The Italian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is set to launch its OPTSAT-3000 satellite from the Kourou European spaceport in French Guyana on 2 August.
The satellite was supplied by Leonardo through Telespazio, which is a joint venture (JV) between Leonardo and Thales.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has built the satellite as part of an international cooperation agreement between Italy and Israel, as well as OHB Italia that will be responsible for the launch.
The earth observation satellite will be launched into a sun-synchronous low earth orbit using the AVIO-produced VEGA European launcher.
It will be operated by three separate ground control stations, including the Joint Satellite Remote Survey Centre in Pratica di Mare, the SICRAL Joint Management and Control Centre in Vigna di Valle, and the Fucino Space Centre of Telespazio.
OPTSAT-3000 will be capable of taking high-resolution images of any part of the globe and will provide operational and intelligence capabilities to Italy’s MoD.
It will work in collaboration with the second-generation COSMO-SkyMed system of radar satellites.
The COSMO-SkyMe constellation comprises four identical satellites that watch the Earth day and night in all atmospheric conditions.
It is in line with the stringent operating requirements of Copernicus, the European programme for earth observation.
The COSMO-SkyMed programme is also expected to move forward in the near future with the development of two second-generation satellites with improved performance.
Image: OPTSAT-3000 earth observation satellite for Italy's MoD is ready to be launched. Photo: courtesy of Leonardo – Società per azioni.