ESA Awards e-Geos with Imagery Processing Contract

by

PARIS — Italy’s e-Geos Earth imagery services provider will process data from Europe’s Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 environmental satellites under a contract valued at 10 million euros ($12.5 million) over seven years, e-Geos announced July 18.

Under the contract with the 19-nation European Space Agency (ESA), e-Geos’ Matera, Italy, center will provide X-band acquisition services and the payload data ground segment for the satellites, which are intended to be part of the European Union’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) program.

Sentinel-1 has a radar imager; Sentinel-2 is equipped with an optical payload. ESA and the European Commission — the executive arm of the 27-nation European Union — plan to build three copies of each Sentinel satellite to assure data continuity and reduce the capital investment in satellite hardware.

The European Commission, which is struggling to assemble a seven-year budget starting in 2014, has yet to confirm whether it will finance GMES as planned. Sentinel-1A is scheduled for launch in late 2013 aboard a European version of Russia’s Soyuz rocket.

Sentinel-1 is under construction by Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy. Sentinel-2 is being built by Astrium Satellites, whose principal production facilities are in France, Germany and Britain.

The ESA contract was competitively bid, according to e-Geos, which is 80 percent owned by Telespazio of Rome and 20 percent by the Italian Space Agency.