAR-X/L system—a need for SAR L-Band data to generate land mapping and land cover products. Italy found here a partner in Argentina, which plans to deploy a two satellite based multipolarimetric L-Band system called SAOCOM, developed by the Argentinean space agency CONAE. The COSMO system will feature 4 dual pol X-Band satellites . On board data storage of 320 GBit and 310 Mbps downlink guarantee global availability of the information to the Italian ground segment (in cooperation with two remote stations). The first satellite has been launched in 2007 with a completion of the entire constellation within 2010.
Alessandro Coletta
Italian Space Agency / Agenzia Spaziale Italiana
Viale Liegi 26 00198 Roma
Measurment TypeMicrowave-radar-SAR
Platform TypePolar orbiter
OrbitSun synchronous
Spectral CoverageN/A
Scan PatternPush broom
Altitude619.6 km
Repeat Time16 days for 1 satellite. Revisit time: max 12 h (4 satellites)
Wavelength9.6GHz to 9.6GHznm
Number of BandsN/A
Start DateJun 2007
Temporal CoverageN/A
Swath Width
Resolution 13cm
Resolution 215cm
Resolution 330cm
Resolution 4100cm
13 Nov 2009 12:40