References and Customers


Main Involvements on Earth Observation Programmes

Climate Change and Oceanography, Intelligence & Surveillance, Earth Explorers



Customers: ASI

PLATiNO-1 mission validates the PLATiNO platform embarking a Micro-SAR payload from Thales Alenia Space Italia. The mission envisages a first phase at 619km operating in passive mode and a second phase at 410km operating in active mode: the orbit transfer is performed making use of SITAEL HT100 Electric Thruster and validates the platform orbit maneuvering capabilities. Thanks to the extremely high power PLATiNO platform is able to provide, PLATiNO-1 can guarantee a scan time per orbit nowadays unmatched in the Micro-SAR sector.

Programme in progress



Customers: ASI

PLATiNO-2 mission envisages the development of the second satellite based on PLATiNO platform and embarks a Thermal Infrared (TIR) payload, validating PLATiNO multi-applicability feature. Developed by Leonardo and SITAEL, PLATiNO-2 TIR will acquire images that will be used to provide valuable services for territories control and protection such as monitoring waters, glaciers, pollutants, state of crops and vegetation, energy consumption in urban areas. PLATiNO-2 is also equipped with the magnetically shielded HT 100, an improved version of SITAEL electric thruster, making PLATiNO-2 one of the first missions in the world to observe the Earth in the Thermal Infrared from a very low orbit – less than 400 km – and thus significantly improving the resolution of the acquired images.

Programme in progress



Customers: ESA

µHETsat mission represents one of the first applications of a Hall Effect thruster onboard a microsatellite platform. Mission goal is to achieve orbit raising capability making use of SITAEL HT100 low power Electric Propulsion System. The flight segment is based on SITAEL S-75 micro-satellite platform.

Programme in progress



Customers: ESA

The aim of the STRIVING project is to provide an integrated service for the realization of Proof of Concept missions, i.e. in-orbit verification/validation of new payload technologies. STRIVING industrial group acts as a Space Mission Provider (SMP), an entity that aims at offering a reliable, affordable and effective “turn-key” solution to provide access to space to public or private customers wishing to validate and operate their payloads or test their technologies/services in orbit. STRIVING-1 mission will fly on a SITAEL S-75 platform and will embark multiple payloads from European companies.

Programme in progress



Customers: ESA

The European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO) is a micro-satellite mission to Low Earth Orbit. ESEO will take pictures of Earth and other celestial objects, measure radiation levels and test technologies for future education satellite missions. Industrial System Prime Contractor SITAEL S.p.A., Italy, is managing the ESEO project at system-level.

Programme completed

Sitael MTG


Customers: Leonardo, ESA

MTG is the next-generation European operational geostationary meteorological satellite system – a collaborative EUMETSAT/ESA program. In particular, the Lightning Imager is one of the two imagers carried by the MTG-I imaging satellites. In the frame of a contract with Leonardo, SITAEL is designing the Pixel Processor ASIC for the Lighting Imager Payload.

Programme in progress



Customers: Leonardo, Thales Alenia Space, ASI

COSMO-SkyMed second-generation is a constellation of four satellites and represents the technological evolution of COSMO-SkyMed. The system “watches” the Earth day and night and under any atmospheric condition through the use of high-resolution X-band radar systems. In collaboration with Leonardo, SITAEL developed the power supply of the Control Momentum Gyro Assembly Control Unit (CMGA CU) of the COSMO-Skymed 2nd generation satellites.

Programme completed



Customers: Syderal, AIRBUS DS, ESA

The objective of the EarthCARE mission is to make global observations of clouds, aerosols and radiation.To achieve this challenging objective the satellite carries four scientific instruments and circles Earth in a Sun-synchronous polar orbit crossing the equator in the early afternoon to optimise daylight conditions. The payload comprises two active instruments: a high-resolution atmospheric lidar and a radar, and two passive instruments: a multispectral imager and a broadband radiometer. SITAEL, as Syderal subcontractor, is developing the Mass Memory and Formatting Unit (MMFU) Power Supply Boards (PSB) for the EarthCARE Mission.

Programme in progress

SHIRA Satellite at High Resolution TIR

SHIRA Satellite at High Resolution TIR

Customers: Apulia Region

SITAEL performed the Phase A & B study for the development of an Earth Observation system composed by Panchromatic Chamber and Hyperspectral Optical Instruments in the frequency range from infrared up to thermal infrared.

Programme completed

ESA Sitael Sentinel-1

Sentinel 1

Customers: AIRBUS DS, ESA

The Sentinel-1 Mission is part of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Initiative whose overall objective is to support Europe’s goals regarding sustainable development and global governance of the environment by providing timely and quality data, information, services and knowledge. Sentinel-1 is an imaging radar mission at C-band aimed at providing continuity of data for user services. As subcontractor of AIRBUS DS, UK SITAEL is in charge of the DC/DC Converters development for the SAR Electronics Sub-system Transmit Gain Unit on board of the ESA Sentinel-1 satellite. As subcontractor of Thales Alenia Space Italia, SITAEL designed and produced a 16 channels High Power Command ASIC, for platform and payload control of Data Handling equipments of Sentinel-1 satellite.

Programme completed

Sitael Sentinel-3

Sentinel 3

Customers: Thales Alenia Space

Sentinel-3 mission falls within the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) joint initiative of the European Community and of the European Space Agency, which foresees the production of a series of satellites (called Sentinel), developed to provide a specific contribution in the field of the Earth space observations.The Sentinel-3 programme is dedicated to operational oceanography and global land application, thanks to its payload composed of a set of optical and microwave instruments. SITAEL, as subcontractor of Thales Alenia Space France, delivered the flight model DC/DC Converters for the SRAL-C Ku (SAR Radar and ALtimeter) Radio Frequency Unity (RFU), which is one of the instrument embarked on the Sentinel-3 satellite.

Programme completed



Customers: COMDEV, ESA

Swarm is the fifth ESA Earth Explorer Mission. The Swarm concept involves placing a constellation of three satellites in three different near-polar orbits to provide high-precision and high-resolution measurements of strength and direction of Earth’s magnetic field.As subcontractor of the Canadian company COM DEV, SITAEL took care of the development of the Low Voltage Power Supply (LVPS) and High Voltage Power Supply (HVPS) Units for the Canadian Electric Field Instrument (CEFI). The goal of the CEFI instrument is to characterize the electric field about the Earth by measuring the plasma density, drift, and acceleration at high resolution.

Programme completed

Gauss UNISAT-5


Customers: G.A.U.S.S. Srl (Italy)

UNISAT-5 is the first satellite designed, built and launched by G.A.U.S.S. Srl, the company that inherits the experience gained with the UniSat program at the School of Aerospace Engineering of the University of Rome “La Sapienza”.
The launch of UniSat-5 satellite, boarded on the Dnepr rocket, took place on 21 November 2013 from Yasny cosmodrome in Russia, marking an historical event in the world of CubeSats and nanosatellites. SITAEL contributed to the mission by providing a new, cost-effective coverglass solution for a custom made solar panel (SP15).

Programme completed



Customers: University of Bologna (Italy)

ALMASat-1 is the first educational satellite entirely designed, manufactured and assembled in the Microsatellite Laboratory of the University of Bologna. The main objective of this first mission was to test the key performance of all microsatellite technologies developed in the lab to prepare future missions dedicated to Earth observation which requires a high 3-axis pointing accuracy. ALMASat-1 has been successfully launched in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in February 13, 2012 onboard the VEGA Maiden Flight from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

ALMASpace, now the microsatellite division of SITAEL, supported the mission with his team in the design and manufacturing of the systems and by providing the Adapter and Separation system.

Programme completed

HORTA – Humidity Observation by Reflectometer Technique for Agriculture

Customers: Lazio Region

The aim of the HORTA project is to design and implement a 6U cube-sat to monitor the state of the soil, in terms of humidity and bio-mass, together with a satellite reception and processing center.

This will allow a continuous and automatic adjustment of the fertilizer dosage to the real needs of the various areas, avoiding deficiencies and excesses or fertilization or plant protection products. Moreover, these integrated techniques are also effective for irrigation systems precision increasing a productivity limited by water stress. In fact the knowledge of the dynamics of soil moisture during the growing season affects the amount of biomass assigned to the harvest. Decreased moisture in the soil reduces the water potential of plants, reducing transpiration and therefore causing a reduction of the physiological functions of the plant and, finally, leads to a series of damages gradually increasing for the plant itself.

Furthermore, due to the nature of the GNSS-R payload, results can also be applied for the monitoring of water bodies (seas and oceans) and research will be carried out to verify their possible use in different sectors (for example humidity monitoring in desert areas).

Programme in progress

LIRAS – LIdar and RAdar in Space

Customer: Italian Ministry of Economic Development

The aim of the LIRAS project is the designing and implementation of an on-board equipment for Earth Observation space applications, whose highly innovative technological core is a unique Integrated Photonic Core (IPC), able to operate both in radio frequency and optical mode.

Goals and outcomes:

  • Definition of application requirements (Mission) for the equipment design
  • Enabling Earth Observation missions on small satellites
  • Service Validation through an avio campaign
  • Development of a demonstrative Ground Station Service

Programme in progress


The project “SAPERE SAFE”, was focused on the improvement of “services for emergency management” (crisis management) in different domains, with a wider use of “space technology”.

NETSIGN – Network innovativo di sensori avanzati per il monitoraggio ambientale (Innovative network of advanced sensors for environmental monitoring)

Customer: Apulia Region

NETSING is answering the demand of environmental monitoring for large contaminated or risky areas. This is pursued through a network of prototype and innovative sensors, cooperating within an expert system specialized in environmental monitoring, developed within the project, too. The system shall process data automatically and provide warnings or alarms in case of environmental risk.
The area chosen for the project implementation is Taranto, an area within the SIN (Sites of National Interest) due to the ascertained degree of risk for the various environmental matrices: Air, Water and Soil.

Programme completed

SATRAIL – Electric Propulsion Subsystem

Customer: Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy

The SAT4RAIL project aims at the realisation of an innovative multi-sensor platform and an advanced data integration and decision-support system that, by integrating data acquired from heterogeneous sensors on board airborne vehicles and in cooperation with satellite sensors, is able to perform railway infrastructure monitoring.

Programme completed

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