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Part of Prima Family
Credit: ASI
Italian military surveillance radar satellite. Constellation of four satellites launched 2007.06.08 - 2010.11.06. Earth Observing (Radar) satellite built by Alenia Spazio for ASI, Italy. Launched 2007 - 2010. Used the Prima Bus bus.

Status: Operational 2007. First Launch: 2007-06-08. Last Launch: 2010-11-06. Number: 4 . Gross mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb).

COSMO-SkyMed (Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation) was planned as a constellation of four Synthetic Aperture Radar satellites for primarily military surveillance, but with products made available to civilian users as well.

The system was funded by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana and the Italian Ministry of Defense. Italy began initial work in 1996 on a national Earth observation program. In 2001 the Ministry of Defense became a partner in the COSMO-SkyMed program, which led to subsequent details becoming classified.

The first satellite used an X-band radar; later satellites were to be equipped with more sophisticated multi-mode X-, C- L- and P-band instruments. The constellation and associated ground segment were to provide global, all-weather, day-night surveillance coverage of the earth's surface. Stereo imaging would be possible in a single pass, and ground track repeatability was to be better than 1 km.

The spacecraft were three-axis stabilized. The Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic bus was equipped with two deployable solar arrays and the SAR antenna. A star tracker and a high-quality GPS receiver provided the necessary positional and pointing accuracy. The SAR antenna pointed 38 to the right of the satellite ground track. Momentum wheels and a liquid propellant reaction control system positioned the spacecraft.

The satellites were deployed in sun-synchronous dawn-dusk orbits, all spacecraft in the same orbital plane. The full constellation would achieve a revisit time of a few hours on a global scale. The COSMO-Skymed constellation could be operated in a nominal stand-alone configuration or pairs could be operated in an interferometric configuration. The interferometric configuration allowed acquisition of 3D SAR imagery by combining radar measurements from two satellites of the same target from slightly different incidence angles. It required control of the baseline distance between the two satellites with an accuracy of tens of meters.

The SAR-2000 radar was built by Alcatel Alenia Space. A swath width of between 10 and 200 km was available, depending on mode, with any target within 650 km left or right of the ground target being observable. Acquisition modes were:

  • Spotlight / Frame: Spot observation area: 10 km x 10 km, resolution under 1 m
  • HIMAGE / Stripmap: Swath width: 40 km, resolution 3-15 m
  • WideRegion / ScanSAR: Swath width: 100 km, resolution 30 m
  • HugeRegion / ScanSAR: Swath width: 200 km, resolution 100 m
  • Ping Pong / Stripmap: Swath width: 30 km, resolution: 15 m

Electric System: 3.60 average kW. Battery: 336.00 Ah.

More at: Cosmo-SkyMed.

Family: Military surveillance radarsat, Sun synchronous orbit, Surveillance. Country: Italy. Launch Vehicles: Thor, Delta, Delta 7420-10C, Delta 7420-10. Launch Sites: Vandenberg, Vandenberg SLC2W. Agency: Italian AF. Bibliography: 2, 12190.
Photo Gallery

Credit: Manufacturer Image

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