Leonardo, through its subsidiary Telespazio (67% Leonardo and 33% Thales), today inaugurated the new LEOP (Launch and Early Orbit Phase) control room at the Fucino Space Centre in Abruzzo - the technological core for the sensitive satellite orbital insertion and testing of spacecraft.
The ceremony was attended by the Undersecretary of State of the Prime Minister's Office designated for Space Activities, Riccardo Fraccaro, by the Military Advisor to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Admiral Carlo Massagli, by the Italian Space Agency’s President, Giorgio Saccoccia by the CEO of Leonardo, Alessandro Profumo, and the Coordinator of Leonardo Space Activities and CEO of Telespazio, Luigi Pasquali.
“The continuous investment in technologies, capabilities and infrastructures to guarantee safe and effective space operations, in light of the strong growth within this sector, is a key factor in consolidating the leadership of Leonardo in satellite services”, declared the CEO of Leonardo, Alessandro Profumo. “Leonardo – he added – through Telespazio, is the leading private operator in Europe capable of managing the LEOP stage of a satellite mission, but we are also among the most innovative companies in the marketing of services for institutions, businesses and citizens; from navigation, to geo-information, to the security of territories and infrastructures”.
The order of complexity that is managed during a LEOP activity includes up to 50,000 telemetric parameters which indicate the satellite status, with a required performance during this type of operation near to “zero error tolerance”.
Luigi Pasquali, Coordinator of Leonardo Space Activities, added: “Since 1996 to the present day, Telespazio has successfully carried out over 50 operations to put into orbit some of the most important international satellites, many of them carrying Leonardo technologies on board. From Fucino, we are supervising the preparatory activities to put into orbit and control the first satellite of the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Italian constellation, which will be launched on 17th December. The new room will also represent a strategic asset for managing electric propulsion LEOPs, which will become increasingly important in the coming years”.
The role of Leonardo in COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation is not limited to the orbital insertion of the satellite. The company, in fact, also provides stellar attitude sensors for correct positioning in space; the power required for satellite and instrument operation is guaranteed by eight advanced photovoltaic panels. Multiple control and distribution units will transform sunlight into power and will manage it, maximising its efficiency to power on-board systems and subsystems. After COSMO-SkyMed, the “Piero Fanti” Centre will supervise the launch of several EUMETSAT European meteorological satellites starting from 2021.
The “Piero Fanti” Fucino Space Centre is the most important teleport in the world for civilian-use, extending over an area of 370,000 sq.m. and with 170 antennas. Besides the LEOP room, the centre has rooms dedicated to controlling the network of ground stations and flight dynamics, equally important activities in the management of a satellite mission. All facilities are manned 24- hours a day and can simultaneously handle multiple space missions.
Source: Leonardo, A Finmeccanica Company
Date: Dec 13, 2019