CO.RI.S.T.A. History in Brief

CO.RI.S.T.A. has gained a considerable experience in the characterisation and simulation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems, in the design, realisation and validation of scatterometer and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) prototypes, in the definition and implementation of airborne radars and in countless studies on radiometers and radars altimeter.

Since 1990 CO.RI.S.T.A. has already been concerned with researches on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), carrying out studies for the analysis, characterisation and simulation of aerospace remote sensing systems by this kind of radar(AVIOSAR project 1990/1991).

The SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) is a radar system, it illuminates the Earth by microwaves allowing accurate observation of vast areas. Onboard aerospace platforms it can penetrate vegetation and the first subsoil layers, with an high resolution of the selected area, in any weather condition, either during the day and during the night. The multi-frequency data obtained are used, among other things, to study and better understand global environment and its changes. Therefore they are employed for natural disasters prediction and prevention, cultivation management and forest classification, estimate of quantitative parameters, as biomass and soil humidity, monitoring of glaciers, sea pollution and areas subject to flooding.

In the following years the Multi-sensor Airborne Campaign (MAC), organised by the Italian Space Agency in 1991 in Europe, gave CO.RI.S.T.A. the opportunity to carry out experiments on SAR data calibration and interferometric processing.
The system used was the AIRSAR (a Synthetic Aperture Radar of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory installed onboard the DC8 aeroplane of NASA), modified in order to work in interferometric mode (TOPSAR project 1991/1992).

The SAR interferometric technique allows to obtain a three-dimensional and dynamic vision of the area in observation, finding application in different fields and, in particular, in geology.

During the same campaign were performed for the first time in Italy many flights of the NASA ER-2 aircraft equipped with electro-optical sensors. Multispectral images were acquired, particularly in the area of Matera, by TMS (Thematic Mapper Scanner) and AVIRIS (Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer) sensors.

Later on the Consortium was involved in two international projects in the fields of volcanism and oceans observation.

With regard to the first area of activity, it participated in a project which lead to the experimental campaign named NUVS (Near UltraViolet Spectrometer on ipersonic SR-71 aeroplane) in 1992-1993, while in the second field it was involved in SYMPLEX (SYnoptic Mesoscale PLankton EXperiment) project in 1994.
Funded by the Italian Space Agency, in collaboration with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the CNR of Frascati, CO.RI.S.T.A. studied and realized a remote sensing electro-optical system devoted to gaseous emissions in volcanic sites. At the end of the project CO.RI.S.T.A. participated in an aeroplane experiment, named NUVS/SR-71, carried out together with NASA Jet Propulsion laboratory.
SYMPLEX project (SYnoptic Mesoscale PLankton Experiment- Space-Time Variability of Plankton Growth due to Mesoscale Structures in the Mediterranean Sea: a Comprehensive Study by Space Remote Sensing.) was an applicative environmental study by space remote sensing. It was approved by NASA during the first three year experiments on the SeaWiFS (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor), a satellite sensor able to provide useful information on the colour of sea and, therefore, on its physics. Within Symplex project studies were carried out on the use of Mediterranean Sea colour observation data, with the aim of improving the existing evaluation models of plankton primary production by satellite data use.

From 1995 to 1997 the Consortium developed a research programme commissioned by the European Community, "Earthquakes prediction in active tectonic areas by space techniques". The aim has been to realize an integrated system of seismicity and ground deformations monitoring, employing space techniques along with traditional methods.

In 1997, funded by the Italian Space Agency, CO.RI.S.T.A. realized a prototype of airborne Scatterometer (1997/1999) for remote sensing missions.

In the field of microwaves remote sensing sensors, the scatterometer is a radar used to study the diffusion properties of more or less vast areas of Earth surface.

In 1997 CO.RI.S.T.A. began the activities of a project dedicated to the development of innovative instruments and methodologies for archaeology, ARCHEO, "Innovative Instruments and Techniques for Recognition and Conservation of Archaeological Sites" (1997/2001). Within this integrated programme CO.RI.S.T.A. radar sector realized the prototype of a low-frequency ground penetrating radar able to provide high resolution images of signals coming from buried finds.

In 1998 CO.RI.S.T.A. carried out the research activities of FAST (Fully Autonomous Star Tracker) (1998/1999) in space sector. Within it the prototype of a completely autonomous system for the measurement of satellite attitude was designed and realized.

In 1999, on the basis of the results obtained during the "Research Programme for the analysis and the study of gaseous emissions in volcanic sites by aerospace remote sensing systems" in 1993, CO.RI.S.T.A. presented a proposal to the Italian Space Agency and carried out HISPEC (HIgh resolution SPECtrometer) programme (1999/2000), which aimed at the realization of an airborne spectrometer prototype, working in the ultraviolet region. The instrument is suitable for monitoring Italian risky volcanic areas along with other instruments operating in different spectral bands.

During 2000 the activities of two new research projects started: LAPMI (Lidar for Atmospheric Particulate Monitoring Investigation) (2000/2002) and INPUT (Innovation in city-Planning by Satellite Remote Sensing) (2000/2003).

The LIDAR works according to the same principle of the radar: it emits an electromagnetic beam directed towards a target, but, while in the case of radar the signal is emitted in the microwaves, in the case of the LIDAR it operates in visible infrared. The transmitted light interacts with the target, it is changed by it and a fraction of the beam returns to the instrument where it is analysed. The change of light properties allows to determine some characteristics of the target and the round-trip time of light from the sensor to the target is used to determine the distance (range).


LAPMI has been carried out within the European Programme EUREKA and its aim is the monitoring of city atmospheric particulate pollution by LIDAR technique. In 2005 the sensor will be improved by the project Implementation of a portable Lidar for particulate monitoring, co-funded by Campania Region.
INPUT (2000/2003) has been a project co-funded by the Italian Space Agency. It aimed at transferring space technology to Public Bodies for city-planning. The beneficiaries of the research have been the Municipality of Bari and the Province of Naples. The pilot project has involved CO.RI.S.T.A. in the realization of a software for high resolution images processing devoted to illegal dumps location and monitoring.

In 2001 the Italian Space Agency approved a project, Micro-satellite laser altimeter for the correction of stereoscopic model (2001/2002), within the researches on space remote sensing instruments development It aimed at the definition of a laser altimeter, to be employed on a micro-satellite together with a high resolution stereo-camera.

In 2001 the Consortium, co-funded by the Ministry of Education, University and Research , started the activities of MINISAR research programme, "A three-dimensional, all-weather all-time observation system for natural disaster monitoring and civil protection" (2001/2005), in reply to the local administration of the Province of Naples, which had expressed the need for a territory control system, in particular for landslide management. The system consisted in a small air platform on which had been mounted an high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar of reduced weight, dimension, power and cost, and a hardware and software system for radar data acquisition and treatment.

Funded by the Italian Space Agency, CO.RI.S.T.A. carried out MITAR (High resolution Microsatellite) (2002/2005) project and, in March 2003, LAPE (Laser Altimeter for Planetary Exploration) project. The first aimed at the realization of an innovative miniaturised sensor for micro-satellite suitable for space, while the second has been a feasibility study for a laser altimeter for planetary explorations.

On May 29, 2003 the kick off of ASFALTO (Altimetry System For Automatic Landing and Take-Off) research programme (2002/2003) was held in Capua at C.I.R.A. ( Italian Aerospace Research Centre). The project dealt with altimetry systems for automatic landing and take-off of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). With this project CO.RI.S.T.A. continued the collaboration with C.I.R.A., already started in previous research studies, within the National Aerospace Research Programme (PRO.RA.), assigned to C.I.R.A. by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research.

In 2003, following an invitation to the national industrial and scientific community from the Italian Space Agency, CO.RI.S.T.A. was awarded five projects, four as sub contractor in electro-optical sector: ("Air Quality"; Programme (2004) - Remote Sensing Data, "Optical telecommunication payload" - programme (2004)- Lasers and detectors state of art and innovation, Application product: Wood fire Civil Defence - "SIGRI Integrated System for Fire Risk Management" (2004/2005), "Robotic technologies for robotic servicing of orbiting infrastructures" (2004) - Vision hardware and data processing) and one as contractor in radar sector ("Second generation multi- beam SAR" (2004/2005) - Air of Research: Payload Radar).
As a prosecution of the programme "Optical telecommunication payload" CO.RI.S.T.A. participated in 2007 to the phase A2 of the project ( WP DB: Mission analysis Ground Station), always funded by the Italian Space Agency.

In 2002-2003 the Consortium started four programmes, three of which in space sector: IRAC (Innovative Radar Altimeter Concepts), SHARAD (SHAllow RADar), RELOSS (Regional Earth Locked Observation SAR System) and DUP-2 (Data User Programme).

IRAC project (2002/2003), funded by the European Space Agency, was a study on the concepts of an innovative radar altimeter conceived for oceans observation. The use of satellite remote sensing systems has brought great innovation in oceanography modifying and widening the limits of traditional observation systems, in particular satellite remote sensing by radar altimeter allows to obtain global and repetitive data of the area under observation.

RELOSS (2002/2004) was a programme conceived for the European Space Agency with the aim of promoting the development of an innovative Earth observation system. Within it CO.RI.S.T.A. carried out a study for the definition of a synthetic aperture radar onboard a geo-synchronous satellite, an instrument able to provide a continuous coverage (24 X 24 hours) of the territory under observation.

The European Space Agency approved CO.RI.S.T.A. study , "Interferometric SAR algorithms definition and prototyping", (2003/2004) within the Call for Proposal "DUP-2" (Data User Programme). The aim of the research was to develop SRTM and ERS data for digital elevation model.
SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) mission has been co-funded by NASA, DLR and the Italian Space Agency and aimed to provide a global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) at 30 meters resolution.
ERS (European Remote sensing Satellites) satellites acquired data between 1995 and 2000 in tandem mode, that is ERS-2 followed ERS-1 with one day orbital interval so that Europe has been covered many times by ERS data. This activity, carried on by the two satellites, has increased the development of operative instruments for interferometric processing and for DEM generation all over the world.

With SHARAD project CO.RI.S.T.A. started to operate in a new field of research, the   Solar System Exploration .
In fact, it participated, within Alenia Space team, in important research programmes within two missions towards Mars, Nasa "Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter" mission and ESA (European Space Agency) "Mars Express" mission, for the realisation and the development of two advanced radar, respectively SHARAD (SHAllow RADar) and MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding).
Since November 2002 CO.RI.S.T.A. developed, within the MRO mission (2005), a study for the evaluation of the performances of the sub- superficial radar SHARAD. The project Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Payload SHARAD, was carried out, within Alenia Space team, in the field of MRO mission preliminary activities. CO.RI.S.T.A. has realized for this aim a model of the instrument performances.
From 2002 to 2005 activities of relevant scientific content were carried out within Mars Echo Generator System project and from 2004 to 2005 within SHARAD MEGS project. With them CORISTA took part to the definition and implementation of the project concerning the ground test instruments (EGSE - Electrical Ground Support Equipment) of SHARAD radar and, in particular, to the implementation and validation of MEGS (Mars Echoes Generation System), which allows to simulate the radar echoes received from Mars surface.
Since June 2005 CORISTA participated in SHARAD - Phase E Ground Data System (GDS) S/W Tools Design and Development (2005/2007) project. (The phase E is the last phase of a mission for the support to the launch site operations and to the mission effective execution).

As for its participation in Mars Express mission, in April 2004 CO.RI.S.T.A. carried out some research activities concerning the Ground Segment of MARSIS radar, one of the project' s elements devoted to the instrument control and monitoring, able to receive and process on the earth the scientific data sent by the radar onboard the orbiter (MARSIS Phase E). The research activities ended in 2006.

In the last decade the interest of the space agencies all over the world has been concentrated also on Saturn planet and the bigger of its 34 moons, Titan. On June 30, 2004, Cassini spacecraft and its probe Huygens arrived in Saturn's orbit after a seven year journey, started on October, 15, 1997, within Cassini-Huygens mission. the result of an international collaboration among three space agencies with the contribute of seventeen nations. Within this mission the Consortium has been responsible for the processing of the data of the radar working in altimeter mode (CASSINI radar - Processing Altimetric Data - PAD) (2005/2006).

In 2005 the Italian Space Agency invited the national industrial and scientific community to present proposals for studies and preliminary projects on the subject "Italian Vision for Moon Exploration". The Italian Space Agency, in particular, focused its attention on three principal subjects: study of the Moon, use of the Moon as a platform for Universe observation, use of the Moon for Earth observation.
CO.RI.S.T.A. participated in the research activities, both in electro-optical (2007) and in microwave sectors (2006/2007). In microwave sector CO.RI.S.T.A. participated, in Thales Alenia Space Italia team, in the project "Italian Vision for Moon Exploration"- Remote Sensing Study of the Moon and from the Moon by microwaves.

In 2006 CO.RI.S.T.A. started the research activities of PAGIS (Planetary Geosciences Information System) (2006/2011) project. Further to the development of planetary missions of Solar System exploration and to the interest for this type of research, the need of one only European system for processing, collecting, cataloguing and utilizing the geo-scientific data coming from different planetary space missions was more and more felt as important and necessary. Therefore the Italian Space Agency, on the basis of the experience acquired with the research project MEGIS (Mars Express Geosciences Information System) intended to create a system of this kind, named PAGIS (Planetary Geosciences Information System Project) (2006). MEGIS in fact has helped to demonstrate the potentialities of a database able to gather geo-spatial information coming from the same mission, Mars Express, integrating and blending them together.
CO.RI.S.T.A. participated in PAGIS project which aimed at creating a net of institutions, with the coordination of the Italian Space Agency and the International Research School of Planetary Sciences (IRSPS), able to analyze geo-spatial data and provide the ASI Science data Center (ASDC) with the scientific resulting products for the distribution.

In 2007 the activities of "Earth Observation Mission based on Satellite Formation Mission & payload" (2007/2009) project started within the team leaded by Thales Alenia Space.
CO.RI.S.T.A. took part in this project analysing three main scenarios of satellite formation flight mission, each related also to different payloads and constraints: microwave radar, electro-optical for imaging and electro-optical for gravimetry.

In 2007 the research activities of SABRINA-Large-Baseline Bistatic Algorithms (2007/2008) project started. It dealt with the experimentation of algorithms related to new applications for SABRINA, the mission proposed by the Italian Space Agency. It consisted in a small only receiving satellite flying in formation with COSMO/SkyMed SAR mission, the satellite constellation equipped by SAR and electro-optical sensors for Satellite Earth Observation, according to the European Union strategies and aiming at disaster management, coastal and environment monitoring. CO.RI.S.T.A. took part in the project in Thales Alenia Space Italia team for the definition of the products and their requirements.

In the field of space remote sensing activities, in 2007 a study was developed within the "Earth Explorer" Programme of the European Space Agency. This Programme was conceived to deepen our knowledge of the Earth System from space. It consisted of a series of missions dedicated to specific aspects of our Earth environment, as the study of atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, criosphere and the inner of the Earth, with a particular attention to the interactions between these components and the impact that human activity has on these natural processes. The study (2007/2008) concerned the "CoReH2O" mission, one of the six "CORE" candidate missions submitted by ESA to evaluation studies. This mission intended to provide detailed information on the characteristics of snow cycle, glaciers and surface water. CO.RI.S.T.A. developed a study on Synthetic Aperture Radar performances of the mission.

Within the research strategic line pursued in its radar sector, CORISTA carried out in 2008 a study, co-funded by Campania Region, to implement the flexibility of the signal transmitted by the radar, key element to enhance the potentiality of the instrument in different operative situations (Project "Development of a digital frequency synthesizer").

As already said, in the field of Solar System Exploration our National Space Agency has taken part in the development and management of three radars employed successfully in so many missions of Planetary Exploration: MARSIS in ESA Mars Express mission, SHARAD in NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission and CASSINI in NASA, ESA ASI Cassini-Huygens mission. For each instrument the Italian Space Agency has realized an operative centre for the radar control and management, as well as for data processing and distribution. Although these three centres, SHOC.MOC and CASSINI PAD, have been conceived to work autonomously and independently apart, recently the need for an unique centre has been perceived and has led to the Planetary Radar Processing Center (PROC) project. This new structure has been conceived to receive, process and analyze the data coming from each single centre, unifying them from an hardware and software point of view. As the Italian Space Agency entrusted a team composed by Thales Alenia Space Italia and CO.RI.S.T.A. with the research activities concerning MARSIS, SHARAD and CASSINI projects (Phase E), it has chosen the same work group for PROC project.
In 2008 CO.RI.S.T.A. started the project activities (2008/2012) and it has been responsible for data processing, updating of the software instruments previously developed within other research programmes, and the development of new ones according to the project aims.

In the same year started the project for the design and development of FLORAD mission (2008/2009), which has been approved by the Italian Space Agency within the research activities on Small Space Missions. FLORAD is a micro-satellite Flower Constellation of millimeter-wave radiometers for Earth and space observation at regional scale, conceived to carry out the analysis of the fundamental parameters of water cycle in terrestrial atmosphere on the Mediterranean area at high time repetitiveness and at high spatial resolution.
CO.RI.S.T.A. had the task of developing the mathematic model of the scanning radiometer and of performing the evaluation of the applicability of interferometer techniques for radiometer constellations.

In February 2009 CORISTA started the Post EPS project (2009) within Thales Alenia Space Italia team, funded by the European Space Agency. ESA has developed six Earth Explorer missions within the Living Planet programme. Among them there are the Eumetsat Polar System (EPS) missions, whose space segment is occupied by MetOp, a series of three satellites which will provide data at least until 2020. Launched in October 2006, MetOp A is the first orbit polar satellite devoted to operational meteorology. At the moment preparations have started for EUMETSAT Polar System next generation, the so-called Post-EPS. In fact Post EPS programme refers to the polar meteorological satellites which will replace MetOp between 2018-2020.
This Post EPS project referred to the Phase 0 of Post EPS programme for the study of the Post EPS Micro Wave Imager (MWI). The MWI is a multi-spectral imaging satellite radiometer for the study of meteorological and climatic phenomena, able to measure the thermal radiance emitted by the Earth, at high spatial resolution in specified spectral bands in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

In 2009 CORISTA participated also in SoRa (Sounding Radar) mission, entirely designed and funded by the Italian Space Agency, which was part of a programme of payload tests for planetary exploration. The experiment took part in July 2009 at Svalbard islands and allowed the test of a ground penetrating radar, installed within a nacelle transported by a stratospheric balloon. The radar was completely designed and realized by CORISTA in its laboratories with characteristics similar to the radars of Mars exploration missions, MARSIS of ESA Mars Express mission and above all SHARAD of NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.

Within the research activities on SHARAD radar, CORISTA continued the activities carried out in the period 2005-2007 (SHARAD project-Phase E) when it had been responsible for the implementation of specific tools, operative instruments of the Ground Data System, devoted to the radar data processing and to its performances estimate. In this project (2009 SHARAD Scientific Activities on MRO) CORISTA developed research activities on behalf of INFOCOM (Department of Information and Communication Science and Technique of the University of Rome "La Sapienza"), which has been also Team Leader of the project. CORISTA had the responsibility for the development of the "Operations Management" and the "Mission Operations" activities, besides the role of Deputy Team Leader for the scientific activities.

Since June 2010 CO.RI.S.T.A. participates in the phase A of ESA CoReH2O project (2010/2012), having already participated in the preliminary studies (Phase 0) of the same project. In fact in March 2009 ESA "Programme Board for Earth Observation" has selected the three missions of the Earth Explorer Programme which will pass to the next phase of feasibility analysis (Phase A).
CoReH2O is the first satellite mission which will provide detailed information on the characteristics of the cycle of snow, glaciers and Earth surface water. CoReH2O mission aims at providing continuous and high definition information of snow and glaciers properties by the use of a two frequencies (X and Ku band, 9.6 e 17.2 GHz), double polarization Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to employ in two consecutive phases in order to obtain all-weather, year-round information on regional and continental scale, on snow and water.

In November 1998 the European Space Agency has established in ESTEC the Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) within the framework of ESA General Studies Programme. The Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) is an advanced facility equipped with a network of computers, multimedia devices and software tools, which allows a team of experts from several disciplines to apply the "concurrent engineering method": methodologies, techniques and instruments organically organised to provide the integrated design of a product and of the concerned industrial process.
In this field CO.RI.S.T.A participates in the "Space Instrument Design Modelling of Optical Active and Microwave Instruments (SIMOM2)" research project (2010/2012), co-ordinated and conducted by DEIMOS Space, S.L.U. (DMS - Spain), in collaboration with Serco (Serco-Italy), and Jena-Optronik GmbH (JOP - Germany), in reply to an Invitation to Tender of the European Space Agency for research activities in the field of the Concurrent Design Facility (CDF). The aim of this project is to develop and validate the technology of a system able to lay down the conditions of SIMOM, the Space Instrument Design Modelling of Optical Active and Microwave Instruments for ESTEC.

In January 2011 start the activities of a project on behalf of the Italian Space Agency for a new P-band radar system as part of a programme of payload test for planetary exploration, completely promoted and funded by the Agency.
The activities aim at creating a multi-band (150 and 450 MHz) and multi-functionality (imager and sounder) radar demonstrator to be mounted on aerial platforms, followed by a series of experimentations supporting the Italian scientific community for the research on Ground Penetrating Radar in space missions dedicated to Solar System exploration and as a means of validation for civil and military applications typical of low-frequency radar.

MetOp Second Generation - Phase A/B1 System Study (2011/2013) concerns the activities of "MetOp Second Generation" Phase A/B1 for the European Space Agency. In particular it deals with the two imaging radiometers of the mission, the Microwave Imager MWI (ESA) e the Ice Cloud Imager ICI (ESA).
The European Space Agency has developed six Earth Explorer missions within the Living Planet programme. Among them there are the Eumetsat Polar System (EPS) missions whose three MetOp satellites will provide data at least until 2020, forming the EPS space segment. Currently preparations have started for the so-called PostEPS mission with the polar meteorological satellites which will replace MetOp between 2018-2020. In fact ESA, to ensure the flow of polar orbit meteorological data in the decades after 2020, has already moved the first steps towards developing the new generation of MetOp satellites.

CORISTA has been engaged by TAS-I to provide support (2011/2012) to the definition and specification of the BIOMASS P-Band SAR. BIOMASS aims to improve the present assessment and future projection of the terrestrial carbon cycle by providing consistent global maps of forests and its primary objectives can be achieved by making observations of the global forest cover with a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) P-band (435MHz).
The BIOMASS mission has been one of the three candidates to become the seventh "Earth Explorer" mission of the European Space Agency (in May 2013 BIOMASS was chosen among the three to be the seventh Earth Explorer mission). With the "Earth Explorer" missions the European Space Agency intends to provide an important contribution to the global effort to deepen the knowledge of our planet in relation to the changes in its environment. After a first phase of feasibility study, were chosen six missions for the second phase of implementation, all responding to specific areas of interest in the field of the study of environmental issues.

SIASGE (Italian Argentine Satellite System for Emergency Management) (2011/2013) is a joint programme of the Italian Space Agency and the Argentine Space Agency CONAE (Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales) which includes the integration of two satellite constellations for Earth Observation: COSMO-SkyMed and SAOCOM.
Within this programme CO.RI.S.T.A. participated in the research activities concerning the SAR payload for the Critical Design Review of the SAR instrument.
The activities, in the form of scientific support, have been held at CONAE headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentine, closely with CONAE team of researchers. A first phase, which started in 2011 and ended in June 2012, was carried out on behalf of Thales Alenia Space Italia, while CO.RI.S.T.A., since July 2012, was charged directly by the Argentine Space Agency CONAE to carry on the activities which ended in October 2013.

In 2011 CO.RI.S.T.A. develops a study, "Oil below ice" (2011), on behalf of Thales Alenia Space Italy, on the detection of oil under the ice surfaces using microwave sensors. It has carried out a bibliographic collection of remote sensing techniques and sensors used for the detection of oil under frozen land surfaces, a preliminary definition of the characteristics of sensors for subsurface oil detection, a critical analysis of the state of art, a selection of the most suitable technique for the detection of oil under ice surfaces, an analysis of the technical requirements of sensors and the preliminary definition of the requirements of the revelation system.

In 2012 CO.RI.S.T.A. participates in the "Guidance Algorithms and Visual Navigation" project (2012/2013) in the team leaded by GMA s.r.l. within MISE, a C.I.R.A. (Italian Aerospace Research Centre) project.
The MISE project has a duration of five years (2010/2015) and aims at improving the unmanned aerial platforms (Unmanned Aerial System - UAS) of all kinds (balloons, fixed-wing aircraft, rotorcraft, etc.) and at making them more and more competitive, for security aim and territory monitoring in order to safeguard the crucial nodes of the country system, such as borders, infrastructure (bridges, pipelines, power plants, factories, etc..) and large metropolitan areas.
In particular this project consists in the development of algorithms for the integrated navigation in general and, more specifically, for the "unmanned" aerial platforms.
The programme has started in 2012 and will end in 2013.

In January 2011 start the activities of a project on behalf of the Italian Space Agency for a new P-band radar system as part of a programme of payload test for planetary exploration, completely promoted and funded by the Agency.
The activities aim at creating a multi-band (150 and 450 MHz) and multi-functionality (imager and sounder) radar demonstrator to be mounted on aerial platforms, followed by a series of experimentations supporting the Italian scientific community for the research on Ground Penetrating Radar in space missions dedicated to Solar System exploration and as a means of validation for civil and military applications typical of low-frequency radar.

In 2011 have started also the research activities of ExoMars, the first mission of ESA Aurora Exploration Programme.
The main aim of this Programme is to develop and improve a long-term plan for robotic and human exploration of our Solar System, preferring some specific subjects as the Moon and Mars. A second aim, not less significant, is to look for evidence of life beyond Earth.
In the ExoMars Programme have been scheduled two missions in co-operation with the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos.
The one, to be implemented in 2016, which involves the launch of an Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and an Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module, while the other, to be implemented in 2018, includes a rover which will carry a drill and a suite of instruments dedicated to exobiology and geochemistry research.
Roscosmos will provide a Proton launcher for both missions.
CO.RI.S.T.A. is involved in the test activities of the EXOMARS Radar Doppler Altimeter (RDA). In particular it is responsible for the design, development and test of the two Echo Simulator Systems (ESS1 and ESS2)and it will provide two ATE (Automatic Test Equipment) units. The two Echo Simulator Systems will be integrated in the radar Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE) and CO.RI.S.T.A. will support the integration phase into the EGSE of Thales Alenia Space Milano, as for the ESS1, and into the GNC SCOE of Thales Alenia Space Torino, as for the ESS2.
In a second project CO.RI.S.T.A. is responsible for the design and development of the "core" of the test system of the instrument, that is the Echo Generator, which allows to simulate the echoes coming from Mars surface and to inject them into the radar to test the instrument in various operating conditions.

In June 2014 starts RADASIM: Development of a simulation tool of SAR raw data for the SAOCOM project. In the frame of the National Space Plan, the  Argentine Space Agency CONAE is developing a system of Earth observation, dedicated to the use of remote sensing data for optimization of socio-economic and scientific studies. This project involves the launching of two constellations, SAOCOM 1 and SAOCOM 2, each of which is itself composed of two satellites.
This project responds to CONAE need for "the development of a simulation tool of SAR raw data for the SAOCOM Project (Satellites for Observation and Communications)" able to generate SAOCOM simulated raw data based on observed scenarios definitions, and asks for the delivery of predefined raw data sets.
CORISTA, in response to this request, proposes the development of a simulator of SAR raw data (RADASIM).

CO.RI.S.T.A. participates in 2014 in the project TELEMACO, Enabling technologies and innovative electronic scanning systems in millimetre and centimetre bands for avionic radar applications, within the Campanian Aerospace District - DAC. The prime of the project is MBDA, a company engaged in the design and production of missiles and missile systems. The project concerns the study and technological development of an innovative radar system on board an aircraft for advanced monitoring of the territory.

As part of the verification activities developed to test the performances of ExoMars Radar Doppler Altimeter, the Field Test project represents an important step aimed at testing the instrument on the field during a flight path with environmental conditions similar to those of Mars. CORISTA is responsible for the conduction of the field tests and the processing of the acquired data. The activities of Field Test will be carried out on behalf of Thales Alenia Space Italy in collaboration with the 'IRSPS International Research School of Planetary Sciences, which will handle the logistics and the test site.

Also in 2014 began the program "System studies on an anti-collision radar for UAV and prototypal development of the on-board processor and of the anti-collision algorithms" which provides research on behalf of MBDA within the project "Development and Industrialization: Radiofrequency Systems and electromagnetic Windows (SIRena)" funded by the Ministry of Economic Development. The activities are aimed at the definition of an anti-collision radar for UAV platforms with the related processing algorithms and the prototypal development of a HW demonstrator of the on-board processor. CO.RI.S.T.A. has the responsibility for the activities of Management, Requirements Analysis, Design, Implementation and Test. The activities, started in 2014, will end in 2015.

During the "P-band Radar" project (ASI Contract I/062/10/0), that CO.RI.S.T.A. conducted between 2011 and 2014, has been designed, realized and tested a multi frequency P-band radar operating in "sounder" mode to the frequency of 150 MHz and in "imager" mode to the operating frequencies of UHF-450 MHz Low-and-High UHF -900 MHz. Based on the experience acquired, the consortium aims to deepen the knowledge and the technologies related to this radar with the project "Technological evolution and experimentation, by airborne platform, of a radar in VHF and UHF bands (frequencies below 1 GHz)"(ASI Contract 2015-029-I.0). The intent is to improve the performances and the operational capacity, also performing air campaigns aimed at the calibration, characterization and set-up of the system.
The project involves also other national scientific realities with experience in the field of penetrating radar in VHF and UHF bands (frequencies below 1 GHz) that will provide and validate the data related to the technological development of the instrument and process those acquired during the campaigns, by providing software and hardware tools previously used during similar researches.
The activities, started in 2015, will run for twenty four months.

CO.RI.S.T.A. participates in the project SPACE4UXO - SPACE For Unexploded Ordnance as a consultant of NAIS - NEXTANT Applications & Innovative Solutions responding to the thematic announcement No. 4 of the Italian Space Agency, reserved to SMEs, on the subject "Navigation and Earth Observation: use of the national and European space infrastructure". SPACE4UXO aims at developing an innovative technological platform supporting the land reclamation activities for the detection and characterization of buried unexploded ordnance (UXO). The research for more effective solutions to the problem of land reclamation from UXO, in operative, economic and operators security terms, is due to the presence of a great number of yet unexploded ordnance (aerial bombs, naval bullets and minefields), due to past war conflicts and to the incessant dissemination of new ordnance in so many world areas where political instability generates local conflicts. SPACE4UXO project intends to provide the operators with an innovative tool, fruit of technology transfer from the space segment. In this field NAIS benefits from CO.RI.S.T.A. know how as CO.RI.S.T.A. has designed and realized an innovative "P band Radar" within the previous ASI contract No. I/062/10/0. The program started in 2016 and will last twenty four months.

CO.RI.S.T.A. participates in the programme "Dynamic Visualization Tool" in Thales Alenia Space Italia team. The objective is the design and development of a visualization tool working on standard products of either CSK, CSG and Sentinel 1. The programme started in June 2016 and will last 12 months.

Within the research activities carried out by the Italian Space Agency for the realization of the subsurface radar RIME (Radar for Icy Moons Exploration) for the ESA mission JUICE, CO.RI.S.T.A. deals with the realization of two software for the simulation of the raw data produced by the instrument and their related processing in the team of Thales Alenia Space Italia (Off-Line Data Processor and Off-Line Scenario Simulator for RIME). RIME began in October 2016 and will last six months.







Credit: NASA





Credit: NASA/JPL Caltech