Noctua is a €10 million project that focuses on the development of an end-to-end service for the monitoring of the territory. The goal of the project is to enable private and governmental organizations to assess the conditions of existing infrastructures over time from space, evaluate sites for the construction of new infrastructures, identify irregularities with respect to urban planning, detect the movement of land and glaciers, prevent and manage natural emergencies, and much more.
The service will feature a space segment to collect data, a processing layer to combine and elaborate space-based and ground-based data, and a cloud-based interface that enables end users – from institutions to private citizens– to query the database.
The NOCTUA space segment is an innovative small satellite developed by D-Orbit, equipped with a SAR payload provided by MetaSensing. The satellite is based on D-Orbit’s flagship ION satellite platform, a high-performance small spacecraft platform designed with reliability in mind. The sensor is a lightweight, compact, high resolution SAR sensor with performance previously unavailable to this class of vehicles.
This combination lowers the barrier to entry for SAR applications, making it accessible to emerging economies. The ability to operate a fleet of smaller satellites in formation flight ensures the scalability necessary to cover the most demanding scenarios. This scalable, agile architecture provides data that can be integrated with the information provided by other ground, airborne, and spaceborne sensors.
Funded by Lombardy Region, NOCTUA is being developed by a 6-member consortium led by D-Orbit that includes Beta 80 S.p.A. Software e Sistemi, Fondazione EUCENTRE, Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori, RadarSensing/MetaSensing, TRE Altamira s.r.l., with the support of Fondazione Politecnico di Milano as cross partner and the support of Lombardia Aerospace Cluster and Fondazione Cluster Tecnologie per le Smart Cities & Communities - Lombardia.
The project will be the foundation of a modular commercial service that can be transferred to other areas of the world, with the aim of disseminating skills and knowledge born and developed entirely in Lombardy, contributing to the sustainable development and security of other regions.