Serco Europe News

Hybris: a full satellite in half of a shoebox

Participating to this competition enriched our Team with experience in two emerging sectors of the Earth Observation satellite domain:

  1. Nano-satellites: The industry has started to move towards the development of small satellites, providing new infrastructure with innovative Telecommunication and Earth Observation capabilities. Major scientific institutions worldwide are also looking to this emerging technology. These systems are characterised by a very short time-to-market, by the adoption of the latest technological advancements, and evolve quickly over time. All these elements indicate that they are likely to impact existing and planned traditional space infrastructure. We have chosen innovative Off-The-Shelf components for our platform and payload.
  2. Hyperspectral imaging is an emerging technology that integrates conventional imaging and spectroscopy to attain both spatial and spectral information from an observed scene. Hyperspectral imaging can be used for a wide variety of applications. Some examples are ocean, coastal and inland waters characterization, forestry and agricultural monitoring, mineralogy and natural risk management. Some important institutions are focusing at this type of instrumentation, and in particular for our interest the Italian Space Agency. Our proposal was focused on leveraging synergies and complementarity between this relatively new technology and the operational Sentinel satellites.

The Hybris consortium was composed by:

  1. SERCO SpA (IDEAS+ Team): since the early ‘90s, our team of experts is providing to and evolving with ESA (European Space Agency) needs for services and expertise in performing Earth Observation product calibration, data quality assurance and processing facilities verification activities. Lately we also expanded our domain from pure satellite data, up to ground based data. We have detailed knowledge of a wide range of instruments’ remote sensing products, ranging from Atmospheric composition to Altimetry, from Optical to SAR, up to magnetic and electrical fields.
  2. GAUSS SRL, a small-sized Italian enterprise with large experience in the design, development and deployment of Nanosatellite;
  3. CNR-IFAC, an Italian scientific institution in Florence, whose research is focused on sensors, remote sensing, laser technologies, micro optics, microwaves, and image and signal elaboration.

This competition has been for us a period of intense and enthusiastic work, over and above the normal pressing duties: it has been also difficult, but also very exciting. We would like you join us in rewarding all the people that participated to the ideation and realization of the proposal.