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Boccia V.,University of Naples Federico II | Renga A.,University of Naples Federico II | Rufino G.,University of Naples Federico II | Moccia A.,University of Naples Federico II | And 2 more authors.
International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) | Year: 2014

The present paper reports on some insights in the use of Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) for bathymetric data retrieval by exploiting variation in swell wave parameters approaching the shoreline. Since SAR signals are unable to penetrate sea surface and to reach seabed, echoed signals from sea surface are used to investigate underwater bathymetry in coastal area. A suitable data processing methodology is proposed to properly detect swell shoaling and refraction phenomena, and to accurately measure swell parameters. The described methodology is tested by using ALOS L-band SAR images over the Gulf of Naples, Italy. A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the investigated area is thus obtained. Results are consistent with the values reported in the Official Nautical Chart provided by the Italian Navy Hydrographic Institute. © 2014 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.

Bizzarri M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Bizzarri M.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Cucina A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Palombo A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Grazia Masiello M.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Rendiconti Lincei | Year: 2014

Spaceflight technologies have disclosed amazing opportunities to outreach human knowledge and control over the natural world. However, the actual experience of microgravity has become a relevant threat that significantly limits the extent of man permanence in space. Since then, gravity effects on living organisms became a critical field of investigation. Gravity has been proven to affect a wide array of biological functions, interacting at different levels of complexity, from molecules to cells, tissue and the organisms as a whole. However, it is still a matter of investigation if gravity induces direct or indirect effects on cells. The non-equilibrium theory has been proven to explain how biological dissipative structures, like the cytoskeleton, may be sensitive enough to sense gravity change, then transferring the mechano-signal into biochemical pathways. Within that framework, gravity represents an 'inescapable' constraint that obliges living beings to adopt only a few configurations among many others. By removing the gravitational field, living structures will be free to recover more degrees of freedom, thus acquiring new phenotypes and new properties. Discoveries on that field are thought to advance our knowledge, providing amazing insights into the biological mechanism underlying physiology as well as many relevant diseases. © Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2014.

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.

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.

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