More than 20 Spanish companies and organizations have united to design, manufacture and launch a constellation of 30 Earth observation satellites. The i2CAT Foundation is part of this consortium, together with a total of 23 other partners at the forefront of space technologies development and applications in the country.
The project is led by Open Cosmos and includes entities such as Sener, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), the Madrid Aerospace Cluster, and the Geological Institute of Catalonia, among others, which form a comprehensive group that encompasses the whole value-chain of the space sector, from satellite design to data management.
This unprecedented R&D project will entail a 147 million euro investment and aims at digitizing several strategic sectors, as well as to obtain key data for environmental monitoring and to promote the green transition. It has been presented to the Spanish Ministry of Industry in the framework of the “Programa de Impulso de proyectos tractores de Competitividad y Sostenibilidad Industrial”, which will be financed with EU funds.
The constellation, composed of more than 30 Earth observation satellites, is expected to start operating in less than two years and its main objective will be to construct digital models to tackle sustainability, digitalization, and economic optimization with highly-valuable scientific data.
The satellites will include innovative propulsion systems, AI-integrated observation cameras, high broadband communications systems, and integration with terrestrial and satellite IoT applications, among other elements. Furthermore, a data platform will be deployed in the cloud and supported by AI processing to analyze the environment. This will allow for direct applications in agriculture, environmental and public defense, natural disaster prevention and detection, etc.
This new space initiative will also be a catalyst for the economy and is expected to generate 10% more quality jobs in the space sector and to turn over more than 500 million euros in 2026.