Telespazio Germany will provide engineering support services for the preparation for operations of ESA's Biomass and FLEX missions

(To Telespazio)

Telespazio Germany, a subsidiary of Telespazio - a joint venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%) - has signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to provide support services to the European Space Operations Center (ESOC) engineering for the preparation for the operations of the Biomass and FLEX missions. The contract extends until the end of 2024 with the possibility of extension. 

The Earth observation missions Biomass (Earth Explorer 7) and FLEX (Earth Explorer 8) are part of the ESA program called Living Planet and are aimed at helping researchers and scientists to better understand the global carbon cycle and to provide more information on forests and vegetation in general.

FLEX (Fluorescence Explorer), in particular, thanks to its FLORIS instrument, created by Leonardo and capable of providing global maps of the fluorescence of vegetation, will measure the photosynthetic activity and health of vegetation for the first time from space. FLEX, developed by a consortium led by Thales Alenia Space (a joint venture between Thales, 67%, and Leonardo, 33%) as prime contractor, will also provide data in the field of agriculture, helping crop management and food security, thus helping to support the growing demand for food on a global scale.

Biomass, on the other hand, a mission for which Leonardo and Thales Alenia Space will provide key equipment, by 2022 will begin to provide a global map of the amount of carbon stored in the world's forests, thus revealing their status, both on the surface and underground. The results of Biomass research will have an impact not only from a scientific point of view but will also be fundamental to achieve the United Nations objectives in reducing emissions from deforestation (REDD +).

For Biomass, Telespazio Germany, acting as prime contractor, and its partners are already providing a new service model based on the experience in engineering and operational services accumulated over the years by Telespazio for numerous customers.

"Our offering combines the best components of the service models that Telespazio Germany already implements at ESOC, DLR and EUMETSAT. For the first time, ESOC has also entrusted the responsibility of the complete support services for the preparation for mission operations to a single supplier" said Paul Bearman, manager of the Systems Engineering division of Telespazio Germany.