A unique, innovative and all-Italian constellation designed to observe from space what is happening on our Planet

Rome 3rd/12/2022 – Today ESA (European Space Agency) and OHB Italia have signed an important contract for the development of an initial batch of 12 satellites (including the relative Flight Operations Segment) to be delivered by November 2024, with a negotiated option for a further batch of 12 satellites to be delivered by November 2025. The industrial consortium led by OHB Italia also includes Telespazio, Optec, and Aresys as main partners.

The IRIDE constellation will be implemented in Italy and completed by 2026 under the supervision of ESA and ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) in the frame of PNRR (Piano Nazionale Ripresa e Resilienza).
The IRIDE constellation will be composed of satellites of different types and sizes combining SAR, optical, panchromatic, hyperspectral, and infrared sensors.
IRIDE is among the most important European Space programs for Earth Observation in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and represents a fundamental component of the Next Generation EU dedicated to the development of space activities, supporting the ecological and digital transition. It includes all components (upstream, downstream and services) to provide geospatial data at national and European level, both to the public administration and to private customers.

The system deployed by OHB Italia will be a constellation of Eaglet II satellites including the FOS, which is used to manage the satellites during commissioning and later on during nominal operations.
Eaglet II is designed to fly in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at a nominal altitude of around 500 Km.
The satellites’ primary mission is to acquire RGB images using an electro-optical payload designed by OHB Italia, with the data being downloaded with low latency to ground stations in X-Band. The secondary mission is to acquire and retransmit to ground AIS (Automatic Identification System) messages to track maritime vessels.
The three main targets of the IRIDE program are in short: high resolution, more frequent images and better responsiveness both in the ability to observe a phenomenon of interest and to quickly relay that information to institutional and commercial end-users.

“IRIDE represents the key know-how development essential to meet increasingly difficult challenges in the global space system.” – declared Roberto Aceti, Managing Director of OHB Italia. “OHB Italia is very proud to offer its more than forty years Space-heritage to take part to this ambitious and all-Italian project. It will help the Civil Protection Department and other administrations to manage hydrogeological instability and fires, to protect coastlines and to monitor critical infrastructure, air quality and weather conditions. Moreover, it will provide analytical data for the development of commercial applications, all fundamental activities for a modern space-faring nation.”

About OHB Italia

OHB Italia S.p.A. is part of the European Space and Technology Group OHB SE (Orbitale Hochtechnologie Bremen), which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
It is one of the three top space companies in Europe with 3.000 employees worldwide and total revenues for EUR 917 Mio. in 2021.
OHB Italia S.p.A. was founded in 1981, nowadays in Italy it is one of the two major satellite system integrators with more than EUR 100 Mio. backlog and EUR 90 Mio. revenues in 2021.

Thanks to its expertise operating for more than four decades in the space systems, it is a recognized national leader in the fields of Satellites & Missions, Earth Observation, Space Situational Awareness (SSA), Space Surveillance & Tracking (SST), Equipment, Scientific & Planetary Instruments, with headquarters and Clean Room facilities (850 sqm) in Milan and offices in Rome and Benevento. OHB Italia S.p.A. provides innovative solutions combined with development / integration of complex equipment and a strong focus on customer satisfaction. The company employs 240 people between staff and collaborators, with a high percentage of graduates (78,5%) whose degrees are mainly in Aerospace Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Electronic Engineering and IT.

OHB Italia S.p.A. is Prime Contractor for important missions of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the European Space Agency (ESA), which are the main customers along with Research Institutes, Universities and all the industrial key players in the space market, with special attention to export domain.

For more information, please contact: 
Camilla Menescardi – – (+39) 340 7343679

> Press_Release_OHB-Italia_IRIDE_Constellation .pdf