Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio have reached an agreement on the 2nd of September with Teledife (General Directorate of IT and Advanced Technologies, Italian Ministry of Defence) to supply the ground segment to the Polish Ministry of Defense for the reception and processing of data and data products generated by Italy’s first and second-generation COSMO-SkyMed satellites.
The contract was signed by Thales Alenia Space Italia as lead company, on behalf of a temporary consortium which includes Telespazio.
The Italian space industry’s selection by Poland as "international defense partner” for the COSMO-SkyMed program marks a significant step forward. The 30 million euro contract is part of a 2012 agreement signed by the Italian and Polish Ministries of Defense concerning collaboration on Earth Observation. According to this agreement, Poland may also take a significant role in the second-generation COSMO-SkyMed program, and could build the associated user segment in Poland. Teledife is the contracting agency on behalf of the Polish Ministry of Defense.
The contract announced concerns the ground segment to be delivered to Poland to allow access to COSMO-SkyMed data. The Polish Defense User Ground Segment (P-DUGS) will be able to request images, receive satellite data and generate and store different types of products. It will be an integral part of the overall COSMO-SkyMed ground segment, based on its modular, scalable design.
Poland’s user ground segment will be implemented in two phases. The first phase, planned for late 2016 or early 2017, will guarantee access to the first-generation COSMO-SkyMed satellites. The second phase, slated between the end of 2017 and early 2019, will extend access to second-generation satellites as well.
This contract marks the first concrete collaboration between the Italian and Polish defense ministries on space programs. It also allows Telespazio and in particular Thales Alenia Space to strengthen their presence in Poland in addition to the creation of Thales Alenia Space Polska in Warsaw which took place in June this year.
“This contract confirms Thales Alenia Space Italia’s ability to develop complex space systems as well as state-of-the-art satellites,” said Massimo Di Lazzaro, Senior Vice President for Observation Programs at Thales Alenia Space Italia.
Financed by the Italian space agency, Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Instruction, University and Scientific Research (MIUR), COSMO-SkyMed is one of today’s most innovative Earth observation programs. The first generation comprises a constellation of four identical satellites, equipped with radar sensors capable of operating under any atmospheric and visibility conditions and featuring a very high revisit frequency. COSMO-SkyMed was designed to meet both defense and civil (environmental monitoring, security) requirements.
The COSMO-SkyMed system is wholly built by Italian industry, including innovative small businesses. Thales Alenia Space Italia is the system prime contractor, responsible for both the space and ground segments. Telespazio developed the civil and military ground segments, and is responsible for logistics and integrated management.