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Ciccarelli S.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Finzi A.E.,Polytechnic of Milan | Cramarossa A.,Italian Space Agency ASI
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2015

The paper aims at analysing the patterns of international cooperation adopted by European industry and research centres/universities in Horizon 2020, the biggest European Union research and innovation programme ever with nearly 80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) including around 1,4 billion devoted to Space. The analysis takes into account the cooperation behaviour under the theme Space (Industrial Leadership pillar). The authors investigated the different patterns of cooperation among specific macro themes of the Space Work Programme (i.e. applications, technologies and scientific activities) in order to figure out if there are preferential geographical areas of cooperation. The paper also analyses if industry shows a different behaviour with respect to research centres/universities, including differences between SMEs and Large Companies, and intends to examine how third countries (i.e. not belonging to European Union) are being involved. The analysis provides useful information for future reflections in terms of industrial policy, economic issues (returns of European funds), international cooperation (regional integration and opening to third countries) as well as legal aspects (EU space competence).

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.

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 3 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.

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).

Ciappa A.,e Geos Telespazio Earth Observation Unit | Pietranera L.,e Geos Telespazio Earth Observation Unit | Coletta A.,Italian Space Agency ASI | Jiang X.,National Satellite Ocean Application Service NSOAS
Journal of Marine Systems | Year: 2010

In early summer 2008 an extended macro-algal bloom in the Qingdao coastal area caused the presence of huge algal aggregates at the sea surface clearly visible in SAR images. The event was observed by WideRegion ScanSAR data (X-band) acquired in July 2008 by the two currently operative COSMO-SkyMed satellites. The current constellation (two of four satellites operative by 2010) provides pairs of overlapping images with a time shift of 48 min, with a repeat time from 12 to 24 h. The full constellation will allow a peak daily acquisition capability of 24 min in the ScanSAR mode. The double acquisition with a short time lag, similar to a time derivative in the overlapping area, allows an accurate 'feature tracking' and automated extraction of the surface transport not previously available. Considering that SAR images are unaffected by cloud cover, accurate surface transport patterns greatly improve the forecasting capability in the case of marine environmental emergencies. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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