The satellite will use for the first time in space history the main geodetic technologies simultaneously to map our Planet

Milan – 19.03.2024 – The European Space Agency (ESA) and OHB Italia SpA as Prime Contractor have signed the contract for the Genesis mission in Paris. OHB Italia will be responsible for the project management, the system engineering coordination, the construction of the Ground Segment and for the procurement of launch services, as well as for two years of satellite operations.

Genesis will orbit at an altitude of 6.000 km combining the major geodetic technologies on the same platform aboard a satellite: Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), to transmit signals in different frequency bands in order to eliminate ionospheric dispersive delays; Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Receiver, a high quality multi-frequency, multi-constellation (Galileo and GPS) space receiver; Satellite Laser Ranging (SRL), a passive laser reflector instrument ensuring an adequate field of view in Earth pointing mode; all synchronized by an Ultra-Stable Oscillator (USO), a high-precision compact instrument used to provide a stable frequency.

The Genesis mission is part of the FutureNav programme approved by the ESA Council at ministerial level in November 2022 in Paris.

The objective of the mission is to contribute to an updated global Earth model, the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF), with an accuracy of 1 mm and a long-term stability of 0.1 mm/year. This state-of-the-art spatial geodetic observatory, combined with the measurements of geodetic positioning stations on Earth, will allow the distortions and biases in each method to be identified and overcome. This improvement will have a major impact on multiple navigation and Earth science applications, including the Galileo navigation system and the ‘precise orbit determination’ of all other space missions.

The best place to measure our Planet is not on Earth, but from above. Satellites are able not only to monitor the Earth’s environment, but also to map it and detect its changes over time. – stated Roberto Aceti, Managing Director of OHB Italia – “Genesis, by co-locating all four geodetic techniques on the same satellite and with properly calibrated and synchronized instruments, will give results on Earth’s measurements that have never been seen before. The Genesis mission will provide scientific and social benefits across a multidisciplinary range of navigation and Earth science applications, creating a global infrastructure that is highly desirable internationally.”