The Italian Ministry of Defence’s OPTSAT-3000 satellite has been successfully launched on August, 2nd at 1.58 UTC. The launch has been performed by Arianespace from the Kourou European spaceport in the French Guyana, with a VEGA European launcher, produced by AVIO. The satellite separated from the upper stage of the launcher 42 minutes after the launch, and the first telemetry signal has been acquired approximately 5 hours after.
The whole system is supplied by Leonardo through Telespazio. As prime contractor, Telespazio leads an international group of companies including, among others, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which built the satellite within an international co-operation agreement between Italy and Israel as well as OHB Italia, responsible for the launch services.
OPTSAT-3000 consists of a satellite in a sun-synchronous LEO (Low Earth Orbit) orbit and of a Ground Segment for in-orbit control and for data acquisition and processing. OPTSAT-3000 will provide high-resolution images of any part of the globe, providing Italy with an autonomous national capability of Earth observation from space with a high-resolution optical sensor.
OPTSAT-3000 will jointly operate with the second-generation COSMO-SkyMed system of radar satellites – which has also been developed by Italian industry, with Leonardo and its joint ventures, Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio – integrating optical and radar data to provide the Italian Ministry of Defence with information characterised by extreme accuracy, resolution and completeness and with state-of-the-art analysis and operational tools.