The Italian Space Agency’s PRISMA Earth observation satellite is “fit” for its Arianespace Vega launch
The PRISMA satellite on Arianespace’s upcoming Vega mission has completed a key step in its pre-launch checkout process, which will enable this Italian Earth observation platform to be orbited in mid-March from French Guiana.
PRISMA is positioned for the fit-check on its adapter hardware for the Vega launcher during activity at the Spaceport.
During activity in the Spaceport’s payload processing facilities, PRISMA (PRecursore IperSpettrale della Missione Applicativa) underwent its successful fit-check – a milestone in the preparation campaign that validated this spacecraft’s compatibility with the adapter that is to serve as the payload interface with Vega.
The mission with PRISMA is designated Flight VV14, signifying the 14th launch of the lightweight Vega vehicle – which joins Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5 in operations from French Guiana for a complete launcher family to orbit commercial, governmental, institutional, scientific and experimental payloads.
A wide range of applications for PRISMA
PRISMA – which will be operated by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) – was built by OHB Italia on a dedicated platform hosting the payload supplied by Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems. It is fitted with an innovative electro-optical instrument combining a hyperspectral sensor with a medium-resolution panchromatic camera.
This type of combined instrument offers the advantages of conventional observation (based on the recognition of geometric characteristics of a scene) coupled with the ability to determine the chemical and physical characteristics of the objects present in the scene, using the hyperspectral sensor.
The scientific community and other users will be able to employ these capabilities for a wide range of applications, including – but not limited to – environmental monitoring, resource management, identification and classification of crops, and the efforts to limit pollution.
A larger version of the above photo is available in the Gallery.