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Prisma satellite launched (Italian Asi): take-off aboard Vega launcher

It will provide hyperspectral images of Earth -VIDEO

Starting tonight Italy’s PRISMA satellite has begun its mission orbiting Earth. Its hyperspectral eyes will soon observe and acquire new images of Earth giving insight into its natural resources. PRISMA is an Italian Space Agency’s satellite demonstrator. National industries and many Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) contributed to its design, launch and data receipt. Using the VEGA launcher, it took off from the European base of Kourou in French Guyana at 2.50 am GMT+1. Now the satellite will face three months of verifications; its operational activity will start in June 2019. PRISMA’s full program cost 126 million Eur. It will produce significant industrial and scientific benefits for the national community and around the planet.

PRISMA will complete the current Italian Space Agency offer of Earth Observation space segment, now primarly based on the Synthetic Aperture Radar of COSMO-SkyMed constellation. Thanks to its hyperspectral innovative optical sensor, PRISMA is able to acquire images of Earth surface to see the chemical and physical composition and provide information for several applications. Its hyperspectral technology observes each object with its spectral signature, a real digital footprint: a unique combination of colours associated with each object, which reflects and absorbs solar light in specific bands of Visible spectrum and of near Infrared (NIR-SWIR).

It is a satellite of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and represents an excellence deriving from the scientific and industrial ability of Italy to work as a team. PRISMA was developed by a Temporary Joint-Venture of companies, led by OHB Italia, responsible for the mission and management of the three main segments (ground, flight and launch) and Leonardo, which built the electro-optical hyperspectral instrumentation in addition to on-board equipment such as solar panels and power supply unit. The launch took place aboard the ESA’s launcher designed and conceived in Italy: VEGA produced by AVIO. Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%) set up the mission control centre at Fucino Space Centre, while data acquisition and processing will take place at the ASI Matera Space Centre.

The satellite will be operational for 5 years and will make available to a national and international community of users images of great scientific interest. The data will provide a crucial contribution to the development of research as well as to the testing in many fields of Earth Observation applications: monitoring, the management of agriculture and natural resources, the control of pollution, and the study of climatic and environment changes (support to emergency management).

See for details AVIONEWS.

Below, the video about the launch:


Photo gallery Campi Bisenzio. Leonardo celebrates launch of Prisma satellite (ASI) happened on March 22, 2019
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