The Italian Space Agency and Leonardo sign payload contracts for the upcoming PLATiNO missions for Earth observation with minisatellites

Leonardo will supply the high-resolution optical camera for PLATiNO 3 and the hyperspectral instrument for PLATiNO 4. The payloads will support the monitoring of the territory, natural resources and the atmosphere, for a more sustainable and safer management of the environment. Leonardo’s instruments are at the technological heart of the upcoming PLATiNO missions, a fundamental element of the ASI technological roadmap to consolidate national leadership in Earth observation from Space.

The Italian Space Agency (ASI) signed two contracts with Leonardo for a total value of about 33 million euros on the development and construction of the PLATiNO 3 high-resolution camera and the PLATiNO 4 hyperspectral camera. The two state-of-the-art optical instruments are at the technological heart of the upcoming PLATiNO missions (mini high-tech space platform), ASI’s programme to support, through the use of mini satellites, a wide range of missions in the field of Earth observation, telecommunications, and science.

For the PLATiNO 3 mission, Leonardo will build a very high resolution, ultra-compact camera with low operating costs, capable of capturing excellent quality images with a level of detail on the ground (spatial resolution) of at least 50 cm. The images acquired by the instrument will support the monitoring of the territory and infrastructures, also for civil protection purposes.

For PLATiNO 4, Leonardo will supply a latest generation compact and lightweight hyperspectral camera. The instrument, the result of the skills gained in the development of PRISMA, will have dimensions and mass less than half of PRISMA itself, while guaranteeing equal performance. Thanks to hyperspectral technology it is possible to carry out the chemical-physical analysis of the observed area from Space, providing valuable information to support the prevention of natural and anthropic risks, the monitoring of cultural heritage, agricultural activities, natural resources and the atmosphere, and the exploitation of mineral resources. PLATiNO 4 will operate in synergy with PRISMA Second Generation, this development programme is underway, again under the guidance of the Italian Space Agency. 

Both instruments, for which Leonardo is also responsible for the data processing, play a fundamental role in ASI’s technological roadmap aimed at supporting future missions of the Agency, from an evolutionary point of view, consolidating Italy’s leadership in Earth observation from Space.

The delivery of the first flight models of the PLATiNO 3 and 4 instruments are scheduled for the end of 2024; their creation will involve the use of latest generation technologies and components and will also involve small and medium-sized enterprises across the Italian supply chain. 

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