Thales Alenia Space Italia has signed a contract with the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR-EA) for the study phase of the multinational space-based imaging system (MUSIS) federated activities programme.

The contract has been awarded on behalf of the French and Italian Ministries of Defence to a temporary grouping of companies made up of Astrium and Thales Alenia Space France, which is led by Thales Alenia Space Italia.

The study is aimed at defining a common interoperability layer (CIL) between the ground segments of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed second-generation and the French optical space component (CSO) high-resolution optical system.

The defence ministries will have guaranteed access to both the systems through CIL, for multisensor observation capabilities (SAR and optical).

The COSMO-SkyMed second-generation system, constellation of four satellites, will ‘watch’ Earth day and night under all atmospheric conditions with the help of the high resolution X-band radar systems.

Thales Alenia Space is the prime contractor, with responsibility for the entire system, including the space and ground segment.