COSMO-SkyMed Constellation, GeoEye-1 and IKONOS-2 Contribution to GSC-DA Future Phases
Bucarelli, Andrea; Oddone, Axel

e-GEOS is supporting the GMES activities since the beginning of the GMES project through several Contribution Missions (RADAR and Optical).

In particular, the COSMO-SkyMed Constellation represents e-GEOS most important contribution on RADAR missions.
COSMO-SkyMed, one of the most innovative Earth Observation programmes, is financed by the Italian Space Agency, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Education, Universities and Scientific Research. The COSMO-SkyMed system involves a constellation of four satellites equipped with radar sensors that can operate under any weather or visibility conditions and with a very high revisit frequency. COSMO-SkyMed was conceived as a programme to meet civil (environment, civil protection, Oil&Gas) and defence objectives (surveillance). The overall features of the system allow it to interoperate with other systems and to be used within the context of international agreements (e.g. the Argentinean SAOCOM constellation of L-band SAR satellites). Through the Customer User Terminal (CUT), e-GEOS can provide direct reception of imagery from the COSMO-SkyMed constellation to clients having a ground station. At present there are several COSMO-SkyMed Ground Stations already operational and e-GEOS is currently negotiating other Ground Stations for different Customers all over the world.

In addition to the first generation of COSMO-SkyMed constellation, ASI and Italian Ministry of Defense are currently developing the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation (launching by end 2014). These brand-new satellites will guarantee innovation and continuity with the current operational system. Moreover the new satellites will increase the overall performance, through a improvement of spatial resolution of images acquired by the SAR sensor and the new feature of receiving and process RADAR data in double polarization simultaneously.

As already noted, e-GEOS is supporting the GMES activities also with Optical missions. In particular, nowadays GeoEye-1 and IKONOS-2 represent e-GEOS main contribution on Optical missions. GeoEye-1 and IKONOS-2 missions, both owned and operated by DigitalGlobe Inc. (after the merge with GeoEye Inc), share similar orbital configuration and instruments. Since the 2 satellites are placed on the exact same orbit, at 180° one from the other, they provide a perfect constellation configuration, allowing the highest revisit on any place in the world. In fact, every day one of the 2 satellites is able to acquire a VHR image on any part of the world, providing a perfect solution for emergency management, as shown in the last 2 years of operations for GMES.
Both satellites have on-board sensors able to acquire in Panchromatic or Multispectral mode. GeoEye-1 and IKONOS-2 Ground Segments is composed by several facilities in USA and other place in the world.

e-GEOS through the COSMO-SkyMed constellation, GeoEye-1 and IKONOS-2 missions is currently contributing to several GMES datasets (both "CORE datasets" and "Additional datasets") for standard and emergency requests.