Cosmo SkyMed satellite

Thales Alenia Space has received a contract from the Italian Ministry of Defence’s General Directorate of IT and Advanced Technologies (Teledife) to supply Cosmo-SkyMed ground segment to the Polish Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The €30m contract forms part of a 2012 agreement signed by the Italian and Polish defence ministries concerning collaboration on Earth observation.

Under the agreement, Poland may take a significant role in the second-generation Cosmo-SkyMed programme, and could also domestically build the associated user segment.

The ground segment allows for the reception and processing of data and data products generated by Italy’s first and second-generation Cosmo-SkyMed satellites.

The Polish Defence User Ground Segment (P-DUGS) will be able to request images, receive satellite data and generate and store different types of products.

It will serve as an integral part of the overall Cosmo-SkyMed ground segment.

Thales Alenia Space Italia Observation Programmes senior vice-president Massimo Di Lazzaro said: "This contract confirms Thales Alenia Space Italia’s ability to develop complex space systems, as well as state-of-the-art satellites."

"This contract confirms Thales Alenia Space Italia’s ability to develop complex space systems."

The P-DUGS, which will guarantee access to the first-generation Cosmo-SkyMed satellites, is scheduled to be implemented in two phases, the first of which is planned for late 2016 or early 2017.

Slated to run between the end of 2017 and early 2019, the second phase would extend access to the second-generation satellites.

Representing the first concrete collaboration between the Italian and Polish defence ministries on space programmes, the contract enables Telespazio and Thales to strengthen their presence in Poland. Thales has established a new office in the capital Warsaw in June this year.

Designed to meet both defence and civil requirements, the Cosmo-SkyMed is wholly built by the Italian industry, including innovative small businesses, and was financed by the Italian space agency, Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Instruction, University and Scientific Research.

Image: Cosmo-SkyMed satellites are designed to meet both defence and civil requirements. Photo: courtesy of Thales.