Paris Air Show: Satlantis joins Copernicus as contributing mission

SATLANTIS announce to be among the nine New Space companies selected to join the Copernicus programme (the European Union’s Earth Observation flagship environmental programme) as “Contributing Missions” (CCMs) .

Today, at the Paris Air Show (Le Bourget, France), ESA and the European Commission welcomed nine new satellite data suppliers’ companies with a kick-off ceremony announcing their Copernicus Contributing Missions (CCMs).

The CCMs will contribute to monitor and address the challenges of climate change, while optimising business practices in their efforts to be more sustainable and more profitable. In addition to the data provided by the ESA Sentinel satellites missions, central to the Copernicus programme, the Copernicus Contributing Missions will play a crucial role in delivering complementary Earth Observation data to ensure a range of observational requirements and to answer to the data needs of the Copernicus Services and of the public authorities’ users. The data from the companies’ missions in orbit will complement the Sentinel missions, by providing information about changing land, oceans and atmosphere.

These multi-year, multi-million Euro contracts that ESA signed in partnership with the European Commission, add nine different European New Space companies to the list of more than 20 privately-owned satellite missions that contribute to Copernicus. It is a further step forward in the era of New Space, showing the EU Institutions’ recognition of how commercial companies are playing an increasingly important role in creating a dynamic and innovative space industry, as also said ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Simonetta Cheli“I would like to warmly congratulate the nine companies joining the growing Copernicus Contributing Missions programme. This is a testimonial of the agility and continuous evolution of Copernicus, the importance of onboarding commercial missions, and a vote of confidence for European Earth Observation New Space.”

The nine companies are: Aerospacelab (Belgium), Prométhée (France) and EnduroSat (Bulgaria) to supply multispectral images from their satellite constellations; Kuva Space Oy (Finland) to supply hyperspectral images; constellr (Germany), OroraTech (Germany) and Aistech (Spain) to provide thermal infrared data from their satellite mission; SATLANTIS (Spain) and Absolut Sensing (France) to provide data on atmospheric composition. 

SATLANTIS is a commercial Very High Resolution (VHR) optical mission operator and will participate in the CCM with its latest mission, the recently launched satellite GEI-SAT Precursor, which will make some of its data available for Copernicus. GEI-SAT Precursor was launched just one week ago (on June 13th, 2023), a Small Satellite embarking the iSIM-90 optical instrument for Earth Observation, featuring simultaneous VNIR & SWIR detection, very high spatial resolution for accurate data capture and supporting environmental monitoring applications, contributing to understanding and mitigation of the methane greenhouse gas emissions.

SATLANTIS CEOJuan Tomás Hernani, commented: ”We are thankful for the confidence placed in SATLANTIS by the European Commission and ESA. We are the first CCM that is flying to space 3 days from signature. And now Europe is ready to monitor methane emissions with a capacity to differentiate point sources only 13 metres apart.  As the bigger of Copernicus brothers, GEI-SAT provides simultaneous VNIR images with 2m resolution along with SWIR capabilities. This is a perfect complement for a hybrid constellation with the existing Copernicus Sentinels, where GEI-SAT will complement their capacities with revisit time and precision. In a while, GEI-SAT Precursor will be accompanied by 3 future brothers, now in construction by SATLANTIS.”

The nine companies are set to start an onboarding process at a workshop being held shortly at ESA’s establishment in Frascati, Italy.

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