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PRISMA (Precursore Iperspettrale della Missione Applicativa) is an Earth observation system by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) with innovative electro-optical instrumentation which combines a hyperspectral sensor with a panchromatic, medium-resolution camera. It is a follow-on project for the cancelled HypSEO mission.

The advantages of this combination are that in addition to the classical capability of observation based on the recognition of the geometrical characteristics of the scene, there is the one offered by hyperspectral sensors which can determine the chemical-physical composition of objects present on the scene.

This offers the scientific community and users many applications in the field of environmental monitoring, resource management, crop classification, pollution control, etc. Further applications are possible even in the field of National Security.

PRISMA is a small Italian mission of demonstrative/technological and pre-operational nature. The fundamental objectives, in line with the PASN 2006-2008, are the following:

  • To develop a small mission entirely in Italy for monitoring natural resources and atmosphere characteristics, taking advantage of the prior developments carried out by ASI
  • Make available in a short period of time the data necessary to the scientific community for developing new applications for environmental risk management and observation of the territory, based on high-resolution spectral images
  • Test the hyperspectral payload in orbit - the first or among the first at the European level

The Hyperspectral / Panchromatic Payload is derived from HypSEO and updated as for the JHM Mission. It features a space resolution of 20-30 m (Hyperspectral) and 2.5-5 m (Panchromatic) with a swath width: 30-60 km. The sensor operates in the spectral range of 0.4 - 2.5 mm (Hyp) or 0.4 - 0.7 m (PAN) and provides continuous coverage of spectral ranges with 10 nm bands.

The PRISMA satellite is built on an evolution of the MITA bus by Carlo Gavazzi Space SpA.

PRISMA is baselined for a Vega launch in 2013, but as back up it is also compatible with the PSLV, Dnepr or Rokot-KM launch vehicles.

Nation: Italy
Type / Application: Earth observation
Operator: ASI
Contractors: Carlo Gavazzi Space SpA
Equipment: Hyperspectral / Panchromatic Camera
Propulsion: Hydrazine thrusters
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 5 years
Mass: 879 kg
Orbit: 617 km × 620 km, 97.9 SSO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
PRISMA 2019-015A 22.03.2019 Ko ELV Vega


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