Observing the Earth
Earth monitoring satellites
Earth Observation satellites are playing an increasingly important role in today's social and economic activities. The data acquired by satellites have many applications and are used in various sectors such as the optimisation of the production of natural resources, the study of the environment and the prediction and monitoring of natural disasters.
The Italian Space Agency has been greatly involved in Earth Observation programmes through participation in many ESA programmes (ERS-1, ERS-2, ENVISAT) and in developing collaborations with other European and international space agencies (Vegetation with the European Community, CNES, the French Space Agency, BISA, Belgium's Institute for Space Aeronomy and SSC, the Swedish Space Corporation; SAR-X and SRTM with DLR, the German Space Agency and NASA).
ASI has created an excellence centre for Earth observation activities in Matera: the "Giuseppe Colombo" Geodesy Center, working around the clock to transform satellite data in images of our planet.
More than anything else, ASI has developed the COSMO-SkyMed programme, a constellation of LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites. These satellites are equipped with radar sensors that can monitor for all weather and day/night observations, has short revisit intervals of target areas and high spatial resolution and provides fast data delivery to users. This system will be used by civil protection services for monitoring the environment and the climate, preventing disasters, surveying coastlines and hydro-geological resources.
In addition, ASI and CONAE (the Argentinean space agency) have signed an agreement for building the SIASGE system. The SIASGE system will integrate the Italian COSMO-SkyMed satellite system and the SAOCOM Argentinean system and will have the capability of covering 80% of the international community's requirements.
» ASI Earth observation programs