Thales Alenia Space has contracted Airbus to develop an advanced radar instrument for the Radar Observatory System for Europe in L-band (ROSE-L) mission.

As part of the €190m contract, Airbus Defence and Space in Friedrichshafen, Germany, will head an industrial consortium that includes companies from nine countries to deliver the instrument.

Airbus will be delivering spacecraft or payload on three of the six new generation Copernicus Environment and Earth observation missions, including LSTM, CRISTAL and ROSE-L.

The company will also be providing critical equipment to all six missions.

Airbus space system head Jean-Marc Nasr said: “The selection of Airbus to design this complex radar payload is a tribute to Airbus’ world leadership in space radar technology.

“Earth is surely the best and probably the only viable option for mankind. So we need to take good care of it.

“Our radar will enable the ROSE-L mission to do just that, helping to understand climate change and support a sustainable ecological transition.

“This Copernicus new generation satellite is an enabler for the European Green Deal and Airbus is proud to be playing its part.”

Scheduled for launch in July 2027, the Copernicus ROSE-L mission will transport an active phased array synthetic aperture radar instrument.

ROSE-L will provide high spatial resolution and sensitivity imagery of land, oceans and ice leveraging advanced radar techniques, including polarimetry and interferometry.

Last month, the European Space Agency (ESA) contracted Airbus as the lead for the Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial and Helio Studies (TRUTHS) A/B1 contract.