ESA and Thales Alenia Space signed a €482 million (US$586 million) contract to develop the Radar Observation System for Europe in L-band (ROSE-L) environmental monitoring spacecraft – as part of Europe’s Copernicus programme. ROSE-L is planned for launch in 2028. During its planned 7.5 year life time it will provide a day and night radar imaging capability monitoring the land, oceans and iceflows from its 690 km near polar orbit. ROSE-L will carry an active phased array synthetic aperture radar instrument.
With dimensions of 11 x 3.6 m ROSE-L’s radar antenna will be the largest planar antenna ever built . Thales Alenia Space in Italy is the prime contractor for the mission, with Airbus Defence and Space in Germany responsible for the radar instrument. The contract for ROSE-L is the last of six contracts for the European Copernicus Earth observation programme’s high-priority Sentinel Expansion missions.