The world's most powerful Earth Observation hyperspectral satellite

PRISMA (the Hyperspectral Precursor of the Application Mission) is a powerful Italian Earth Observation system with innovative, electro-optical instrumentation that combines an hyperspectral sensor with a medium-resolution panchromatic camera. Planetek Italia is among the Italian companies involved in the design and development of the mission.



The PRISMA satellite, wanted by the Italian Space Agency, has the ambition to revolutionize the way we see the Earth.

Equipped with the most powerful hyperspectral sensor in the world, Prisma is at least 24 times more powerful than any other instrument built so far. The current optical sensors mounted on the satellites are multispectral capable of exploiting at most a dozen infrared bands, while PRISMA is capable of 240 bands (bands arranged from the visible to the near infrared and up to the shortwave infrared).

A great capacity that can be exploited in many application fields, such as agriculture, the fight against desertification, prevention and emergency management after natural disasters, the identification of pollution factors in land and sea environments, or in the study of complex phenomena such as the interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere and the observation of changes in the environment and climate at the global level.

The main mission objectives are:

  • To develop a small mission entirely in Italy for monitoring of natural resources and atmosphere characteristics, taking advantage of the prior developments carried out by ASI
  • To make available in a short period of time the data necessary to the scientific community for developing new applications for environmental risk management and observation of the territory, based on high-resolution spectral images
  • To test the hyperspectral payload in orbit – the first or among the first at the European level.

The PRISMA Mission is the follow-on of the Hypseo mission, whose phase B was completed in 2002, finalized so as to be precursor of and synergic with (specifically for the Pan/Hyp payload design and development and relevant part of the Ground Segment) the Italian-Canadian Joint Hyperspectral Mission (JHM), which is being developed in cooperation between the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

Planetek Italia had the responsibility for the design and development of the geocoding sub-system under the Ground Space Segment that includes the following Italian centres:

  • Mission Control Centre (MCC)
  • Satellite Control Centre (SCC)
  • Image Data Handling Segment (Payload Ground Segment)

Particularly, Planetek Italia defined the architectural design for the Geolocation and Geocoding components for both hyperspectral and panchromatic products and developed softwares.

The geocoding sub-system takes in input PRISMA products of level 1 and produces geolocated and geocoded products of level 2.

In detail, Planetek contributed to the development of the ground segment within the IDHS subsystem (Image Data Handling System) which is responsible for downloading, storing, cataloging and processing the data received in Band X. For the IDHS the Planetek team has designed and developed some processors dedicated: to deciphering the data transmitted in X-band, which arrives encrypted (L0-DCR processor); to populate the user catalog with the generation of quick-look and geo-location metadata (L0-QLK); to atmospheric correction of surface reflectance and automatic geocoding (L2). Furthermore, Planetek developed an operating platform for the management of the Ground Control Points of the Prisma mission, which support the geocoding of Level 2 products (GCPDB).

For further information about the mission visit the ASI website


earthbit PRISMA Toolbox

earthbit PRISMA edition is a vertical implementation of earthbit totally devoted to the interaction and manipulation of PRISMA satellite mission hyperspectral products. PRISMA Toolbox v1.0 allows to import, view and convert L1, L2B, L2C, L2D products in a very simple and immediate way (in MS Windows based PC). Thanks to its features the user can interact in a very simple and quick manner with all the spectral bands and the metadata of the HDF products without taking care of the HDF format. In the pictures above some of those functionalities like metadata plotting, spectral signature pixel by pixel and metadata navigation are showed.

Download earthbit PRISMA Toolbox v 1.0 (exe)