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Perrelli F.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Di Ciaccio S.,Italian Space Agency ASI
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2016

The Italian Astronauts are invested with an important role, not only into the scientific, technological and educational fields, but also in communication: as a proof of that is their increasing popularity in social-media. The data that we collected show that the astronauts have reached an incredible exposure and influence in the Italian social-media environment, involving not only the scientific community, but the whole society. The work examines the four active Italian astronauts, with a special focus on Samantha Cristoforetti, ESA astronaut (Italian Air Force Captain), the last one to fly to the International Space Station. A lot of sources have been used to collect and analyze data, especially networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube not forgetting Google as Web Search Engine. The study presents a double comparison. The first one analyzes data within the space sector: among astronauts of different nationalities and other space Subjects, such as the Italian Space Agency. The study shows that articles regarding astronauts earn much more 'likes', 'sharings' and 'interactions' than scientific articles. Furthermore, we compared Italian astronauts to some of the most famous Italian personalities: scientists, politicians, journalists and managers. The results show a wide popularity of the Italian astronauts, how they affect trending conversation on social networks and the measure of their exposure. The results of our study are quite surprising; the paper helps to understand the fundamental role of astronauts in the communication of the value and importance of space research and activities, and in the diffusion of space culture. We think that the social network profiles of astronauts together with their interaction with followers could be considered as a kind of space web-museum.


Daraio M.G.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Battagliere M.L.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Coletta A.,Italian Space Agency ASI
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2016

Satellite technology enabling Earth Observation (EO) and imaging services constitutes a small but very important part of the global space economy, providing a wide spectrum of applications in different fields. Earth Observation applications are playing a never greater role to support actions at local and global scale. They are aimed to provide data and services essential to the sustainable development of countries, the environmental protection and the disasters management support. The economic benefits arising from development and exploitation of EO monitoring system should not be taken solely in terms of EO data selling or services selling to end user. It shall be also calculated in terms of reduction of damages inducted by management through such systems in the context of situations as pollution emergencies, illegal operations, weather forecasting, environmental monitoring, etc. These situations drive operational services such as the European environmental monitoring program known as Copernicus, which consists of a complex set of systems collecting data from multiple sources, among which COSMO-SkyMed. Copernicus processes these data and provides users with reliable and up-to-date information through a set of services related to environmental and security issues. These services fall into six main categories: land management, the marine environment, atmosphere, emergency response, security and climate change. In these fields, the COSMO-SkyMed system offers an efficient response to actual needs of institutions, scientific users, industrial players, technicians and politician decision makers. COSMO-SkyMed system can allows them to build reliable thematic change detection services and applications, thanks to its asset characterized by full global coverage, all weather, day/night acquisition capability, high resolution, high accuracy (geo-location, radiometry, etc.), fast revisit/response time, interferometric/polarimetric capabilities. These elements are directly connected to the data exploitation. In addition, in the economic benefits argumentation, it should be taken into consideration that EO data can support the development of useful applications for a number of different industry segments (e.g. agriculture, insurance, transport and energy) creating value-added services market. The aim of this paper is focused on the economic return and contribution of the COSMO-SkyMed mission in the EO field, in terms of data exploitation and ASI's initiatives, highlighting aspects related to social and economic benefits. Copyright © 2016 by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). All rights reserved.


Ciccarelli S.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Piperno O.,Italian Space Agency ASI
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2016

This paper describes the initiative of KETLAB (Key Enabling Technologies Laboratory), a structure established on October 2015 as the result of the agreement between the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and Hypatia, a consortium of research bodies, universities and companies. KETLAB, whose location is in Rome at ASI premises, is a technological complex infrastructure with a focus on multi-disciplinary activities and technology transfer (intended both as spin-off and spin-in). The analysis will be focused on four relevant aspects of this initiative. The first aspect is of technological/scientific nature, and regards methodologies to optimize and foster processes of technology transfer, knowledge sharing and technology commercialization. In this framework Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) represent the most promising ones because of the high knowledge intensity, rapid innovation cycles and highly skilled human resources involved. KETLAB will adopt an "Open Innovation" approach, meaning that it will offer the results of the applied research, public and private, rather than producing its own research activities. From the organizational perspective KETLAB intends to experiment innovative patterns, based on the involvement of several subjects (institutions, research centers, SMEs) of different nature (public and private) in order to share the resources and adopt a more cost-effective approach. In the case of KETLAB and the specific local context where is located, the initiative will also take advantage of the last years of collaboration of ASI with ESA and Lazio Region to promote start-up initiatives. KETLAB will then become the hub of a national network of subjects of different regions sharing the same methodology of technology transfer in other territories. The last two aspects are of socio-economic and financial nature. KETLAB is located in the area of Tor Vergata in Rome, where there is the highest concentration in Italy of Universities and Research Centers, and one of the highest in Europe. The creation of a common ground of work and discussion could inspire innovation processes and create a leverage effect in terms of economic development and job creation. Finally a financial aspect will be investigated. As in Italy venture capital is not yet mature and aware of the potentialities of the Space sector, a specific effort of the KETLAB will be to engage and attract the interest of investors and private capitals to sustain newly created products and/or ventures. Copyright © 2016 by S. Ciccarelli et al.


Daraio M.G.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Battagliere M.L.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Coletta A.,Italian Space Agency ASI
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2016

COSMO-SkyMed (Constellation of Small satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation) is an Earth Observation Dual Use System (conceived to fulfill both civilian and defense needs). It is composed by four mid-sized satellites equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) operating at X-band. The constellation is fully operational since May 2011. COSMO-SkyMed data access is regulated by means of an appropriate and well-defined Data Policy and the users, in the civilian domain, are classified mainly in two classes: institutional and commercial. The first ones include national and international Administrations, Agencies, Ministries, Universities, Research Centres, etc. and they are managed and coordinated directly by ASI under the signature of specific agreements. The second ones are managed by e-Geos, an ASI-Telespazio company, which is the commercial provider of CSK products. The operative management of a remote sensing mission, such us COSMO-SkyMed, includes activities like definition and development of operational and mission scenarios, drawing up of Civilian Global Handbook as well as provision of specific handbooks, management of the agreements, etc. Daily management tasks can regard to draw up agreements and licenses to use, to perform customer service activity with the aim to assist users in data ordering, to solve critical issues, to provide data, to optimize and monitor acquisition plans. On the basis of the experience gained form the operational activity and institutional users community management, the idea to define a conceptual maps to develop a database able to easily supervise and handle a huge number of tasks and a large volume of information related to the provision of COSMO-SkyMed data was developed. This paper illustrates the analysis performed to elaborate the concepts and requirements for a database tailored to be capable to extract quickly and easily fully comprehensive and complete charts. They can concern general statement about on-going projects including linked data provision and their economic statement. In addition the database should allow to visualize the state of the mission exploitation in terms of users requests, geographic areas of interest and application domains. It is likely a useful instrument for providing, to the research community, policy makers and general public, information and knowledge derived from the COSMO-SkyMed data exploitation, with the idea to enable and improve decision making. Copyright © 2016 by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). All rights reserved.


Croci R.,Thales Alenia | Seu R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Flamini E.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Russo E.,Italian Space Agency ASI
Proceedings of the IEEE | Year: 2011

This paper describes the mission concepts, design, and achievements of the Italian Space Agency (ASI)-provided Mars SHAllow RADar (SHARAD) sounder high-frequency (HF) sounding radar, used onboard the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Spacecraft. Its goals are the detection of liquid or solid water below the surface, and the mapping of subsurface geologic structures. Following a brief overview of the MRO mission and of its main science objectives, the paper introduces the basic principles of operation of the radar sounder, and addresses the major design issues faced by such a system. The greatest challenges faced in the design are the control of the interference from off-nadir echoes and the need for a high signal fidelity over a very large fractional bandwidth. The core of the paper is devoted to describing how the above problems have been tackled in the design of the SHARAD instrument, and the main characteristics of its architecture. The two key features of the instrument system design are 1) generation of the transmitted signal directly at the transmitted frequency; and 2) sampling performed directly at the radio frequency (by means of a subsampling technique). The careful design of these features, intended to keep the analog signal path very simple, minimizes distortions and stability problems. An overview of the calibration approach of both the system impulse response and the antenna gain at nadir versus solar array position, an assessment of the in-flight performance of the instrument, and a short summary of the achieved science results are also provided. © 2010 IEEE.


Sciortino G.P.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Bergamini E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2014

Since 2010 the Italian Space Agency's (ASI) web 2.0 portal "Distretto Virtuale" (D. V.) hosts a meaningful panel of the sector composed of 80 subjects, large entreprises, SMEs and Research Institutions (RI). The data collected yearly in the virtual platform (until 2012) containing details of turnover, RD activities, workforce, feed several built-in reports and indexes. These are useful not only for monitoring the general trends of the sector, which keeps slowly growing in terms of production, workforce, and (above EU average) productivity and SMEs role, but also its hoped for strategical shift toward the ground users and the market. Accordingly, this work presents, over the 2010-12 period, the structure of the public-private market index of turnover, which shows the persisting (above EU average) role of public strategic demand (ESA, ASI), while private and non institutional business struggle to grow, especially on extra EU markets, where competition is tougher. Another index attempts to monitor the share of Downstream turnover, that is the size of activities catering to terrestrial users, bringing to Earth the benefits of the space system; again this indexe 's unsatisfactory value, although positive for SMEs, calls for institutional actions. One last indicator aims at measuring the sector's attitude toward R&D expenditure, and appears this time positive, showing high levels by EU standards, especially with the SMEs. Along with a description of these indexes and the methodology of the Interistitutional D. V. Working Group collaborating in the basic annual survey, observations are reported on how to increase the efficiency of the indicators: improve benchmarking by sharing metrics and definitions within the relevant international committees, extend monitoring down the line of some indexes (i.e. evaluation of effectiveness of R&D national investment), make indexes more accurate integrating D. V. data with statements analysis or specific interviews, extending the panel universe and creating procedures to cover the R.I. completely. In this line falls the conclusive attempt to outline a method of measuring two-ways (from non space to space and viceversa) economic impacts of space operations and activities, in the performance of panel firms (businesses) which do not operate exclusively for the space market. The method has been tested with a sub-panel of firms fulfilling a minimum of "non space" activities in the chosen sensitive fields of software and aeronautics / aviation, combining the D. V. db with spot interviews and audits. As to the impacts shown by the "non space toward space" enquiry, positive trends were in R&D activities (especially SMEs) and partly in productivity level and production (the latter trend only for aviation oriented firms). As to the impacts detected by the "space toward non space" enquiry, limited to a number of responsive firms, a list emerged of non space productions crucially connected with space activities and research, and their turnover. This made possible the calculation of a "multiplier" of public strategic spending toward private space turnover and alike, as well as non space turnover; also ancillary indicators were repealed here and showed record levels of R&D propension and productivity.


Mascetti G.,Italian Space Agency ASI
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2012

On the basis of the agreements reached in 1991 and confirmed in 1997, ASI (Italian Space Agency) has developed and supplied to NASA three MPLM fight units. In return, among other utilization rights, ASI got the right for six flight opportunities for Italian Astronauts, including both three STS missions and three long duration ISS missions. As well, ASI and the Italian Air Force { ITAF signed an Executive Agreement (July 2008) with the aim to cooperate in the definition and the implementation of a common Human Space Flight program. Within the above frame, the DAMA (Dark Matter) mission in 2011 was a major milestone. The Italian ESA astronaut Roberto Vittori, colonel of the ITAF, already cosmonaut, was part of the STS-134 crew with the role of Mission Specialist and a composite team coordinated by the Italian Space Agency, and including Air Force members, industrial support services from ALTEC and Telespazio, payload developers and science teams, carried the definition, design and implementation of the mission, including a major complement of scientific and technological. The on-orbit operations of the DAMA mission was conducted and completed in the spring of 2011. All the research tasks for the twelve experiments planned, including pre- And post-flight operations, have been completed successfully and the six ASI payloads returned to ground. The aim of the paper is to present an overview of proposal selection and approval, implementation and execution of the DAMA Mission experiments and a summary of the research objectives and main outcomes, as communicated by the science teams. As well, an overview of the mission integration process, the payloads certification, the on-ground processing and the on-orbit execution will be provided. Copyright © (2012) by the International Astronautical Federation.


Bertoloto D.,Italian Space Agency ASI
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2012

Italy is the only European country to benefit of a twofold access to the ISS utilization resources and flight opportunities. At bilateral level, ASI and NASA have signed in 1997 a Memorandum of Understanding for the design, development, operation and utilization of three Mini Pressurized Logistics Modules for the International Space Station, through which ASI has acquired utilization resources and the right to three STS short duration missions and flight opportunities for one ISS on orbit increment every five years from NASA's crew allocation, with an assured minimum of three such opportunities during the life of the program. At multilateral level, Italy is the third contributor to the ESA Human Spaceflight programs thus benefiting of the European rights of utilization resources and ISS flight opportunities. Presently, four astronauts of Italian nationality are part of the European Astronaut Corps. ASI is therefore strongly engaged to implement and support human spaceflight missions to the ISS, preparing the scientific and technology research advancements needed for the next steps in human exploration beyond LEO. The aim of the paper is to present an overview of the current and near-term national programs and activities of ASI in the Human Space Flight sector. The overview will encompass the activities performed or planned in the area of Human Space Habitats, the research in Life Science as well as in Physical and Chemical Sciences in microgravity environment, the ASI ISS utilization plan, the definition and implementation of the national missions associated with the MPLM MoU flights of European Astronauts of Italian nationality. Mention will also be made of the achievements and present involvements of Italy in the ESA Human Spaceflights programs, and of the ASI perspective for the next steps of Human Space Exploration.


Pirrotta S.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Gabrielli A.,Italian Space Agency ESRIN
62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011 | Year: 2011

LARES (LAser RElativity Satellite) is a coming soon mission of the Italian Space Agency, whose main scientific goal is the measurement, through the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) network, of the relativistic Lense-Thirring effect with a very high accuracy, strongly improving the results obtained by the LAGEOS satellites and providing important elements for further investigations on Einstein's General Relativity theory. The LARES system was selected as first payload for the maiden flight of VEGA, the new ESA small launcher, scheduled in the second half of 2011 from Guiana Space Centre in Kourou. This makes the mission a very challenging experience for the Italian space community. In fact, while meeting very stringent scientific requirements, the LARES system will also contribute to the qualification flight objectives of the VEGA launcher, especially by dedicated telemetry equipments and sensors for the characterization of the environmental conditions during the launch phase. Additionally, the LARES System is designed to accommodate and release CUBESATs, pico-satellites developed for educational purposes by European universities selected by ESA, and ALMASat-1, an Italian microsatellite devoted to validation of space technology propulsion applications. These secondary payload passengers increase the importance of the mission and the complexity of the whole system, in terms of orbit propagation analysis, development and integration specifications and planning. In this paper the LARES mission peculiarities as first payload in a qualification flight is highlighted. This unusual role of support for the launcher qualification implies several programmatic and technical issues: not only the spacecraft and the launch vehicle development plans have to be harmonized, but also the interfaces requirements are continuously reviewed and verified, environmental loads predictions are updated, functional combined tests are scheduled. The system engineering implications required a strong effort, not only to satisfy the needs of the scientific investigation, but also to accomplish the Launch Vehicle qualification flight objectives; to this aim, a strong coordination and synergy between the Payload Team (ASI and its prime contractor CGS S.p.A.) and the VEGA Integrated Project Team located in ESRIN was necessary. All the Payload activities have to be carried out in line with the main milestones of the VEGA Launcher qualification process, namely the VEGA Ground Qualification Review (GQR) that has to demonstrate the conformity and compliance of the launch system to the design requirements by means of specific tests and analysis qualified on ground and the results of the operational qualification following the combined test campaign. Once reached all the GQR objectives, the Launcher and Payload Teams will be involved in the Qualification Flight Campaign phase that will end up with the authorization to the maiden flight. Copyright 2011 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved.


Sciortino G.P.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Bergamini E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2015

The "Distretto Virtuale" (D. V.)' statistical working group of ASI (Italian Space Agency) has carried out an extensive enquiry among all of its panel firms to determine if there are and of what type they are, inhouse "low space content" downstream (catering to terrestrial users) business lines, which are directly depending on the firms' own space productions in terms of technology transfer, expertise and organisational skills, etc. 20 of the panel firms qualified accordingly and were put in a dedicated Subpanel for collection of data on the types of business lines, the "spinoff" technologies, the relative turnover, employment, productivity, R&D expenses, directly corresponding or corresponding as the framework for these activities. This enquiry was aimed, beside investigating on the spin off phenomenon, at confirming the positive performance indexes (production growth, productivity, etc.) emerged from a test model carried out in 2012, that indicated the spin off holders of the D. V. panel as a model of effectiveness for the whole sector. The test model was in fact too restricted in time (one year only), for the selection approach and the number of responding firms. The present paper describes the methodology applied to evaluate, finally on a long enough period (2012-14) and on a meaningful sample, both space and low space content activities in the Subpanel, the full results of the spin off phenomenon and of the downright space activity performance indexes, statically and dynamically. The paper confirms the validity of the spin off Subpanel as a model of effectiveness for the whole sector, to be updated and upgraded on a yearly basis for strategic uses by the Agency. Finally, it is cleared up what is the expected evolution of the Subpanel model to increase its effectiveness even more. The areas of outreach and information are mentioned for privileged intervention, in order to ensure 100% significancy to the Subpanel and to lay the basis for an extension of investigation and measurement out of its perimeter and into the widest context of the "space economy" (downstream at large). Other areas of intervention to strengthen the Subpanel model are located in the R&D public funding policies and their coherence with the spin off best scoring outputs (positioning and remote control systems, aeronautics components, land monitoring, etc.), in the support of space downstream development by the territorial stakeholders, in the support of international competitiveness. "Measuring the socio-economic impacts of Italy's space sector activities - ASI's web panel and its yearly indexes for monitoring the drive toward the market and the ground users - the cases of aeronautics and software productions" - IAC Toronto 2014 Paper (G.P. Sciortino, E.Bergamini).

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