Satellite design

Each COSMO-SkyMed spacecraft is three-axis stabilised, consisting of the main body (bus), two deployable solar arrays, and a SAR antenna. The bus provides all support functions like: AOCS, electrical power (power generation, storage and distribution), data handling, thermal control, RF communications, and on-orbit propulsion for orbit injection and maintenance.

COSMO-SkyMed Technical Specifications
Mass 1700 kg
Dimensions 5.7 m x 1.4 m
Design lifetime 5 years

Mission Operations

The four COSMO-SkyMed satellites are in Sun-synchronous polar orbits. Each satellite repeats the same ground track every 16 days, and all of the satellites follow the same ground track.

The satellites are phased in the same orbital plane, with COSMO-SkyMed's 1, 2 and 4 at 90° to each other and COSMO-SkyMed 3 at 67.5° from COSMO-SkyMed 2. This results in varied intervals between the satellites along the same ground track of between 1 and 15 days. The Sun-synchronous orbit is used to keep the solar cells illuminated at all times

The ground segment of the system is composed of a command centre in Italy with tracking and data stations in Argentina and Sweden.

The Argentinian and the French governments are involved in the civil and military segments of the system respectively.

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