Press Release

Alenia Spazio at LAD in Rio de Janeiro

By SpaceRef Editor
April 21, 2003
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Alenia Spazio, a Finmeccanica company, will be at the fourth edition of the
LAD – “Latin America Defentech” – exhibition, Rio de Janeiro, 22-25 April,
2003, at the Italian pavilion coordinated by ICE, AIAD and SEGREDIFESA.

The Italian company has been building satellites for telecommunications and
remote sensing for over 30 years and will be presenting scale models of its
Sicral, Atlantic Bird 1, Artemis and COSMO – SkyMed programmes.

Sicral is the first Italian system for military satellite communications and
was built by the SITAB consortium in which Alenia Spazio was industrial
leader. Sicral is a complex system made up the satellite, the management and
control centre at Vigna di Valle and more than 100 user terminals for
ground, sea and air platforms.

The architectural, engineering and technological solutions used in
developing Sicral make the programme one of undeniable strategic value with
a competitive and efficient performance able to meet all the present and
future needs of military telecommunications. Its ability to adapt to even
the most difficult conditions means that it has already played a part in a
number of actions linked to recent international events.

Atlantic Bird 1 is the first satellite for commercial telecommunications
developed entirely in Italy by Alenia Spazio as prime contractor.

From its orbital position at 12.5o West over the Atlantic Ocean, the
satellite permits the development of Internet connections, telephone links
and television broadcasting between Europe, the United States and South
America. State-of-the-art technologically and internationally competitive,
Atlantic Bird 1 has allowed the Italian company to meet the new challenge of
broadband telecommunications. Moreover, thanks to an on-board satellite
transponder, Atlantic Bird 1 is experimenting with multimedia services for
digital television, Web TV and Internet on high-speed trains.

Artemis is a highly technological satellite that represents a major step
forward in creating an entirely European satellite navigation system.
Artemis also provides a mobile communications service with contained costs,
broad coverage and real-time transmission of data from remote sensing
satellites, like Envisat and Spot 4, directly to the users anywhere in
Europe and North Africa.

At LAD, Alenia Spazio will also be presenting the COSMO – SkyMed
constellation, an Italian Space Agency programme for Earth observation. The
constellation will monitor the Mediterranean area, and could be extended
worldwide, to provide useful information for a number of applications thanks
to the high resolution of the acquired images, the reduced revisit times
over the sites observed and the speed with which the data will be made
available to the users. The main objectives of the system are monitoring
national territory and controlling natural disasters like floods and
landslides; monitoring coasts, seas and inland waters; agricultural
monitoring to check on crops and management of treatment cycles; cartography
using high resolution images in the order of one metre. Finally, the
dual-use (civilian and military) nature of the system will make other,
institutional, applications possible for the surveillance of the national
territory and strategic defence. COSMO – SkyMed will therefore give Italy
one of the most technologically advanced observation systems in the world,
guaranteeing greater safety and improving living standards.

SpaceRef staff editor.