ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - Mission and Projects ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - Mission and Projects


Precursore IperSpettrale (Hyperspectral Precursor) of the application mission

PRISMA (PRecursore IperSpettrale of the application mission) is an earth observation system with innovative electro-optical instrumentation which combines a hyperspectral sensor with a panchromatic, medium-resolution camera.

The advantages of this combination are that in addition to the classical capability of observation based on the recognition of the geometrical characteristics of the scene, there is the one offered by hyperspectral sensors which can determine the chemical-physical composition of objects present on the scene.

This offers the scientific community and users many applications in the field of environmental monitoring, resource management, crop classification, pollution control, etc. Further applications are possible even in the field of National Security.

PRISMA capitalises on prior ASI investments in the field of "small missions" (e.g. AGILE), hyperspectral payloads (e.g. Hypseo, JHM), satellite platforms (MITA/PRIMA) and centres for tracking and remote sensed data processing centres (COSMO-SkyMed and CNM) that have given the opportunity to Italian industry in these areas to acquire competences and to develop/consolidate vitally important products.


PRISMA is a "small" Italian mission of demonstrative/technological and pre-operational nature.
The fundamental objectives, in line with the PASN 2006-2008, are the following:

- To develop a small mission entirely in Italy for monitoring natural resources and atmosphere characteristics, taking advantage of the prior developments carried out by ASI
- Make available in a short period of time the data necessary to the scientific community for developing new applications for environmental risk management and observation of the territory, based on high-resolution spectral images
- Test the hyperspectral payload in orbit - the first or among the first at the European level


Technical aspects

The following table lists the technical elements that are essential to the PRISMA project

Characteristics of the System:
- A satellite in LEO SSO (700 620 km) orbit
- 5-year operational life

- "Average" daily imaging capability Satellite "Small" satellite (<7500kg), made up of:
- P"Small" platform, developed in Italy for LEO small missions
- Hyperspectral/Panchromatic Payload
- Data Handling Payload and Transmission (PDHT)

Hyperspectral/Panchromatic Payload derived from Hypseo and updated as for the JHM Mission:
- Space resolution: 20-30 m (Hyp) / 2.5-5m (PAN)
- Swath width: 30-60 km;
- Spectral range: 0.4 - 2.5 µmm (Hyp) / 0.4 - 0.7 µm (PAN)
- Continuous coverage of spectral ranges with 10 nm bands

- Launcher "procured" by the Agency, with the technical responsibility of the Contractor:
 o launch with VEGA (baseline: In VERTA framework)
 o or as an alternative, "small launcher" (Rockot, Dnepr, PSLV class, etc.)

Ground Segment made up of centres located in Italy:
- Mission Control Centre (MCC)
- Satellite Control Centre (SCC)
- Image Data Handling Segment (Payload Ground Segment)

Applications domain:
- Mapping of land cover and agricultural landscapes
- Pollution monitoring
- Quality of inland waters
- Coastal zones and Mediterranean Sea
- Soil moisture
- Carbon cycle monitoring

Programme features

ASI has given responsibility for the performance of these tasks to the Raggruppamento temporaneo d'Imprese (RTI) (Temporary Industrial Group) made up of Carlo Gavazzi Space, S.p.A as the procurer and Selex-Galileo Avionica S.p.A and Oerlikon Contraves Rheinmetall Italia S.p.A as principal contractors. This group then manages a team that involves the participation of other important Italian industries working in the sector.
The contract will assign the contractor the "end-to-end" responsibility for the development and production of the system to the in-orbit commissioning (Phase B2/C/D/E1).
The satellite launch is foreseen by the end of the 2015.