Arianespace has been awarded a launch contract by SITAEL, with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) as final customer, to put PLATiNO 1 and 2 satellites into orbit, between 2022 and 2024 on Vega and Vega C. PLATiNO 1 and 2 are small Earth observation satellites operating on sun-synchronous orbits. PLATiNO 1 will carry a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), operating in the X-band, while PLATiNO 2 will carry an optical thermal instrument.
“We are very proud of this new launch contract, which underlines the ability of Arianespace launch solutions, here with Vega and Vega C, to respond to institutional needs under the most competitive conditions, even for very demanding missions in the 100-500 kg class. “, said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace. “This agreement also demonstrates the ability of Arianespace to support the development of new space initiatives cultivated by governments and European institutions”.
PLATiNO is a versatile, multi-mission, high-tech and all-Italian platform, suitable for a wide range of applications that will be equipped with various instruments – both radar and optical – which guarantee optimal resolutions and an on-board computer capable of acquiring and downloading a large number of images.
The PLATiNO platform was developed by a temporary consortium established between SITAEL, Leonardo, Thales Alenia Space (a joint venture between Thales with 67% and Leonardo with 33%) and Airbus Defense and Space; has been designed to support a wide range of missions in different operational scenarios ranging from Earth observation to telecommunications and science missions. This platform guarantees a reduction in development and operating costs in an extremely competitive market context, supporting a strategic positioning of Italian industries in a sector where new space systems such as megaconstellations are emerging.