Framework Agreement Signed with Industry and Universities for the Launch of Small Satellites
(Source: Italian National Research Council; issued Sept. 17, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by
Italy’s National Research Council and Air Force have signed an agreement to investigate the feasibility of using combat aircraft to launch future small satellites, as illustrated by this Eurofighter carrying such a launcher. (CNR photo)
Collaboration continues with research bodies, universities and national industries aimed at developing technology for launchers of small innovative aerial platform satellites.

On Tuesday, September 17, at the Casa della Aviatore in Rome, in the presence of the President of the National Research Council (CNR), Prof. Massimo Inguscio, and of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Alberto Rosso, took place the signing of the Framework Agreement to support the development of launchers for small, innovative satellites.

The Framework Agreement, which is part of the Defense policy guidelines for an increasingly inclusive integration and collaboration between the Armed Forces, the academic world, research and industry, saw the participation of numerous research institutions, universities and industries national in order to reach a common and shared goal, in a perspective of complete synergy of the Country System.

Italian Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Rosso commented on today's event by noting that “Today's signature shows that the will exists to share the capabilities and skills in the space and aerospace sector around a project related to satellite launchers. To achieve significant results, it is essential that institutions, industries, universities and research centers collaborate synergistically by sharing knowledge, resources and professionalism. The number of participants today testifies to the effort and will to team up to serve the country.”

The new agreement is a step further the letter of intent signed in December 2018 between the Italian Air Force, the CNR, the University of Rome 'Sapienza', the Cira (Italian Aerospace Research Center) and Sitael S.p.A. (Italian company specializing in the production of small-sized satellites), which was followed by a public notice for expressions of interest, calling all national industries intending to invest in the aerospace sector to participate in the initiative.

These 22 organizations including research institutes, universities, and industries that have joined, betting on their own skills, investing their own resources, with the aim of bringing together niches of excellence in aeronautics, space and technology constituted not only by the large ones but above all by the medium and small enterprises of which Italy is rich.

Currently, many nations have space assets but only a few countries, including Italy, are equipped with a complete chain that goes from the construction of launchers to the management of satellite services.

There is an even smaller number of nations that are able to access and operate, independently and independently, space, and today Italy is not yet among them. However, the launch of small satellites from aerial platforms could open up new scenarios and offer new opportunities to the country.

The document signed today marks the official launch of the activities for a feasibility study for the planning and testing of an airborne launching system to support observation and surveillance operations from the air as well as for telecommunications.

Prof. Massimo Inguscio, the president of the CNR, said: "This important agreement with the Air Force, numerous research institutions, universities and national industries will allow Italy to offer new opportunities for the development of launchers for small and innovative satellites. The future applications of these studies will bring innovations, new knowledge and benefits in the activity of remote sensing, meteorology, the study of ecosystems, research and control of the territory, of the coasts and the sea, in the field of telecommunications and Information Technology, thanks to the collaboration and expertise of the excellent researchers of the CNR.”

The agreement was signed by the Aeronautica Militare, CNR, Cira, Politecnico di Milano, Department of Science of the University of Rome Tre, Akka Italia Srl, Altec SpA, Aon.


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