Thales Alenia Space has signed an amendment to the original contract for the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation (CSG) programme with Italian space agency ASI. Worth €77m, this contract covers the remaining operations to complete the programme. Thales Alenia Space Italy will receive €66m euros of the total, while space services affiliate Telespazio will receive €11m.
Thales Alenia Space Italy is responsible for the overall COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation programme, including construction of the two satellites, while Telespazio is responsible for designing and developing the ground segment and providing the integrated logistics and operations services.
The contract kicks off phase D2/E1 of the programme, which entails all operations needed to complete construction of the second satellite (FM-2), the launch of both satellites and the verification and operational validation of the entire system with the two satellites in orbit. The launch of the first satellite is planned in 2018, with the second following a year later.
The first generation of four COSMO-SkyMed satellites have been obseving the planet since 2007, providing continuous monitoring of the Earth's surface using high-resolution X-band radars. They were used for damage assessment activities and support to rescue operations following the recent earthquakes that hit central Italy. International partnerships have been established with France and Poland regarding the COSMO-SkyMed reception and processing of data and data products.
COSMO-SkyMed, financed by the Italian space agency, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Education, University and Research, is the first dual-use Earth observation system. Its four satellites monitor the entire Earth from space, day and night, under any weather conditions, using high-resolution X-band radars.