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


Keeping an eye on the world

COSMO-SkyMed is a Space-Earth Observation Dual Use System devoted to provide products/services for the following purposes:

  • environmental monitoring and surveillance applications for the management of exogenous, endogenous and anthropogenic risks;
  • provision of commercial products and services.

The driving Mission requirements for the constellation development are the following:


Capability to serve at the same time both civil and military users through a integrated approach (Dual Use System);
Large amount of daily acquired images;
Satellites worldwide accessibility ;
All weather and Day/Night acquisition capabilities;
Very short interval between the acceptance of the user request acquisition and the release of the remote sensing product (System Response Time);
High image quality (e.g. spatial and radiometric resolution);
Intrinsic capability to be a cooperating, interoperable, expandable to other EO missions, multimission-borne element providing EO integrated services to large User Communities on a worldwide scale (Concepts of Expandability – Interoperability – Multisensoriality)


System Description

The constellation consists of 4 medium-size satellites, each one equipped with a microwave high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) operating in X-band, having ~600 km single side access ground area, orbiting in a sun-synchronous orbit at ~620km height over the Earth surface, with the capability to change attitude in order to acquire images at both right and left side of the satellite ground track (nominal acquisition is right looking mode). The Ground Segment is responsible for managing the constellation and granting ad-hoc services for collection, archiving and delivery of products to the users.