PRISMA (Hyperspectral Precursor of the Application Mission), mission fully funded by Italian Space Agency (ASI), is an Earth Observation system with innovative, electro-optical instrumentation that combine a hyperspectral sensor with a medium-resolution panchromatic camera.
The advantages of this combination are that in addition to the usual capability of observation based on recognising the geometric characteristics of the scene there are hyperspectral sensors which determine the chemical-physical composition of the 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 and other things. In addition, there may be other applications in the field of National Security.
The main fields of expected benefits of hyperspectral data are the following:
- forest analysis (e.g., forest disturbance, forest fires, forest classification, biomass analysis)
- precision agriculture (e.g., crop mapping, crop rotation, crop stress analysis, fertilization)
- inland and coastal waters (e.g., Water quality, chlorophyll monitoring, alga bloom)
- climate change and environmental research (e.g., desertification, deforestation, vegetation stress, environmental degradation and hazards)
- raw material exploration and mining - soil degradation and soil properties.
PRISMA takes advantage of previous investments made by ASI in the field of "small missions" (for example, AGILE), hyperspectral payloads (for example, Hypseo, JHM), satellite platforms (MITA/PRIMA) and receiving and remote sensing data processing centres (COSMO-SkyMed and CNM) that have given the opportunity to national industries to acquire competences and develop/consolidate vitally important products.
PRISMA is a program funded by ASI and represents a global excellence, which highlights the capabilities of Italy to provide a “turn-key” space system, from planning to implementation, from launching to ground data management. PRISMA was developed by a Temporary Joint Venture of companies, led by OHB Italy, responsible for the mission and management of the three main segments (land, flight and launch), and Leonardo, which built the electro-optical instrumentation. The launch will take place aboard the ESA’s launcher designed and conceived in Italy: VEGA produced by AVIO. Telespazio set up the mission control center, while data acquisition and processing will take place at the ASI Matera Space Centre.