Two latest generation optical instruments are the technological heart of the upcoming PLATiNO missions
The Italian Space Agency (ASI) has signed two contracts with Leonardo for a total value of approximately 33 million euros for the development and construction of the PLATiNO 3 high-resolution camera and the PLATiNO 4 hyperspectral camera. The two state-of-the-art optical instruments generation are the technological heart of the forthcoming PLATiNO missions (mini high-tech space platform), ASI’s program to support, through the use of mini-satellites, a wide range of missions in the fields of Earth observation, telecommunications and science. For the PLATiNO 3 mission, Leonardo will build a very high-resolution, ultra-compact camera with low operating costs, capable of capturing excellent quality images with a level of detail on the ground (spatial resolution) of at least 50 cm. The images acquired by the instrument will thus be able to support the monitoring of the territory and infrastructures, also for civil protection purposes.
For PLATiNO 4, Leonardo will instead supply a compact and lightweight hyperspectral camera of the latest generation. The instrument, the result of the skills gained in the development of PRISMA, will have dimensions and mass equal to less than half of PRISMA itself, while guaranteeing equal performance. Thanks to hyperspectral technology it is possible to carry out the chemical-physical analysis of the observed area from Space, providing valuable information to support the prevention of natural and anthropic risks, the monitoring of cultural heritage, agricultural activities, natural resources and the atmosphere, and the exploitation of mineral resources. PLATiNO 4 will operate in synergy with PRISMA Second Generation, whose development program is underway, again under the guidance of the Italian Space Agency.
Both instruments, for which Leonardo is also responsible for data processing, play a fundamental role in ASI’s technological roadmap aimed at supporting future missions of the Agency from an evolutionary point of view, consolidating Italy’s leadership in Earth observation from Space. Delivery of the first flight models of the PLATiNO 3 and 4 instruments is scheduled for the end of 2024; their creation will involve the use of latest generation technologies and components and will also involve small and medium-sized enterprises in the Italian supply chain.