FARNBOROUGH. England — Italy’s Telespazio satellite services provider is positioning itself to bid for the role as operator of Europe’s Copernicus network of Earth observation satellites, Telespazio Chief Executive Luigi Pasquali said July 14.

Rome-based Telespazio operates multiple satellite control and operations facilities for third-party fleet operators, notably its Fucino, Italy, antenna farm with 14 control rooms and more than 100 antennas.

Copernicus, whose first satellite was launched earlier this year, is owned by the European Union’s executive commission, which also owns the Galileo positioning, navigation and timing system now being placed into orbit.

Telespazio and the German Aerospace Center, DLR, joined forces to create a company called Spaceopal to operate the Galileo network — up to 30 satellites — once it is operational.

Telespazio is also part of the consortium operating the Egnos program, which is a network of several dozen ground stations delivering GPS verification information through terminals on commercial satellites in geostationary orbit.

Addressing a briefing at the Farnborough International Airshow in England, Pasquali said Telespazio reported 606.3 million euros ($825 million) in revenue in 2013. Some 16 percent of this, or 97 million euros, was from the company’s e-Geos geo-information services provider. Another 130 million euros was from satellite operations.

In an unusual arrangement, Telespazio has purchased capacity on Italy’s Sicral military satellite telecommunications system, including the Italian share of the Sicral 2 satellite scheduled for launch in 2015. Sicral 2 carries French and Italian military telecommunications payloads, which will be operated separately.

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Peter B. de Selding was the Paris Bureau Chief for SpaceNews.