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Italy-Argentina: el espacio clásico

The agreement for the commercial exploitation of satellite data of SIASGE, the Italian-Argentine Earth observation radar system, has been signed in Bariloche in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic, Mattarella.

The Italian Space Agency and the CONAE (Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales) have concluded an important agreement for the exploitation of the SIASGE radar technology programme (Italian-Argentine System of Satellites for the Management of Environmental Emergencies and Economic Development) satellite data, consisting of the COSMO-SkyMed radar constellation and the Argentine one, SAOCOM. The agreement was signed in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, by the President of the Italian Space Agency, ASI, Roberto Battiston, and by the Minister of Science and Technology, Lino Barañao, at INVAP (Institute for Applied Research – INVestigación APlicada) in Bariloche, where the SAOCOM satellites are being built.  

Sergio Mattarella – as he also did yesterday in Buenos Aires during a much-applauded speech at the chambers in joint session – reiterated the significance that industrial and scientific cooperation will assume the future: “These are areas of excellence in which our researchers and scientists, both Italian and Argentinian, demonstrate their value every day, in the creation of a network of knowledge and research that is bringing extraordinary results.” “SIASGE is not just a highly advanced system and unique throughout the world for Earth observation and the prevention of natural disasters, but it is also a collaboration that expresses the nature of our friendship very well”, the Head of State concluded. The Minister of Science and Technology, Lino Barañao, along with Ferdinando Ferroni, also signed the agreement between the INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) and the CNEA (Comisión Nacional de la Energía Atómica de Argentine) for the joint management of three big scientific research projects.   

Barañao pointed out that these “agreements are proof that the high level of technological and scientific collaboration between Italy and Argentina experienced in the past continues to exist with these projects, which involve not only the institutions but also the private sector”.  

“SIASGE is a very ambitious programme and the only one in the world that combines the scientific and technological research of two countries inextricably linked by deep friendship, culture and by the conviction that space activities are crucial for social and economic development”, said the president of ASI, Roberto Battiston

By putting the X band of the Italian dual-use COSMO-SkyMed system and the L band of the Argentine SAOCOM system together, SIASGE is an integrated and interoperable system – the world's largest in the SAR field – for the management and prevention of great emergencies: the system's satellites will watch and monitor the territory in all weather conditions, by day and by night, with frequent site revisit times. This makes it possible to closely monitor changes in climate, in the waters and in everything taking place over and under the territory: inundations, landslides, floods, fires, agricultural development, urbanization, migrations, etc.  

To date, SIASGE is active with the first 4 COSMO-SkyMed satellites, to which the two Argentine satellites currently in the development phase will be added, the first of which will be launched in 2018 and the second in 2019. The cooperation will also include interoperability between bases on the ground for receiving and storing data, which will be Italy's ASI Centre in Matera and Argentina's Centro CONAE in Cordoba. “Leonardo is proud of the contribution made to the success of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed satellite programme, both directly and through Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio, which operates and manages the constellation, along with ASI, from the Fucino space centre and that of Matera with e-GEOS”, said Luigi Pasquali, Director of Leonardo's Space sector and CEO of TelespazioDonato Amoroso, CEO of  Thales Alenia Space Italia referred to the leadership position held in Earth Observation radar technology and “the current engagement in the second generation of COSMO-SkyMed, the development of which represents a further generational leap in technological terms”.

The final goal of the project is integration and commercial exploitation of the data and of the applications deriving from the two satellite constellations. The system, as a whole, is unique in the world, for technological challenge, use of data and a vast quantity of satellite applications to utilize in Italy, Europe, Argentina, Latin America and the whole of the rest of the world. A joint ASI-CONAE study has demonstrated that the integration of the two bands reaches approximately 78% of the possible space applications using the X, L and X+L bands. 

The signature arrived at the end of the State visit that saw the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Angelino Alfano, and of the Undersecretary for Economic Development, Ivan Scalfarotto, and it also involved various entrepreneurs from the two countries who are active in the different sectors of the economy.