TAS awarded PRISMA second generation feasibility awarded
(21 Feb 2022) Thales Alenia Space has signed a contract with the Italian space agency (ASI) to conduct a feasibility study for the PRISMA Second Generation (PSG) hyperspectral Earth observation system. It will be leading a consortium that includes Leonardo, Telespazio (the joint-venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%), e-GEOS and SITAEL.
Lasting nine months, the feasibility study will capitalise on increased interest in hyperspectral imaging by consolidating the technological excellence achieved through the PRISMA demonstration mission. It will deliver higher performance in line with the updated application requirements specified by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the upcoming Copernicus Hyperspectral Imaging Mission for the Environment (CHIME), deployed as part of Europe's vast Copernicus environmental monitoring programme.
The main challenge for hyperspectral technology is to capture images with high quality and spatial resolution, with frequent re-visit times and high signal to noise ratio. PRISMA SG will represent a significant step forward over the first-generation PRISMA system, improving spatial resolution via enhanced platform and instrument agility.
Thales Alenia Space in Italy will build the new satellite and take complete responsibility for system design, drawing on its experience in Earth observation satellites for Copernicus and the first and second-generation COSMO SkyMed satellites. It was also chosen by ESA in 2020 to design and build the two CHIME environmental monitoring satellites, with Leonardo contributing to the payload.
Leonardo provided the PRISMA hyperspectral instrument, already in orbit, and will also build this payload for PRISMA SG, but offering even higher performance.
Telespazio will be responsible for designing the PRISMA SG ground segment, while e-GEOS, a joint Telespazio (80%) and ASI (20%) company, will be in charge of market analysis and will also help Leonardo define user requirements.
SITAEL, a space company and a part of Angel Group, capitalising on the national investments on electric propulsion, will participate in the trade-offs of satellite and platform as well as study the configurations to make PRISMA SG an "all-electric" satellite, thus ensuring the manoeuvrability and operational flexibility that only this type of satellites provide.
Reference: Thales Alenia Space PR