Skip to main content

Bringing high-res SAR Earth Observation imagery to the UK

By [email protected] - 28th October 2015 - 19:47

The Satellite Applications Catapult is leading the COSMO-SkyMed Radar Science and Innovation Research (CORSAIR) programme for the UK. The move will facilitate access to data obtained from COSMO-SkyMed for research and development (R&D) activities.â©

The CORSAIR programme follows the contract awarded to the Catapult and Telespazio VEGA UK to install a ground system to order, receive and process high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from the Italian COSMO-SkyMed (Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation) mission. A bilateral agreement between the UK Space Agency and Italian Space Agency (ASI), will, for the first time, allow, COSMO-SkyMed data to be delivered directly to the UK for processing.â©

Real-time applicationsâ©

The COSMO-SkyMed system is a constellation of four identical X-band SAR satellites owned by the ASI and the Italian Ministry of Defence, and operated commercially by e-GEOS, an ASI/Telespazio company. Its data is used on a global basis for near real-time applications such as extreme weather impact assessment, environmental crisis management, and security monitoring both on and offshore. The four-satellite constellation with its high revisit frequency and rapid response time is ideal for Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) applications, such as monitoring ground displacement resulting from volcanoes and earthquakes.â©

The CORSAIR programme is open to any UK research and development activities looking to develop proof of concepts, demonstrators, prototypes or trials for scientific research, products or applications.â©

Benefits for UK R&Dâ©

Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: âThe COSMO-SkyMed constellation is equipped with SAR instruments, capable of operating in all visibility conditions at high-resolution. Its ability to see through cloud and at night enables researchers to accumulate data over a wide area in a very short time. A key benefit of this programme is that it gives the UK research community access to data with which to develop new applications or services for commercial applications, as well as for scientific research.ââ©

Applications for the CORSAIR programme can be submitted at any time through the Catapult website ( which also contains more information. Applications will be peer-reviewed at three monthly intervals by an external evaluation team.

Download a PDF of this article


Read More: Satellite Imaging Aerospace Archaeology & Heritage Construction Emergency Services Engineering Healthcare Education & Research Oil & Gas Utilities Marketing & Sales Security & Safety Defence Military Marine Environmental Property Mining Transport & Logistics Consulting Services Forestry Agriculture Central Government Municipal Government Manufacturing Insurance Travel & Tourism Sales & Retail Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC)