From its orbit, at about 615 kilometres of altitude, PRISMA will observe the Earth on a global scale with an innovative electro-optical instrumentation, the most powerful operative hyperspectral instrument in the world. It’s capable of working in numerous, narrow and contiguous bands ranging from the visible to infrared (400 -2500nm).
PRISMA was developed by a Temporary Joint Venture of companies that is led by OHB Italy that is responsible for the mission and for managing the three main segments (land, flight and launch) together with Leonardo which built the electro-optical instrumentation as well as the on-board instrumentation such as the attitude sensors and the solar panel. The launch will take place with ESA’s launcher VEGA that is mostly conceived and manufactured in Italy by AVIO. Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%) set up the mission control center, while data acquisition and processing will take place at the Matera Space Centre.
The mission will be able to offer an unprecedented contribution to the observation of natural resources from Space and to the study of main environmental processes (e.g. interactions between the atmosphere, the biosphere and the hydrosphere, observation of environmental and climate changes on a global level; the impact of anthropic activities on ecosystems). Regarding the fields of application, PRISMA will be able to provide valuable information to support prevention of natural (such as hydrogeological) and anthropic (including soil pollution) risks, monitoring of cultural heritage, agricultural activities and exploitation of mineral resources.