Thales Alenia Space and Agenzia Spaziale Italiana approved the amendments made to the programme related to construction of the SAR COSMO-SkyMed Seconda Generazione satellites. According to the declaration made by the parties involved, the agreement covers the remaining steps, required to finalize the initiative. Two satellites which are also going to be used by the Polish Ministry of Defence, will be sent into the Earth’s orbit in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
The agreement which has been concluded will make it possible to finalize the works related to creation of the COSMO-SkyMed Seconda Generazione satellite system. In total, the value of the contract is said to reach EUR 77 million, with 66 million euros to be received by Thales Alenia Space Italy and EUR 11 million is going to be paid to Telespazio. The project enters the D2/E1 phase which includes steps, leading us towards completion of works related to the second example of the FM-2 satellite, launching of both satellites and carrying out a validation and operational test of the constellation. The first satellite is to be sent into the orbit in 2018, with the second one to follow a year later.
Similarly as in case of the first generation of the system, comprising of four satellites which were sent into the orbit between 2007 and 2010, COSMO-SkyMed Seconda Generazione satellites are going to be manufactured mainly by the Italian space industry. Thales Alenia Space Italy is the main contractor responsible for constructing and integrating the whole system, here we are referring both to the ground-based facilities, as well as to the space segment. Telespazio is going to be involved in the works referring to the land-based part of the project, at the Fucino Space Center, placed alongside the elements of the first generation system. Moreover, the company will be also burdened with the responsibility of operational maintenance. The programme also sees involvement on the part of the Leonardo corporation. The Italian aerospace company is going to manufacture the altitude sensors and electricity distribution systems.
On the basis of the agreement, concluded back in 2014, the data, gathered by the SAR satellites of the COSMO-SkyMed Seconda Generazionne system, will also be acquired by the Polish Ministry of Defence. The P-DUGS Polish Defence User Ground Segment station is being erected in Białobrzegi, north of Warsaw. The base is going to achieve initial operational capability in 2017, with full readiness expected to be acquired by 2020. The infrastructure in Poland will support the process of downloading the data from the satellites, managed by systems located in Norway and Italy. Besides Rome and Warsaw, Paris also utilizes the COSMO-SkyMed system, as France owns no SAR satellites.
COSMO SkyMed system is aa project of the ASI space agency of Italy, and it is also being financed by the Italian Ministry of Defence and Ministry Of Education, University And Research. Not only may the COSMO SkyMed radar data turn out to be usable for the armed forces, as civil entities working on protection of critical infrastructure, crisis management or environmental monitoring may also make use of the system. The satellites observe the Earth 24 hours a day, with the use of high resolution X-band radars.